Snooker: Stevens makes a comeback

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The Independent Online
Kirk Stevens, famous for his white suits and the 147 break he made in the 1984 Benson and Hedges Masters, will return to the professional snooker circuit next season.

Stevens, 39, retired from the professional game in 1993 and returned to his home in Toronto after suffering from a loss of form and personal problems. He is re-entering the competitive field after a winning a qualifying tournament in Canada that guarantees him a place among the 192 professionals who will be on the main tour next season.

Stevens overcame a field containing 10 past and present Canadian champions, and, if he comes through a play-off against the winner of the second America Tour qualifying event in May, he will be seeded directly through to the final stages of each ranking tournament.

Meanwhile, Jim McKenzie, chief executive of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, yesterday continued to lobby Tony Blair over the proposed ban on tobacco advertising. In an open letter to the Prime Minister, McKenzie said he was "surprised and disappointed" that the Government had grouped snooker together with other sports far less dependent on tobacco sponsorship.