Showman Judd Trump has come under fire from his oldest friend in snooker on the eve of his first match at this year’s Betfair World Championship.
Matthew Selt, who makes his Crucible debut tomorrow against world number one Mark Selby, has accused Trump of making “barbaric” comments about Neil Robertson.
And his spat with Trump, who starts his title bid against Dominic Dale, has taken a 15-year friendship to breaking point.
Selt claims he was behind Trump moving away from his Bristol home to join the Grove academy in Romford three years ago, since when fame and riches have come his way.
But as well as being left behind on the table, Selt feels he has been cut out of Trump’s circle of friends since the 23-year-old has found stardom.
Selt said: “I’ve known Judd since he was eight years old. I was really pretty much best mates with Judd, and that’s why he’s in Romford. I set him up with the Grove, and when he moved to Romford he lived at my sister’s house for six weeks while he was playing in the Championship League.
“Obviously he started climbing the game, doing what he’s doing now, becoming one of the best players in the world.
“And it’s weird when your mates (change). I’ve known Neil Robertson since he was nothing really, and you see people like that who doesn’t change one bit, and people like John Higgins, Joe Perry and Mark Williams are the same people now as they were when they were just getting on the tour.
“And obviously Judd’s a fantastic player but he said something ridiculous when he lost to Neil at the Masters last year.
“He said that Neil’s done very well out of the game for his talent, and that’s absolutely barbaric because in my opinion he’s never going to be as good as Neil.
“Obviously I just thought that was a bit strange and I sent him a message saying, ’Look Judd, you’re not like that, you shouldn’t be saying stuff like that, that isn’t you’.
“He didn’t get back to me.
“I had a bit of a row with Jack Lisowski a couple of years ago too. He and Judd were living together in Romford, nowhere near where they come from, they’re only there because of me, and since then I’ve never spoken to Jack, and Judd didn’t reply to me.
“At the Shoot-out tournament in Blackpool at the start of the year, I went up there with my family and Judd said hello to my sister and I went to say hello to him and he blanked me. Since then I’ve never spoken to him.
“I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. I’ve moved on from having Judd as my friend to having Stephen Hendry.”