EMOTIONAL Martin Gould admits troubles away from the table have wrecked his season after crashing out of the World Championship at the first hurdle.

The Pinner Potter went down 10-6 against Masters champion Yan Bingtao at the Crucible and revealed he has struggled since losing his grandfather to dementia before the UK Championship.

Gould, the world No.27, was forced to bury him the day before his first round defeat to Jordan Brown in that competition and has endured a bumpy baize ride ever since.

He admits he was far from good enough against Chinese sensation Yan, 21, and says dealing with personal grievance has derailed his progression.

The candid 39-year-old said: “The better man won.

“I didn’t play as well as I did in the qualifiers but I’m pleased I put up some kind of fight.

“That’s what snooker’s all about – its swings and roundabouts and I can’t complain.

“The first event of the season I got to the final and then had a couple of bad competitions. The UK Championship was out of my hands more than anything – nobody knew that I buried my grandad the day before I played.

“My heart really wasn’t in that – even though I lost 6-5 and gave it as good as I could, no one knew that had happened.

“A couple of people knew that he’d passed but nobody knew I had to bury him the day before I played.

“I went to see him literally a few days before he passed and it was heart-breaking to see, properly heart-breaking to see.

“I didn’t even recognise him – and he didn’t even recognise me. That’s the unfortunate disease of dementia that got hold of him.

“It was his birthday on Monday the day I played in the qualifiers so by that was a hard day to play as well.

“It puts life into perspective and makes you be grateful for what you’ve got.”

Gould reached the European Masters final in the maiden event of the season and delivered an admirable display against world No.10 Yan.

He pegged the precocious Asian ‘Tiger’ back in the first session as breaks of 109 and 54 hauled him level at four frames apiece.

But the talented Masters champion – Yan beat John Higgins in a thrilling January final – soon found his usual fluency as visits of 130, 116, 70 and 67 ended Gould’s hopes of reaching the last 16 for a second consecutive year.

Gould, 2016 German Masters champion, reached the quarter-final of the World Grand Prix in December but has struggled for consistency on the behind closed doors circuit this season.

He says qualifying for the Crucible was a positive and hopes getting back on the practice table can catalyse his World Championship education.

Gould, who has never reached the third round in Sheffield, added: “I’ve had a few good results, a couple of mixed batches and good performances and bad performances, but in all honesty it’s probably a normal season for me.

“Some good, bad and ugly. If you don’t qualify for the Crucible, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done and it means nothing.

“I got to the Crucible – it would have been nice to have carried on but it wasn’t to be.

“I won’t be taking much time off like I normally do – I’ll be doing a couple of hours every day as time goes on. It’s been an okay season but my school report would say ‘must do better.’”