Mark Allen rediscovers passion for game after depression

UK Championship

Venue:
Barbican Centre, York
Date:
Saturday, 3 December - Sunday, 11 December
Times:
1100, 1400 & 1900 GMT Sat & Sun; 1230 & 1900 Mon-Fri
Coverage:
Live on BBC One & Two, Red Button and online. Latest scores on BBC Sport website

Mark Allen is targeting victory over Adrian Gunnell in the first round of the UK Championship as he continues his recovery from depression.

The 25-year-old from Antrim revealed he was suffering from depression before the World Championship in April.

"It's a complete contrast from six months ago, when I didn't want to look at a snooker table," said Allen.

"Things are a lot better now. I'm enjoying playing and my form is slowly but surely coming back."

He added: "As long as I can enjoy snooker as much as I did when I was young, then that's half the battle."

The world number 12 believes it was the right decision to make public his struggle with the illness.

"I think it was right to come out publicly about my depression because there was then a lot of people who helped me come through it," he said.

"Things are also going well away from snooker. My private life is a lot better, things are going well financially and my family is a lot happier - everything is coming into place.

"I still have to watch for signs of it creeping up again, but I think I know what to look for now."

Allen starts his challenge at the Barbican Centre against English opponent Gunnell on Monday.

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