Home Health & Fitness World Champion snooker finalist Mark Selby reveals his wife Vicky Layton has health issues

World Champion snooker finalist Mark Selby reveals his wife Vicky Layton has health issues

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British snooker star Mark Selby revealed his wife Vikki’s health struggles in an interview following last night’s tense snooker World Championship final. 

In an emotional chat after his defeat by Belgian player Luca Brecel, four-times champion Selby, 39, told BBC broadcaster Hazel Irvine that ‘health’s more important’ than snooker, detailing his own struggles with depression and health fears for his wife. 

Belgian player Brecel, 28, who was crowned World Champion after defeating Selby 18-15, used his acceptance speech to also pay tribute to Selby and his wife, saying: ‘I just want to say “stay strong” because I’ve heard some news and I don’t know if I should say it but I just wanted to say “stay strong Vikki”.  

It’s not clear what Vikki’s health issue is. The couple, who share daughter Sofia, first met in 2006, with Selby’s wife, a former pro pool player, credited for helping him through his ongoing battle with depression. 

At the Crucible last night, Hazel Irvine also touched on Selby’s struggle with his mental health, which saw him needing anti-depressants.

Four times World Championship winner Mark Selby, 39, told the audience at the final in Sheffield last night that his wife Vikki Layton is struggling with health issues

Four times World Championship winner Mark Selby, 39, told the audience at the final in Sheffield last night that his wife Vikki Layton is struggling with health issues

Former pro pool player Vikki has been credited with helping her husband get through his mental health problems - he's previously called her 'my rock'

Former pro pool player Vikki has been credited with helping her husband get through his mental health problems – he’s previously called her ‘my rock’

He told her: ‘Where I’ve been to where I am now… I’ve enjoyed the last two weeks. With things going on off the table as well, not just me but with Vikki as well, obviously you realise that health’s more important.

‘At the end of the day, it’s a game, but a game that you want to win – but if you don’t it’s not the end of the world.’ 

The couple wed in Mexico in 2011, after getting engaged in Venice the year before; they welcomed their daughter in 2014. Selby had a difficult childhood, abandoned by his mother at eight and losing his father to cancer when he was just 16. 

Known as ‘The Jester from Leicester’ to fans, his mental health spiralled after he first won the biggest accolade in snooker in May 2016. 

Speaking this month to MailOnline, he said his wife had spotted the early signs of his mental health decline early on. 

He explained: ‘Vikki said she came to the table to greet me and rather than being excited, I stared through her as if she wasn’t there. She said I didn’t really celebrate. She noticed I was going through it then.

The couple, pictured at Wimbledon, married in Mexico in 2011 after getting engaged in Venice a year earlier. Layton is a former pro pool player; the couple met in 2006 and share a daughter Sofia

The couple, pictured at Wimbledon, married in Mexico in 2011 after getting engaged in Venice a year earlier. Layton is a former pro pool player; the couple met in 2006 and share a daughter Sofia

Selby pictured at the table on Monday; he was defeated 18-15 by Belgian Luca Brecel

Selby pictured at the table on Monday; he was defeated 18-15 by Belgian Luca Brecel 

Selby's opponent Luca Brecel used his winner's speech to urge the family to stay strong, saying: 'I just want to say "stay strong" because I've heard some news and I don't know if I should say it but I just wanted to say "stay strong Vikki".

Selby’s opponent Luca Brecel used his winner’s speech to urge the family to stay strong, saying: ‘I just want to say “stay strong” because I’ve heard some news and I don’t know if I should say it but I just wanted to say “stay strong Vikki”.

In January last year, the snooker player revealed for the first time in public his struggles with mental health, announcing he'd had a 'relapse' and putting on a 'brave face' was not the best way to deal with his problems

In January last year, the snooker player revealed for the first time in public his struggles with mental health, announcing he’d had a ‘relapse’ and putting on a ‘brave face’ was not the best way to deal with his problems

Selby, who made history by completing a 147 in the final on Sunday evening, continued: ‘I spoke to the doctor and we watched the footage back. He said, “By your body language and how you were acting, you were definitely going through it without even knowing”.’

A few months later, Selby was prescribed anti-depressants. However, it took him another five years before he went public about his battle with depression. That came last January after losing in the quarter-finals of the Masters, when he posted on social media that he had suffered a ‘relapse’ with his mental health.

He wrote: ‘Just want to apologise to all my friends and family for letting them down. Mentally not in a good place at moment, had a relapse and trying to bottle it up and put a brave face on is not the way. I promise I will get help and be a become a better person. #mentalhealth.’ 

He said this month: ‘From out of nowhere, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I wasn’t enjoying anything,’ he explains. ‘I didn’t really have a life. I was locking myself in the house.’

The snooker star says he’s still taking medication but focuses on the day-to-day. He said: ‘Every day when I wake up, I write down something that I want to complete that day. It could be anything. Like take Sofia to the park after school. It gives me a goal.

‘I am still on medication. If it means me being on them for the rest of my life and I am in the place I am in at the moment, I will accept that.’

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