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  Monday, 14 October, 2002, 05:52 GMT 06:52 UK
Small claims biggest prize
Chris Small lifts the LG Cup
Small needs monthly steroid injections to play

New LG Cup champion Chris Small plans to pay off his mortgage following his shock win in Preston.

After only three victories last season, The Scot was worried he would not be able to make the payments on his house.

But he admits his winner's cheque for 82,500 will relax both himself and his wife, Clare.


In one game I was in so much pain I could hardly lift my head above the table
Chris Small

Twelve months ago, it seemed unlikely that Small, a former bank clerk, would find himself on the winner's podium.

The 29-year-old from Edinburgh contemplated quitting the sport because of a degenerative spinal condition.

He needs monthly steroid injections in his neck and back just to be able to compete.

"I remember two incidents at the start of last season in the qualifiers at Burton," said Small after his 9-5 success over world number 15 Alan McManus.

"In one game against Craig Butler I was in so much pain I could hardly lift my head above the tables," added the world number 29 .

"I was 4-0 down and couldn't see the balls so I quit the game at the interval.


I always knew I was a good player
Chris Small

"In another match with Gary Wilkinson I was strapped up with bandages round my shoulders.

"I was walking round the table like a mummy, I could hardly move."

At Preston, he claimed famous wins over Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins en route to the final against McManus.

"I still had to work hard because Alan puts you under so much pressure. However, it's a dream come true," said Small.

"I always knew I was a good player and to finally get there feels so good. I'm really proud of myself," said the 150-1 pre-tournament outsider.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Clive Everton
"Small was a shock winner"
Chris Small v Alan McManus
See Small complete LG cup victory
Winner Chris Small
"It's like a dream"
Alan McManus
"Chris didn't miss a shot"

Action from Preston

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Links to more LG Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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