Certainly the most legendary player of the modern era and perhaps of all time, Stephen Hendry is probably the best Snooker player to ever play the game. He turned professional in 1985, and although people point to his 1990 triumph at the World Championships at the age of 21 against Jimmy White, it is easy to forget he was a 5 time ranking tournament winner prior to it!
His level of dominance of the Sport over the 1990’s has never been before seen in Snooker, nor will it again. It could only be compared to the likes of Michael Schumacher’s control of F1 or Roger Federer’s supremacy over Tennis and is almost incomprehensible even today. A seven time World Championship winner, six time Masters, and five time UK victor amongst many others, a detailing of all of Hendry’s triumphs would be an enviable task.
Although his last World Championship win came in 1999, his final ranking title was in 2005 at the Malta Cup where he beat compatriot Graeme Dott. The all time record holder for century breaks, Snooker fans were thrilled to see him record one final 147 in the 2012 World Championships, tying for the most ever with Ronnie O’Sullivan in what would be his final ever tournament.
Hendry retired from the game in 2012 to concentrate on his commercial interests, but continues to appear on our screens while working with the BBC as a pundit during their Snooker coverage. Currently ranked 52nd in the world on account of ranking points earned in previous seasons it will on one hand seem a shame that Stephen Hendry’s name will continue to slide down the rankings, but at the same time it will seem fitting that his legacy will be able to live on for a little while yet.
Snooker fans may still dream of a change of heart, but in all likelihood we have seen the last of Hendry in ranking events and will have to hope stars of his calibre will fill the void.
Nickname: King of the Crucible
Date of Birth: 13.01.1969
Lives: Auchterarder, Scotland
Professional Since: 1985
Current World Ranking: 58
Highest Tournament Break: 147
Ranking Tournament Wins: Grand Prix (1987, 1990, 1991, 1995), British Open (1988, 1991, 1999, 2003), Asian Open (1989, 1990), Dubai Duty Free Classic (1989, 1990, 1993), UK Championship (1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1996), World Championship (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1994, 1995, 1999), Welsh Open (1992, 1997, 2003), International (1993), Scottish Open (1997, 1999), European Open (1993, 1994, 2001), Thailand Masters (1998), Malta Cup (2005)