Mark Williams has stunned the snooker world after owning up to a foul the referee missed during his showdown with Ronnie O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan prevailed over rival Williams 13-10 in a stunning comeback win at the Crucible.
But it was a stunning act of sportsmanship from Williams in a crucial part of the game that had fans singing his praise.
Williams was staring down the barrel of defeat at 12-10 when he was lining up to hit the white.
But, not visible to the referee or the cameras, Williams nudged the yellow ball with his hand.
While no one picked it up, Williams stopped his preparation and owned up to the foul.
“Well, how about that for sportsmanship at such a critical moment,” the commentator said.
“Mark Williams has just owned up to touching the yellow.”
Fans on social media were full of praise for Williams after essentially ending any chance he had of a comeback.
Stunning sportsmanship Mark Williams #thesnooker
— Justin Moorhouse (@justinmoorhouse) August 11, 2020
Mark Williams touched the yellow with his finger at a crucial time. Referee Jan Verhaas didn't notice. Williams owned up to it straight away. Sportsmanship of the highest calibre. In terms of etiquette, snooker is top notch. #snooker #worldsnookerchampionship
— Marcus Stead (@MarcusStead) August 11, 2020
Mark Williams may have lost but he’ll win a few more admirers for this super piece of sportsmanship
At 12-10 down and with the 23rd frame in the balance, he calls a foul on himself even though he knows it could be curtains for his title hopes 👏🏼 👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/AEaqvS9P8e
— Francis Keogh (@HonestFrank) August 11, 2020
Never been Mark Williams’ biggest fan but that’s unbelievable sportsmanship at that stage of the match 👏🏻
— Jordan Thomas (@JordanThomas48) August 11, 2020
Ronnie O’Sullivan’s savages tour in interview
Prior to his victory over Williams, O’Sullivan slammed the tour for a lack of talent.
The snooker legend launched a savage attack on his younger rivals on Sunday after advancing to a World Championship quarter-final clash with fellow veteran Mark Williams.
After claiming a 13-10 win over Ding Junhui in a session which saw seven consecutive half-century breaks, O’Sullivan insisted the standard is so bad he would have to “lose an arm and a leg” to slip down the rankings.
“If you look at the younger players coming through, they're not that good really,” O'Sullivan, 44, told the BBC.
“Most of them would do well as half-decent amateurs, or not even amateurs they're so bad a lot of them.
“A lot of them you see now, you think, cor, I've probably got to lose an arm and a leg to fall outside the top 50.
“So that's why we're hovering around - because of how poor it is down that end.”