Gerwyn Price’s attempts to block out the crowd with ear defenders failed to have the desired effect as he crashed out of the PDC World Championships.
The 37-year-old was 3-1 down in his quarter-final to Gabriel Clemens when he donned the accessory in an apparent move to dampen the noise coming from off-stage.
But it did not prevent him from losing the fifth set, and when he returned to the stage wearing less-bulky earplugs, which he had spent some time practising in, the outcome was the same as Clemens sealed a 5-1 win to become the first German to reach the last four of the competition.
Attention online soon turned to Price's ear defenders, which inevitably erupted into a string of memes on Twitter.
When asked about his ear defenders following his defeat, Price told Sky Sports: "I played my game, just focussed on my game."
Three-time World Championship runner-up Wayne Mardle said Price’s actions were those of a man showing vulnerability.
"The situation with Price is that he has had his ear defenders with him prior to this game and it was something he was thinking of doing," he told Sky Sports.
"It shows there is a bit of frailty there. I get why he did it, he wanted to put on an elaborate show."
It is not the first controversy Price has been involved in during the championships, as Sky Sports had to apologise to viewers earlier this week after he made a gesture which could have been construed as offensive to disabled people during his victory over Jose de Sousa.
After his upset, Price wrote on his Instagram story: "So frustrating you play all year round preparing for this one tournament. So gutted I wasn’t let play but good luck everyone left in.
"Not sure I will ever play in this event again."
Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.