Perhaps the best all-round player at the moment, the popular ‘Jester from Leicester’ will be a major force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future. Mark turned professional in 1999 and began carving out a very solid career from the off.
His first ranking final was in 2003, where he lost to David Gray at the now defunct Scottish Open. After several near misses, Selby qualified for the World Championships for the first time in 2005. The next couple of years were solid but unspectacular for Mark, as he struggled to make the impact at the top of the rankings he clearly had the potential for.
However, at the end of 2007 he managed this breakthrough at long last, reaching the final of the World Championships. Although he was denied the title by John Higgins, he would record his first ranking title during the next season by winning the Welsh Open in a final frame decider with Ronnie O’Sullivan as well as taking the crown in the non-ranking but hugely prestigious Masters.
Despite winning the Masters for a second time in 2010 he would have to wait until the 2011 Shanghai Masters before picking up his second ranking tournament victory, in doing so becoming World number one, an honour he would hold on to for the remainder of the season.
Selby lost his number status at the beginning of the 2012/13 season to Judd Trump after the latter’s triumph at the innaugral International Championship but showed great character and determination to reclaim top spot in the world rankings just five weeks later, by winning the UK Championship.
Given his regular presence in the latter stages of tournaments it may seem surprising that Selby has not won more. However, it is this consistency which has seen him rise top to the top of the rankings, and which will surely keep him in contention for a long time to come. On his day, a devastating break-builder, who possesses a very solid safety game and an ability to hold his nerve under pressure, something his record in important final frame deciders testifies, Mark Selby has everything needed to win the elusive World Championship title and spend many years to come on top.
Nickname: The Jester From Leicester
Management Company: Mukesh Parmar
Date of Birth: 19/6/1983
Professional Since: 1999
Current World Ranking: 1
Highest Tournament Break: 147 (Jiangsu Classic 2009)
Ranking Tournament Wins: Welsh Open (2008), Shanghai Masters (2011), UK Championship (2012)
Non Ranking Wins: 2008 & 2010 Masters. 2010 World 6 Reds.
Official Website: www.markselby.info
Official Facebook: mark’jesterfromleicester’selby
Official Twitter: @markjesterselby
Favourite Sportsperson: Tiger Woods
Favourite Football Team: Leicester City
Favourite Fellow Pro: Ronnie O Sullivan & Stephen Hendry
Partner: Married to Vikki
Quote: ‘Live every day like it might be your last’