Arguably the greatest player ever to pick up a cue; Stephen Hendry has retired from tournament snooker.
The Scot made the announcement in the aftermath of a crushing 13-2 defeat to Stephen Maguire in the second round of the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre onTuesday night.
Hendry, aged 43, revealed that he had made the decision to retire three months ago and nothing that happened at the World Championships would have changed his mind.
Hendry, who shot the tenth ever 147 break during his first round victory over Stuart Bingham, has won seven world titles and accumulated more than £8.5million in prize money throughout his 27 year career as a professional snooker player.
In many ways, the manner of his departure is fitting. Following that famous 147 break and his subsequent victory over defending world champion, John Higgins, Hendry has however not been able to compete with the newer breed of player for a few years now as evidenced by his drubbing at the hands of Maguire.
Hendry hadn’t won a full ranking title since the 2005 Malta Cup, and after seven years of trying to regain that inimitable feeling of lifting a trophy, he has decided that enough is enough.
Steve Davis, whose record of six world titles at the Crucible was surpassed by Hendry in 1999, has resisted retirement and is still going strong at the age of 54, insisting that as long as he enjoys the game, he has no reason to put away his cue for good. Hendry is a different animal: playing for fun is not enough. As John Higgins perfectly summarized some time ago: “Davis loves snooker, Hendry loves winning.”
It is the lack of that winning feeling which ultimately did for Hendry. Snooker’s loss will be pool’s gain however as he has signed a lucrative deal to become an ambassador for Chinese pool and he will spend a lot of time in the Far East promoting the sport.
Hendy’s press conference announcing his retirement from snooker: