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STEVE'S CUTIE; Exclusive: First pic of snooker ace Davis' new lover.

Byline: SUSIE BONIFACE and TARIQ TAHIR

THIS is the young girlfriend who snooker ace Steve Davis started dating just weeks before announcing he'd split from his wife of 15 years.

Office assistant Jeannie Marsh, 31, met the sports star while drinking with friends at an upmarket seaside bar.

The couple hit it off straight away and millionaire Davis, 47, announced a separation from his wife Judith, 44, soon afterwards. Now brunette Jeannie is "seriously dating" ginger-haired Steve. Her parents Roberta and Derek say she met him in a bar in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. Derek added: "He told her his marriage had effectively dissolved."

A friend of the snooker ace said: "Steve's marriage was over but it wasn't public knowledge. Then Jeannie came along and he had to put his house in order. If he and Jude divorce it will be sad, but Jeannie's given him new hope."

But the new couple have not spent much time together because of Steve's work.

The snooker star - once branded so boring that TV's Spitting Image lampooned him as Steve "Interesting" Davis - is booked at exhibition matches all over Britain for months ahead. The pounds 1million mansion in Stondon Massey, Essex, where he lives with Judith and their sons Greg, 13, and Jack 11, is a short drive from Jeannie's pounds 130,000 flat. And while he tours the country in a new BMW and supplements his earnings with TV ads and guest appearances, Jeannie drives an old Ford Focus to her job at a local tractor firm.

One neighbour said: "Shekeeps herself to herself. We had to smile when we found out she was going out with a celebrity. You'd think a man with his money could have his pick of women, but he's settled on a local girl. It's quite sweet."

Judith, an ex-air hostess, forgave her husband when he cheated on her with blonde dancer Cheree Palla, 19.

Cheree claimed the pair made love seven times a night and added: "He used to make me run around the hotel room with just my knickers on."

susie.boniface@sundaymirror.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

New love.. office girl Jeannie; Cue for a split.. with wife Judith, and on winning snooker form
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2005
Words:367
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