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Stephen Hendry retires from professional snooker

Stephen Hendry retires from professional snooker

Seven-times world champion & 36-times ranking event winner Stephen Hendry announced his retirement from professional snooker today after his 13-2 defeat against Stephen Maguire at this year's World Snooker Championship.

Coming in to this year's World Snooker Championship, seven-times King of the Crucible Stephen Hendry had looked to be coming back in to form, having won most of his qualifying matches and performing strongly again at the venue stages of events.

He even managed to make his 11th professional 147 maximum break against Stuart Bingham in the first round and went on to defeat defending champion John Higgins 13-4 in the next round.

But after suffering a shock 13-2 reversal at the hands of Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals he announced his retirement at the post-match press conference.

"I am officially retired now from tournament snooker. I made the decision about 3 months ago and I only told about two or three people.

"It was quite an easy decision. Not going in to details but the hectic schedule doesn't help. I'm not playing the same anymore doesn't help. And I have signed up to some commitments in China and I can't do both so the time is right for me.

"I am delighted I made another maximum here, thats why I was more animated when I made it than I usually am! Even if I had gone on to win it I still would of came to the same decision.

"Winning the seventh world title and being the youngest world champion will be my greatest memories. I have not got a lot of things to regret in my career."

 

Stephen Hendry Snooker World Championship 2012 

Stephen Hendry

 

Hendry's biggest rival and friend Jimmy White who turned 50 today paid tribute after the announcement "He's always put snooker first, been a model professional, a credit to the game and I'll see him in the legends tour this year for more battles. I thank him sincerely for some of the best matches and memories of my own career I'm not sure his records will ever be equalled!" Click here for more reactions from snooker players and referees.

Personally I was shocked to hear about Hendry's retirement when I arrived home this evening. He is an absolute legend of the sport and still has the game to beat many opponents, but like he said he is only in the game for winning and since lifting the 2005 Malta Cup trophy he hadn't won a single ranking event title.

Snooker will miss him not doubt, his style of aggressive play and his formidable break building skills are ones that still to this day players are using on the table. 

Apart from winning those seven world titles and appearing in a further two Crucible finals he won a total of 72 professional titles including 6 Masters and 5 UK Championship wins and holds many other records besides including the most century breaks, prize money and consecutive Crucible appearances (27).

Will anyone overtake his achievements in snooker? It is hard to see considering the high standard of the modern game. The likes of Luca Brecel and Judd Trump could go on to do great things in the sport, but it is hard to see them achieve the same levels of brilliance, flair and perfection that Stephen Gordon Hendry MBE brought to the world of snooker.

 

Posted May 1, 2012   
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