Snooker: Lung cancer operation for Mountjoy

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(First Edition)

DOUG MOUNTJOY, the UK champion in 1978 and 1988 and the beaten world championship finalist in 1981, has lung cancer and will have surgery at Llandough Hospital, Cardiff, on Sunday. 'Doug is having an an operation to remove the malignant tumour,' Nick Harvey, his manager, said yesterday.

'The full extent of the illness will not be known until after the operation. But everyone concerned, including the doctors, believe it will be a success and that the cancer has been caught in time.

'It is a testing time for Doug, and his family and friends. He hopes to come through this and be back playing in September.'

Mountjoy, 50, has spent most of his career among snooker's top 16 in his 17 years as a professional but last season, he failed to win a match from November until his first-round victory over the Canadian Alain Robidoux in the Embassy world championship at Sheffield last month.

'I was told in October I had a virus but I just never recovered from it,' Mountjoy said. 'If I practised for half an hour I was exhausted. I feel better because at least it's clear now what the trouble is. My heart is very strong and I'm in good condition generally so at least that's in my favour.'