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John Higgins's dad dies from cancer

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Emotional Higgins dedicates title to family after winning UK title in December

John Higgins's father died following his battle against cancer shortly after the world number one withdrew from the German Masters to be at his side.

The three-time world champion made the decision soon after beating Rob Milkins 5-3 in the first round in Berlin and rushed back to his native Scotland.

However, the player learnt of his father's death while en route.

After returning from a six-month ban in December, Higgins said his dad's cancer battle had made him more motivated.

Higgins, world champion in 1998, 2007 and 2009, made a successful return to the sport at the end of last year following his suspension for not reporting a match-fixing approach.

He beat Mark Williams to lift the UK Championship trophy in his first ranking comeback tournament for his 22nd major title and dedicated the win to his father, who fought cancer for six years.

Higgins said in Telford: "He's been a big part for me, coming here to tournaments, but he's been here with me this week as well in spirit."

John Higgins senior travelled with his son for most of his tournaments since he turned professional in 1992.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: "On behalf of World Snooker I send deepest sympathies to the Higgins family at this sad time."

The Scot, known as the 'Wizard of Wishaw' had been due to play Marco Fu in the last 16 after Hong Kong's Masters runner-up overcame Mark King 5-1 in the opening round. Fu will now receive a bye to the quarter-finals.

The other two players to make the second round on Friday morning were Mark Williams, who beat Anthony McGill 5-1, and Stephen Maguire, winner over Daniel Wells 5-2.

The second round gets going on Friday afternoon. All matches up to and including the quarter-finals are best of nine frames, the semi-finals are best of 11 and the final, to be played on Sunday 6 February, is best of 17.



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see also
Robertson crashes out in Berlin
03 Feb 11 |  Snooker
Higgins dumped out by dogged Dott
10 Jan 11 |  Snooker
Higgins proud of UK comeback win
13 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Higgins happy to take second chance
06 Dec 10 |  Snooker
Higgins wins comeback tournament
14 Nov 10 |  Snooker
Higgins cleared of fixing claims
08 Sep 10 |  Snooker
Bond revels in Shoot-Out victory
31 Jan 11 |  Snooker


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