Snooker is a relatively modern sport, having been played at a professional level since the late 20th century. Since then we have seen many great champions come and go. But who was the best snooker player of them all?
In this list, we celebrate the Greatest Snooker Players Of All Time, whose incredible performances and achievements have cemented their place in the annals of snooker history.
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 five World Championships, six Masters titles and five UK Championships and he just isn’t slowing down. He is also the three-time record holder for youngest player to win the Masters (19 years and 69 days old), most breaks (13 in the tournament) and fastest 147.
Here comes the tricky part: determining successful players in the rankings. However, we’re giving this spot to Stephen Hendry. He obtained his first world championship in 1990, when he was only 21 years old, making him the youngest ever recipient of the title. Stephen Hendry topped the world rankings for a total of eight consecutive seasons. He also held seven world titles, winning six Masters and five UK Championships.
During the 1980s, the world of professional snooker belonged to Steve Davis. Between 1981 and 1989, the iconic Englishman reached eight World Championship finals in nine years – winning six and losing two. Firstly, they claimed three titles in four years. After this he won three consecutive titles. Davis also dominated the UK Championships, playing in nine finals in 11 years. After achieving back-to-back UK Championship victories in 1980 and 1981, he won four consecutive titles from 1984 to 1987.
Alex Higgins was a Northern Irish professional snooker player who is regarded as one of the most iconic figures in the game. He was known by the nickname “Hurricane Higgins” because of his fast play. Alex was world champion in 1972 and 1982 and runner-up in 1976 and 1980. He became the first qualifier to win the world title in 1972.
The Wizard of Wishaw is a Scottish snooker player and one of the most successful players in terms of consistency. John Higgins retained the sixth position in the world rankings between 1996 and 2012. His record includes 4 World Championship titles, 3 UK Championships, 2 Masters and the famous 147 title achieved two years ago.
The modern video game of snooker is a big part of what Davis ended up with. And it is often credited as the one that started it all. Davis helped organize the first World Championships in 1927. Which he did to win that year, later holding the title for 15 consecutive years. He retired without losing a single match in the World Championship, and also, with no one ever surpassing his 15 titles.
The Welsh potting machine is undoubtedly the greatest snooker player to come from Wales and is commonly referred to as the greatest “single ball potter” in the game. The third member of the “Class of 92”, Williams has a unique style that allows balls to float with minimal effort. He also pioneered the fan favorite “underarm shot”.
Williams is known for his informal demeanor around the table, and his already impressive tally of 536 centuries would be even higher if it weren’t for his habit of leaving scores o the table in his early days.
Ray Reardon, sometimes known as “Dracula”, is a retired professional snooker player from Wales. He turned professional in 1967 and dominated the game in the 1970s, winning the World Snooker Championship six times and an additional dozen tournaments, while competing against Cliff Wilson in a fierce rivalry. He was a six-time world champion and the 1982 event runner-up. He was the first player to be ranked number one when the world rankings were created in the 1976–77 season, and remained there for the next five years.
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.
Dennis Taylor is a Northern Irish retired professional snooker player and contemporary commentator. He is best known for winning the 1985 World Snooker Championship. He is one of the most successful and best snooker players of all time. Dennis made the highest break of his career at the 1987 Carling Challenge, 141.
With a solid technique and calm demeanor, Jimmy White is truly one of the greats. James Warren White, born in 1962 in Tooting, London, England, is a former professional snooker table player. He is known as The Tornado because of his fluid style of play, especially when attacking. Like Alex Higgins, with whom he played and won the 1984 World Doubles Championship, he was known as the People’s Champion.