Mark Selby completed a famous ‘Leicester double’ by defeating Ding Junhui 18-14 in the final of the World Snooker Championship on the same night that his hometown football club completed their own fairytale won the Premier League title.
‘The Jester From Leicester’ made a blistering start to the final, leading 6-0, but the man from China rallied to within one frame on two separate occasions at 8-7 and 11-10. However, Ding, playing in his first final, could never quite catch the world number one and it was Selby who took the last two frames of the evening session to win 18-14 and join an elite club of multiple champions at the Crucible Theatre – which will now host the World Championship until at least 2027.
Before the final session of the final, we headed to the Crucible one final time to say goodbye for another year to a few friends, pick up our tickets for next year and see some of the ‘faces’ arriving for the pinnacle of the snooker calendar. See the photos below:
I attended my final session of the 2016 World Snooker Championship on Sunday evening to watch the middle eight frames of the second round matches between Mark Allen and Kyren Wilson, and Judd Trump and Ding Junhui.
I was back at the Crucible Theatre on Wednesday for my third session of this year’s World Snooker Championship to watch arguably the tie of the first round as reigning German Masters champion Martin Gould took on China’s greatest ever player Ding Junhui.
I returned to the famous Crucible Theatre on Tuesday for my second session of snooker at this year’s World Championship, watching the reigning Players Champion Mark Allen take on debutant Mitchell Mann in Round 1.
The opening Sunday at the Crucible was the scene for my first visit of the 2016 World Snooker Championship – my 12th year in a row and 13th in total!
Attending the afternoon and evening sessions, I saw the Scottish duo of Stephen Maguire and Alan McManus complete their first round battle before watching two young stars in Michael White and Sam Baird get their match started with the opening nine-frame session.
It also turned out to be a momentous day in the history of Snooker as a whole as the legendary 6-time World Champion Steve Davis retired from the game competitively, having failed to qualify for this year’s championship.
Wednesday 13th April saw ‘Judgement Day’ take place at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge venue as the remaining 32 players, including three former world champions and a further three former world finalists, battled it out in best-of-19 contests on a day of huge drama to decide which sixteen men would qualify to join the world’s elite at the Crucible Theatre next week.
Stuart Bingham defeated Shaun Murphy 18-15 on 3rd/4th May 2015 to win the World Championship for the first time.
It was one of the greatest finals to grace the famous Crucible Theatre as 38 year old Bingham became only the game’s 20th world champion since 1927.
It was Murphy who got off to the better start, leading 3-0 and 7-4, but ‘Ballrun’ pulled it back on both occasions to trail only 9-8 overnight. A fantastic performance on Monday afternoon then saw Bingham win 6 of the 8 frames to lead 14-11 heading into the last session.
But 2005 World Champion wasn’t done yet, playing some great snooker and capitalising on Bingham’s nerves to level the match at 15-15. The 31st frame then proved vital, as Bingham took a 64-minute battle on the colours before pushing on to win the match 18-15 and complete the fairytale.
Whilst I did not attend any sessions of this year’s final, living in Sheffield means I regularly pass the Crucible. So during the biggest weekend of the snooker calendar, I couldn’t resist a final chance to soak up the unique World Championship atmosphere and get a few photos with the finalists, other former world champions and even a few music stars!