Scott Williams courted controversy after joking about England winning “two World Wars and one World Cup” following his World Championship third-round win over German Martin Schindler.

Williams won a final-set decider to advance 4-3 before making the heavy-handed remark in his post-match interview on Sky Sports.

The match was played in a raucous atmosphere at Alexandra Palace where Williams had most of the support from a partisan crowd, though there was also a German contingent.

Speaking to Sky Sports after his win, Williams said: “What a game! I’m so happy to get to the other side as the winner as well. Martin brought the fight and I wasn’t expecting to go all the way to sudden death as well. I’m knackered, I’m absolutely knackered.

“I’ve never had the crowd on my side like that. I know we won two World Wars and one World Cup. The German fans here were huge as well.”

He added on Twitter after the match: “Thanks for the messages everyone! A few nasty ones from some German fans, but I understand why! Absolutely nothing personal, just a bit of jeering and jesting with the crowd!

“I’m British and Proud!!!!”

Meanwhile, Rob Cross showed he can be a contender for a second crown after battling into the last 16.

Cross has struggled to hit the heights since his memorable title win on debut in 2018, but has enjoyed his best season in 2023 coming into the Alexandra Palace tournament.

He was made to work hard for a 4-2 victory over Jeffrey de Graaf, with the former electrician sparking into life in the final set with an average of 116.

Dave Chisnall’s victory over Gabriel Clemens was more straightforward, winning 4-1.