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Jimmy White handed renewed two-year WST wildcard

Jamie Shaw in Snooker News

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Stephen Hendry denies Jimmy White again in the World Snooker Championship

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Mark Allen blasts “shocking” Jimmy White wildcard renewal

Jimmy White in action (Photo by World Snooker)

Jimmy White will retain his place on the professional circuit for the next two seasons after being granted a further wildcard for his outstanding contribution to the sport.

White, 58, has been a stalwart of the snooker circuit since 1980 but saw his future in doubt after defeat to Stephen Hendry in the first qualifying round of the World Championship last week.

The former UK and Masters Champion and six-time world finalist was initially awarded an invitational tour card in 2017 and has now had it renewed for a second time.

In a joint statement, WST Chairman Barry Hearn and WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “Jimmy is one of snooker’s one-time greats, not only in terms of his achievements on the table, but also in his massive worldwide popularity.

“He has done so much to promote snooker through his playing style and charisma.

“He remains a great asset to our sport and we had no hesitation in offering him a tour card for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.”

White said: “I would like to thank Barry and Jason, I am very grateful for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to a new start next season.”

White was beaten 6-3 by his age-old nemesis Hendry at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, after which he vowed he had no plans to retire.

The Whirlwind had shown signs of a resurgence in recent months, notably reaching the Last 16 of the Gibraltar Open.

The back-to-back World Seniors Champion last featured in the main stages of the World Championship in 2006 and came closest to a fully-fledged Crucible return in 2013 when he reached the final qualifying round.