Sheffield to host two snooker championships a year following announcement of new seniors tournament

Sheffield will cement its tag as the home of snooker following the announcement that another annual tournament will take place in the city.

By The Star Newsroom
Thursday, 11 April, 2019, 12:59

The city will play host to the sport’s top 32 players next week as the countdown to the World Snooker Championship, due to get underway next week, continues but fans will also be able to see former greats of the game go head-to-head in August.

The ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Championship will see 20 players from 16 countries battle it out over four days and a session will also be dedicated to showcase the talents of the World Women’s Snooker (WWS tour and the Worlds Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) Tour.

Jimmy White pictured at the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible theatre, Sheffield in 1994.

The event will take place at The Crucible Theatre, which has been home to the World Championship since 1977, from August 15 to 18.

Jason Ferguson, chairman of the World Professional Billards and Snooker Association, said: “It’s great news to place the World Seniors Championship in the venue where our legends created their legacy.

“Being able to use the event to also showcase the talents of the women’s and the disability tours sends an important message for our sport and also opens up the dream of playing in the Crucible Theatre for everyone.”

The World Snooker Championship has been held at the Crucible Theatre since 1977. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry, one of those who will be competing in the tournament, said he was looking forward to the tournament.

He said: “It’s obviously fairly easy for me to comment because I had so much success at the Crucible.

“This was the first tournament you watch on TV as a kid and then obviously I was lucky enough to win at the Crucible.

“It’s just such a unique atmosphere. People always say that if you were looking for a venue to host a world championship you probably wouldn’t choose the Crucible because it’s very tight backstage but you could never replicate the atmosphere.

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“I obviously don’t play as much as I used to but the fact there is going to be a world title of sorts up for grabs might give me that incentive to train a bit more.”

Paul Billington, Sheffield Council’s director of culture and environment, said the authority was ‘delighted’ to be hosting the tournament.

He said: “We’re delighted to bring a second major snooker event to Sheffield, the true home of the sport. Many of the legends who will take part in the ROKiT World Seniors Championship made their name in our Crucible Theatre, where this new tournament will also take place.

“As well as the chance to watch legends from the men’s game, this event showcases women’s and disability snooker at the highest level opening up the game to a whole new audience.

“We look forward to welcoming snooker’s elite and many visiting fans to Sheffield for what promises to be a thrilling showdown.”

The competition will see 20 of snooker’s best-loved personalities play over 12 sessions across four days.

Tickets go on sale for all 12 sessions on Thursday, April 18 and tickets to the women’s and disability sessions are aptly priced at £1.47 for anyone with a full price World Seniors ticket.

Tickets will also be available for a VIP meet experience with senior players, that will be held on the final day.

For more information or to buy tickets visit www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk