In a sport such as snooker where vision and touch is of prime importance, Peter Ebdon is a rare exception. Beset by partial colour blindness, the Englishman has fought through the disorder in stunning fashion, not just winning nine ranking titles but crowning himself as a world champion in 2002.
Infamous for his slow play and theatrics, the 43-year-old faces problem in distinguishing between red and brown and has quite often potted the latter when it has been out of position assuming it to be the former.
Although he asks the referee during such often-occurring dilemma, Ebdon amusingly sunk the brown believing it to be red during a match against Simon Bedford in the 2008 Grand Prix and did the same mistake in the final of the 2012 Australian Goldfields Open against Barry Hawkins.
“My colour blindness is quite severe actually,” Ebdon, who was sent packing by home hope Aditya Mehta on Monday, said. “It is a little better than seeing in black and white and probably not too much better. I have done it (potted the wrong ball) at various stages throughout my entire career. Obviously, on each and every occasion, I thought I was potting the correct ball and very often it has cost me frames, and probably matches in the past.
“It is quite embarrassing when it does happen, very often I can’t see red for brown or a brown for a red and I do make mistakes sometimes but the least is we can ask the referee. If I do have any doubts I ask the referee for instance where the brown is before I play the shot.
However, Ebdon, who resides in Hungary and has scored two 147s, felt seeking the referee’s advice often could disrupt his rhythm. “Very often when you are concentrating, you just see ball on and play the ball and you think you’ve played a good shot and sometimes the first thing I hear is foul and I think what’ve I done there. Then the referee says you have just played the brown instead of the red.
“It is really embarrassing when it does happen, but there is probably not a lot I can do about that. I’m passionate, I’m very focused, I try very hard and I don’t know,” concluded Ebdon.