STEPHEN Lee will start his appeal against his 12-year ban from snooker today.

The 39-year-old, from Trowbridge, was given the suspension last September after being found guilty of seven charges of match-fixing in 2008 and 2009.

Lee continues to maintain his innocence and will start his attempts to clear his name at an unnamed location in London.

The Trowbridge player, who once reached number five in the world, was told on September 25 at a hearing chaired by an independent commission that he had spoken to three sets of people who placed a variety of bets on his matches.

It was added that on one occasion half the winnings of a successful bet were placed into Lee's wife's bank account, while in excess of £111,000 was placed on the specified matches, resulting in more than £97,000 in winnings for those who made the bets.

At the time of imposing the longest ban in snooker history, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association said Lee was effectively facing the end of his career, given he would be 50 before being eligible to return.