Ali Carter reached the World Championship final in May on a diet fuelled by carrot juice but curry and beer could carry the Crohn’s disease sufferer to UK Championship glory in York.
The 33-year-old Essex man has been struggling to stay on top of his condition for the last decade, and has recently ditched pills due to the fear they would cause him long-term health problems.
However Carter has no problem sinking pints, providing they are low in wheat and gluten, and mild curries go down a treat with the two-times Crucible runner-up.
Now he has the williamhill.com UK Championship title in his sights after knocking out world No 1 Judd Trump’s conqueror Mark Joyce 6-2.
Inspired by Peter Ebdon, who has committed to a strict vegan diet in recent seasons, Carter downed glass after glass of carrot juice in Sheffield this year, and reported it had a hugely positive impact on his well-being.
“I’ve stopped red meat, which I like, dairy, wheat and gluten. When I’m at home I eat well, salads and fish. I eat curries if they’re not too spicy and not too much cream. A curry and a lager, yeah. But I try to get in the gym and keep myself trim.”
Carter thought about retiring a year ago, and said after seeing off Joyce: “I’m controlling things with my diet, which is working and it isn’t working. I’ve stopped taking the medication that I’ve been taking for ten years because that has long-term effects on your liver and stuff like that.”
Neither Steve Davis in the first round nor world No 50 Joyce, pushed Carter hard. “I haven’t played any good yet, but it’s not about playing any good, it’s about winning,” he said.
In the quarter-finals, Carter will tackle Stuart Bingham or Stephen Maguire. Joining Carter in the last eight yesterday afternoon was Matthew Stevens, the Welshman a 6-4 winner in a gruelling match against Hong Kong’s Marco Fu.