Mark Allen has an extra inspiration to try and win this year's UK Championship. Allen is "desperate" to win snooker's second biggest tournament for his sick manager, Paul Mount, at the York Barbican Centre.
Mount was taken to hospital with heart problems just a few hours after arriving in York to watch his star player in action, and if the Ulsterman does go all the way and seize the £100,000 first prize, then Allen knows Mount will be watching every ball from his hospital bed.
"It does put things in perspective when your manager is lying in hospital with a heart problem," said Allen, who faces qualifier Ricky Walden in the semi-finals.
"If I could win the title this weekend it would be for him as well. He's not been well for a while, but as soon as he got here he felt really ill and had to be rushed to hospital. I've been in touch with him, but he's a strong man and he is missed around the tournament."
The 25-year-old is hungry to book his place in his first-ever ranking final having lost all five of his career semi-final outings so far. "It's seven years as a pro without a major title and that's very disappointing," admitted Allen.
If Allen did win his semi-final he would play either Judd Trump or the former world champion Neil Robertson in tomorrow's best-of-19 frame final. Trump and Robertson were locked at 4-4 after the first session of their best-of-17 frame semi-final yesterday. Trump impressed with two breaks of 43 and runs of 84 and 69, but Robertson fought back from 2-0 down to share the session.
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