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Top 10 Greatest Snooker Players Of All Time

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  • Post last modified:February 4, 2023

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In this post, we will check out the top 10 greatest snooker players of all time.

Snooker is a sport that requires precision, patience, and a great deal of skill. Over the years, many talented players have taken to the table, but only a select few have managed to leave a lasting impact on the sport.

These players have become legends in the world of snooker, inspiring future generations to take up the game.

In this list, we celebrate the top 10 greatest snooker players of all time, whose incredible performances and achievements have cemented their place in the annals of snooker history.

Top 10 Greatest Snooker Players Of All Time

1 Ronnie O’Sullivan

Image Credit- Guinness World records

Ronnie O’Sullivan is an English professional snooker player who is the present world champion and world number one.

He is widely acknowledged as one of the most qualified and accomplished players in the history of the sport, he has won the World Snooker Championship seven times.

Ronnie won his first professional ranking event at the 1993 UK Championship aged 17 years and 358 days, making him the youngest player to win a ranking title, a record he still carries.

He has earned the highest number of officially recognized maximum breaks in professional competition, with 15, and holds the Guinness World Record for the quickest competitive maximum break, compiled in a time of 5 minutes and 8 seconds at the 1997 World Championship.

Ronnie has been defined by Stephen Hendry as “the best in our lifetime”. His nickname ‘the Rocket’ was given to him after his first two major wins which both came in record time.

2 Stephen Hendry

Image Credit- Insidethegames

Stephen Hendry is a Scottish professional snooker player and a commentator for the BBC and ITV. He is one of the sport’s most accomplished players.

Stephen became snooker’s youngest world champion in 1990, aged 21, and went on to win the World Snooker Championship seven times, surpassing the six world titles earlier achieved by both Ray Reardon and Steve Davis. 

He also won five successive Masters’s titles between 1989 and 1993, and five straight world titles between 1992 and 1996. In 1994, Hendry was voted BBC Scotland’s Sports Personality of the Year in 1987 and 1996.

Hendry also holds several other records including having made 776 breaks in professional play—a record that may never be broken. Stephen Hendy is number 2 in our list of the top 10 greatest snooker players of all time.

3 Steve Davis

Image Credit- Wikimedia Commons

Steve Davis is an English retired professional snooker player. He is best known for conquering the sport during the 1980s.

He achieved eight World Snooker Championship finals in nine years, won six world titles, and held the world number one ranking for seven straight seasons.

In complement to his six world titles, Davis won the UK Championship six times and the Masters three times for a total of 15 Triple Crown titles, putting him third on the all-time list behind Ronnie O’Sullivan (21) and Stephen Hendry (18).

Davis was the first player to make an officially recognized maximum break in professional competition, and the first to earn £1 million in career prize money. 

Davis was named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year in 1988 and he remains the only snooker player to win the award.

4 Alex Higgins

Image Credit- Eurosport

Alex Higgins was a Northern Irish professional snooker player who is recognized 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.

Higgins came to be known as the “People’s Champion” because of his popularity and is often credited with having carried the game of snooker to a broader audience.

His popularity in the 1980s is great. He had stood as an unexpected and complex character.

Higgins died of multiple causes in his Belfast home on 24 July 2010. He will always be remembered for his incredible snooker skills combined with an exciting personality that made him one of the greatest players ever to play the sport!

5 John Higgins

Image Credit- Daily Record

John Higgins is a Scottish professional snooker player. He has won a total of 31 career-ranking titles, placing him in third place on the all-time list of ranking event winners, behind Ronnie O’Sullivan (39) and Stephen Hendry (36). 

A prolific break-builder, he has collected over 800-century breaks and 12 maximum breaks in professional tournaments.

After winning his fourth world title in 2011, Higgins’s form has become less constant, and he has talked often about his efforts with confidence.

He is surely one of the most successful snooker players in history. John Higgins is number 5 in our list of the top 10 greatest snooker players of all time.

6 Jimmy White

Image Credit- Daily Mail

Jimmy White is an English professional snooker player who has won three seniors World titles. Nicknamed “The Whirlwind” because of his fluid, thrashing style of play,

White has won two of snooker’s three majors: the UK Championship (in 1992) and the Masters (in 1984) and a total of ten ranking events.

He is currently tenth on the all-time list of ranking event winners. He spent 21 seasons ranked in snooker’s elite top 16.

In team events, he won the Nations Cup and the World Cup with England. He is one of a select number of players to have made over 300-century breaks in professional competition.

7 Mark Selby

Image Credit- Ingenio Virtual

Mark Selby is an English professional snooker player who is a four-time World Snooker Champion. He is ranked world number one on numerous occasions.

Mark has won a total of 20 ranking titles, putting him eighth on the all-time list of ranking tournament winners. 

He won his first major title at the 2008 Masters and his first ranking title at the 2008 Welsh Open. Between 2014 and 2017, he won the World Championship three times in four years.

He has compiled more than 700-century breaks in professional competition, including three maximum breaks. Mark Selby is number 7 in our list of the top 10 greatest snooker players of all time.

8 Ray Reardon

top 10 greatest snooker players of all time
Image Credit- Eurosport

Ray Reardon is a Welsh retired professional snooker player. He turned professional in 1967 at the age of 35 before going on to conquer the sport in the 1970s.

Ray won the World Snooker Championship on six occasions, and more than a dozen other tournaments. He was world champion in 1970, 17973, 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1978 and runner-up in the 1982 event. 

He was one of the best players in the 1980s and is often ranked with Ronnie O’Sullivan as snooker’s most successful modern player.

Reardon was the first number one ranked player when world rankings were introduced in the 1976–77 season, holding the top-ranking position for the next five years.

In 1978, he became the oldest world champion at the age of 45 years and 203 days, a record that stayed until 2022 when Ronnie O’Sullivan won the title aged 46 years and 148 days.

He was inducted into the World Snooker Hall of Fame in 1988 and named the 2008 BBC Wales Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

9 Joe Davis

top 10 greatest snooker players of all time
Image Credit- Eurosport

Joe Davis was a snooker player and the first World Snooker Champion. He had a prolonged career and towered snooker from its early days in the 1920s until his retirement in the 1950s.

Davis won the first 15 championships from 1927 to 1946 and remains the only undefeated player in World Snooker Championship history.

He scored the championship’s first-century break, in 1930. He was the first person to win world titles in both billiards and snooker.

In 1955, Davis was the first player to make an officially recognized maximum break. Joe David is number 9 in our list of the top 10 greatest snooker players of all time.

10 Dennis Taylor

top 10 greatest snooker players of all time
Image Credit- Eurosport

Dennis Taylor is a Northern Irish retired professional snooker player and contemporary commentator. He is best known for winning the 1985 World Snooker Championship.

Dennis defeated the defending champion, Steve Davis, in a final widely acknowledged as one of the most celebrated matches in professional snooker history.

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, a 141.

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