Jimmy White has revealed he has been offered a new two-year invitational Tour Card after losing his place on the tour following defeat in the World Championship qualifiers.
The six-time world finalist was beaten 10-4 by Ali Carter in the Second Qualifying Round for The Crucible, a result which ensured he could not finish the season inside the world’s top 64 and would be consequently relegated from the tour.
White has been a professional since 1980, the longest stretch in snooker history, and was initially awarded an honourary two-year wildcard to remain on the circuit in 2017.
The 56-year-old feared he had contested his last competitive match at the English Institute of Sport a fortnight ago, but in an interview with The Guardian, revealed he had received a message to confirm his place on the tour for the next two seasons.
The interview read: ‘On Saturday evening, as a beautiful day fades away, my phone pings. I see White’s name. He needs two tries to send me the glorious news as the first text suggests he has won a “tool” card.
‘I imagine him chuckling as he rails against predictive text in his second message.
‘Then, saying “I’m delighted”, the polite old charmer confirms he did not need a wildcard to avoid Q School. World Snooker, knowing how much they need his enduring popularity, have returned his full tour card. He will be back playing after the World Championship.’
Though there is yet to be any official confirmation, World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn had revealed on Twitter that he was considering the decision.
White’s other alternative to regain a Tour Card would have been to enter Qualifying School in May.