SNOOKER ace Paul Davison is thrilled the UK Championship is to remain in its “rightful home” of York.
The Pickering-based professional, who beat Gerard Greene in front of an army of home supporters at the York Barbican in last year’s event before giving former champion Shaun Murphy a scare in the second round, said he was delighted by the prospect of once again appearing at the arena.
Davison was reacting after Barry Hearn confirmed on Thursday that the Fishergate venue would host the tournament this autumn after doubts had been raised about its future in the Minster city.
Hearn has moved to address logistical concerns raised by players following the 2013 tournament, which concluded last month with the Australian Neil Robertson taking the trophy.
It is likely this year’s event will see the four table set-up in the main arena, which reverted to two tables at the last 16 stage, now in place up until the quarter-finals.
While the match lengths, and tournament format, will remain the same, the two table set up may also be in place now for the semi-finals, which would theoretically free up an extra day in the tournament calendar.
Davison said that only the Preston Guildhall, which was the long term home of the UK Championship during its formative years, could even come close to the atmosphere generated at the Barbican.
“I’m delighted and I am glad the UK is staying in York,” he said. “I enjoyed every second of it last year – even the match I lost – and playing my games in the main arena was really good.
“It will be great to play there again. It is high-tiered seating at the back and you can take in every match. It’s a fantastic venue and I haven’t spoken to anyone who doesn’t like it – players or spectators.
“It’s the right decision. 100 per cent. For me, the Guildhall in the 1980s and 90s was a fantastic venue and only the Guildhall comes anywhere close (to the Barbican). It’s great the UK is staying there.”