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UK Championship

The UK Championship is a professional ranking tournament, established in 1977. It is highly regarded as the second biggest ranking tournament in World Snooker, behind the World Championship and it is one of the Triple Crown Events.

The UK Championship is held at the Barbican Centre, York. The event is set to stay at this venue until after the 2013 tournament. This tournament is televised by the BBC and is held towards the end of each snooker calendar year.

The launch of the UK Championship in 1977 saw the event held in Tower Circus as a non-ranking tournament. However, the following year the Championship moved venues and was hosted in Guild Hall, Preston, where it remained until 1998.

It was then held in Bournemouth for three years before moving to the Barbican Centre. Telford took over the hosting responsibility in 2007, residing there for four years until its return to York in the 2011 campaign.

The event was launched under a non-ranking format in 1977, however in 1984 it switched to a ranking format to ensure it attracted the world’s most talented snooker players.

The top 16 in the world snooker rankings receive automatic places in the UK Championship and the remaining 16 places are filled with players from the qualifiers.

Qualifiers consist of four rounds between the 5th and 9th November at the South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester, England. There is no wildcard round in the UK Championship meaning the players who qualify enter the tournament with the other 16 seeded player are normally the proverbial ‘best of the rest’, battling it out for the winners prize money of £100,000 and ranking points.

The UK Championship had witness some extremely memorable moments; living up to it’s modern day prestigious reputation. In 1983 Alex Higgins beat legendary Steve Davis 16-15, having trailed 7-0 after the first session.

Ronnie O’Sullivan became the youngest ever winner of the tournament and any other ranking tournament in 1993 at the age of 17.

And John Higgins played his first major tournament after his 6-month ban for his involvement in match fixing discussions. Higgins was 7-9 down to Mark Williams and made an inspired comeback, requiring a snooker to keep him in the tournament. He completed the snooker and eventually won the title 10-9.

UK Championship Previous Winners (non ranking)

  • 1977 – Patsy Fagan
  • 1978 – Doug Mountjoy
  • 1979 – John Virgo
  • 1980 – Steve Davis
  • 1981 – Steve Davis
  • 1982 – Terry Griffiths
  • 1983 – Alex Higgins

UK Championships Previous Winners (ranking)

  • 1984 – Steve Davis
  • 1985 – Steve Davis
  • 1986 – Steve Davis
  • 1987 – Steve Davis
  • 1988 – Doug Mountjoy
  • 1989 – Stephen Hendry
  • 1990 – Stephen Hendry
  • 1991 – John Parrott
  • 1992 – Jimmy White
  • 1993 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • 1994 – Stephen Hendry
  • 1995 – Stephen Hendry
  • 1996 – Stephen Hendry
  • 1997 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • 1998 – John Higgins
  • 1999 –Mark Williams
  • 2000 – John Higgins
  • 2001 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • 2002 – Mark Williams
  • 2003 – Matthew Stevens
  • 2004 – Stephen Maguire
  • 2005 – Ding Junhui
  • 2006 – Peter Ebdon
  • 2007 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • 2008 – Shaun Murphy
  • 2009 – Ding Junhui
  • 2010 – John Higgins
  • 2011 – Judd Trump
  • 2012 – Mark Selby
Mark Selby is the current champion, after beating Shaun Murphy 10-6 to win his first UK Championship in York.
                                                                                                                                              Neither player manged to gain much of an early advantage, with Selby leading 2-1 at one stage, Murphy winning three frames in a row before the Jester From Leicester hit back to make proceedings level at 4-4 going into the first interval.
                                                                                                                                                          The next four frames were again shared, with many predicting that this one would go the distance. Selby clearly had his eye on the world number one spot, however, and won the final four frames on the bounce to seal an impressive first UK Championship.
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