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Table vandalised as protestors disrupt play at the World Snooker Championship

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A protester jumps on the table and throws orange powder (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA/Alamy)

Protestors forced play to be suspended at the World Snooker Championship on Monday evening, with Table One left doused in an orange power.

Two protestors entered the playing arena at The Crucible Theatre shortly after 7.20pm, with one attempting to glue herself to the table which was playing host to Mark Allen versus Fan Zhengyi.

Meanwhile, a male climbed onto the table during the match between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry before pouring a packet of orange powder onto the baize.

The protestors were ejected by security, with the aid of referee Olivier Marteel, and play was temporarily suspended.

South Yorkshire Police say they have arrested a 30-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman on suspicion of criminal damage over the incident.

Master of Ceremonies Rob Walker aided the table fitters in attempting to remove the substance from Table One, but a decision was made that Milkins and Perry would resume their first session on Tuesday evening before playing to a finish from 9.30am on Thursday.

Play on Table Two resumed shortly after 8pm, with the players receiving a rapturous reception and Allen returning to complete a century break.

Speaking during BBC’s live coverage, seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry said: “I have never seen that before at a snooker event. It’s a first.

“It is scary. Wow! You just hope the cloth can be recovered from that. It caught us all by surprise and then this happens.

“For me, straight away as a snooker player I am thinking: ‘Is the table recoverable?’ We don’t know what that is on the table.”

Alan McManus said on Eurosport: “The table is now effectively unplayable, regardless of a vacuum cleaner or anything like that, it’s simply unfixable. 

“That will have to be recovered and reclothed, cushions included. They’ll get it cleaned up as best they can using the hoover.

“The problem is they can’t be working on it with the other table in play.”