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The 10 Greatest Snooker Players of All Time
From The Hurricane to The Nugget, who is the all time great of snooker?
Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ O'Sullivan is widely regarded as the modern star of the game and one of the most naturally gifted players of all time. He is the holder of seven World Championships, six Masters titles and five UK Championships and he's not slowing down yet. He is also a three-time record holder, as the youngest player to have won the Masters (winning at the age of 19 years and 69 days), for the most maximum breaks (13 in competition) and the fastest ever 147. He became the oldest-ever UK champion in 2023 with his victory over Ding Junhu, winning a record-extending eighth UK title.
The youngest ever World Champion (aged 21 in 1990), in his 27 years in the sport, Hendry also topped the world rankings for 8 consecutive seasons, had 7 world title wins, 6 Masters titles and 5 UK Championship wins. It's no wonder that to many is he is thought of as the greatest snooker player of all time.
Steve Davis is often thought to be snooker's first superstar due to his domination of the sport in the 80s. 'The Nugget' won 6 world titles before retiring in April 2016 at the age of 59. His most famous match was the 1985 World Championship Final against Dennis Taylor known as ‘The Black Ball Final’ which was watched by a staggering 18.5 million people in the UK. Opponent Dennis Taylor won the contest on the final black ball in the final frame.
Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins was famous for his wild and destructive lifestyle as well as for his sporting brilliance. He won two world titles, the UK Championship and two Masters titles, making him one of only ten players to complete snooker’s Triple Crown. After a decline in health, Alex passed sadly away in 2010 at the age of 61.
John won four World Championships and three UK Championships, as well as two Masters titles, making him one of the most successful players in the modern history of snooker. The ‘Wizard of Wishaw’ never dropping below number six in the world rankings between 1996 and 2012 and has overcome a newspaper sting and damaging match-fixing allegations in to remain a top contender in the sport.
Whilst never winning a World Championship, Jimmy ‘The Whirlwind’ White has made it to six finals making him the most talented player to never win the biggest prize in the sport, although he has won both The Masters and the UK Championship. In 1992 he became only the second player to make a maximum break at the World Championship.
Mark is the reigning World Snooker and UK champion and the current world number one. 'The Jester from Leicester' has won 3 masters titles, 2 UK Championships and 2 World Championships, becoming the sixth player to win all of snooker's Triple Crown events at least twice. Selby is also a professional pool player, winning the 2006 WEPF eight-ball pool world championship and was a 2015 Chinese Pool World Championship finalist.
Dominating the game in the 1970s, 'Dracula', nicknamed because of his hairstyle is known for adding a sense of humour to a serious game, often engaging the crowd with jokes mid break. He won his first World Championship in 1970, along with 5 further titles throughout his career. He was also the game’s first ever world number one when the rankings were introduced in 1976.
The modern game of snooker owes a big part of what it has become to Joe Davis and is often credited as the man that started it all. Davis helped to organise the first ever World Championship in 1927, which he went on to win that year, later holding the title for 15 consecutive years. He retired having never lost a match at the World Championship and no one has ever surpassed his 15 titles.
Taylor is best known for winning the World Championship in 1985, beating World number one Steve Davis on the final black in the final frame, in a match watched by 18.5 million people in the UK. He also won the Grand Prix in 1984 and the Masters in 1987, and of course, is well known for his trademark oversized glasses.