sport

Beaten Travis still on a high

Sheffield amateur Mitchell Travis was "still buzzing" on Tuesday despite his UK Championship elimination.

Travis provided the shock of the tournament when he dumped out world number six Marco Fu in round one at York's Barbican Centre.

He added the scalp of Kurt Maflin and though a 6-1 hammering against Ireland's David Morris was a disappointing way for his dream run to end, his performances and attitude have won him a legion of admirers.

"I'm disappointed (to lose) but overjoyed with my performances all week," he said. "It's nice to get in some games against the big lads and put my name out there.

"This week I've been all over the papers. This morning, I had a look at the Sun newspaper, there's normally hardly anything about snooker but (there was) a picture of me!

"I turned my phone on yesterday after I beat Kurt and I had 118 messages on Facebook. I was like, 'what's happening here?' - I didn't even know I had that many friends on Facebook!

"It's nice to see, hopefully I can keep it going now."

Amid negative comments from several players and reports of a likely move from the Barbican Centre for next year's tournament, Travis' obvious relish for the game and the event has been refreshing.

He has been supported throughout by father Gary, who himself came close to a tour place in the past, and grandfather Terry - with whom he could be seen practising late on Monday evening.

Within an hour of his defeat to Morris he was watching events on the "Cue Zone" table in the venue lobby, still in his match waistcoat and clutching his cue case in one hand and a beer in the other.

"I'm still over the moon, still buzzing," he said.

"How many times can you say an amateur's coming to play here? I've been to watch it a few times but I'm playing here, I'm mixing it with the elite."

He hopes for a repeat at the World Championship in his home city and is optimistic it can be a prelude to a full tour place next season - having only missed out this year after defeat to Morris in the qualifying school final.

He said: "We all know what's happened with Stephen Lee, and Stephen Hendry's retired, so hopefully I get invited to (the Crucible) and I can't wait.

"I'm definitely going to Q-School, I can't miss that. I've got the EBSA as well, the amateur cup, I finished number three in that so that's one of the best opportunities for me to get on (the tour) as well.

"Hopefully it's going to be my year, this year."