World Snooker Championships: Our Top 5 Favourite Moments

World Snooker Championships: Our Top 5 Favourite Moments

Sourav Duleep

The World Snooker Championship is just around the corner with the main draw commencing on Saturday, the 20th of April at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. 16 qualifiers will be drawn against the top 16 players in the world in the ultimate test of nerve and talent over the course of 17 days. The absence of former World Champion Stuart Bingham in the top 16 seeds adds another layer of intrigue.

The seeds will be hoping not to draw Stuart Bingham as he now enters the World Championship as a qualifier. Never in the history of the crucible has a first-time world champion successfully defended their title, leading to it being termed the Crucible Curse.

Reigning World Champion Luca Brecel will be hoping to lift the curse after getting his hands on the most coveted trophy in World Snooker in 2023.

Here are five of our favourite moments from the Crucible:

Alex Higgins 69 Break (vs Jimmy White – Semi Final 1982)

Alex Higgins’ 69 clearance in the penultimate frame of a 16-15 win over Jimmy White is widely regarded as one of the greatest breaks in the history of snooker and sent him on the way to his second world title. Alex Higgins was intoxicated, trailing 15-14 and down by 59 points. When he finally got a chance, he found himself falling out of position on every shot but managed to put together a string of difficult pots to clinch the frame.

Mark Williams Wins 2018 (Does post-match interview naked)

Mark Williams won the second of his World titles in 2003 and then didn’t reach another final until 2018. Contemplating retirement, he decided to carry on for another season. When asked if he fancied his chances at the title before the quarter finals, he joked that he would attend the post-match press conference naked if he won. Williams went on to perform at his best in the final and defeat John Higgins in a nail-biting finish. A man of his word, he was spotted at the press-conference wearing nothing but a World Championship flag!

Semi Finals 2020

It is not often that a best of 33 match goes to a deciding frame, but the 2020 World Championship semi finals saw both matches go the distance on the same day. Kyren Wilson and Anthony Mcgill contested arguably the scrappiest frame in the history of snooker for an agonising finish where Wilson fluked frame and match ball to pick up the win. Ronnie O’Sullivan played his torturer Mark Selby who deprived him of chances until The Rocket lost his mind and started smashing the balls at 100 miles an hour. Luck went O’Sullivan’s way as he recovered from a 16-14 deficit through a series of fortunate events to win the match and go on to lift the title.

Ronnie O’Sullivan 147 1997 (5 minutes and 8 seconds)

Ronnie O’Sullivan had never made the perfect break, the maximum, previously in his career. In his match against Mick Price, flawless potting and positional play saw him compile a 147 break in 5 minutes and 8 seconds. 308 seconds for 36 pots, implying an Average Shot Time of less than 10 seconds to craft a break that normally has players shaking and taking their time to make sure on each shot. The feat went down in the Guinness Book of world records and is one that no one in the snooker world, including O’Sullivan himself believes will be beaten.

World Championship Final 1985 (Final Black – Dennis Taylor vs Steve Davis)

Not only did the best of 35 final go down to a deciding frame, but it also went down to the final black. Dennis Taylor trailed 9-1 but clawed his way back to 17-17, clearing the colours only to find himself out of position on the black. Following an exchange of failed pot attempts and safety shots, Dennis Taylor left Steve Davis a chance from close quarters, a chance that everyone in the world expected Davis to take. But the pressure of the moment got to even the defending Champion as he overcut the black and left Dennis Taylor plum on the ball he required to win his first ever World Championship. The crowd erupted and Dennis Taylor celebrated holding his cue over his head as the black hit the leather in what was the greatest finish to a World Championship in snooker history!

What are your favourite World Championship moments? Who do you think is the favourite to win the 2024 World Championship? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!