Jimmy White finally triumphs at Crucible as thousands turn out for World Seniors Championship

Snooker legend Jimmy White has finally won a world championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre after claiming victory in the World Seniors Championship, which was watched by more than 5,000 people.

Monday, 19th August 2019, 1:41 pm
Updated Monday, 19th August 2019, 4:27 pm

Jimmy, now aged 57, famously finished runner-up six times in the World Snooker Championship at the venue.

But he finally lifted the curse on Sunday when he beat Darren Morgan 5-3 in the final and picked up £25,000 for winning the ROKiT World Senior Snooker Championship which was held at the ‘home of snooker’ for the first time.

Thousands of people saw 20 players from 13 countries take part in the competition, including Yorkshire’s only-ever world champion Joe Johnson, seven-time winner Stephen Hendry and 1991 world champion John Parrott.

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Jimmy White. Picture: Steve Ellis
Jimmy White. Picture: Steve Ellis

Competitors also included Willie Thorne, Tony Knowles, 1980 world champion Cliff Thorburn and Dennis Taylor but it was Jimmy, nicknamed The Whirlwind, who claimed victory – 38 years after making his debut at the Crucible.

Welshman Morgan, 53, had beaten seven-time world snooker champion Stephen Hendry, 50, in the quarter-finals.

White’s last Crucible final defeat came at the hands of Scot Hendry 25 years ago.

Jimmy White (left) lost out to Stephen Hendry in the World Snooker Championship final in 1990.

He suffered an agonising 18-17 loss – his fifth world final reverse in succession, four of them to Hendry.

Jason Francis, chairman of ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Tour, said it was an ‘emotional’ final at the Crucible on Sunday.

He said: “It was a fantastic event. I can’t believe how many people in Sheffield came to support it.

Those who competed in the World Seniors Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre. Picture: Steve Ellis

“I’ve done more than 200 shows and I always introduce Jimmy White as somebody who has never won at the Crucible so it was very emotional to see him win.”

Mr Francis said more than 5,000 spectators took in the action at the Crucible over the four days and Sheffield was once again broadcast across the country and around the world, thanks to TV and internet streaming services.

The event also saw specialist sessions for World Disability Billiards And Snooker Association.

He added: “We sold nearly 5,000 tickets so it was a very good start and we want to build on that. It was also incredibly important we were able to showcase the women’s and disability games. They got to go on TV and play at the Crucible which they would never have though they’d be able to.

"That was as pleasing as seeing Jimmy win in many ways.”

Mr Francis said he hoped to hold the tournament on the same week in August 2020 and said tickets would go on sale through the Crucible Theatre ‘in the coming months’.