Hendry calls it quits
Seven-time world champion announces his retirement
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: May 1, 2012 11:09pm
Stephen Hendry: Called time on his career after Crucible loss
Snooker legend Stephen Hendry announced his retirement from the game after a quarter-final loss to Stephen Maguire at the Crucible on Tuesday.
Seven-time world champion Hendry was comprehensively beaten 13-2 by fellow Scot Maguire, and immediately announced his retirement after the match.
Hendry had looked in great touch when beating defending champion John Higgins and also made a superb 147 maximum against Stuart Bingham during the current Betfred.com World Championship.
However, the 43-year-old had always known it would be his final flourish at the famous Sheffield venue, and revealed his decision after the Maguire defeat.
"I am officially retired now from tournament snooker," said Hendry. "I made the decision about three months ago.
"I didn't tell many people. I only told two or three people, but this is me finished from tournament snooker.
"It was quite an easy decision. There's a few reasons. The schedule didn't help. The fact that I'm not playing the snooker I want to play didn't help. The fact I'm not enjoying practice doesn't help.
"I want to do other things. I've got a lot of commitments now in China, which I've signed up for and I can't do that and play snooker because I would never be at home."
Hendry was the youngest world champion when he won at the Crucible for the first time at 21 back in 1990, while his 147 this year was his 11th competitive maximum break, but regardless he was always going to hang up his cue.
"The time is right for me," he added. "If I'd have won the title it would have been an even better way to go out.
"I'm delighted I made a maximum here, that's why I was more animated than normal when making it. I was delighted to do it on my last appearance here."
Hendry is arguably the greatest player to ever grace the baize, but he struggled to pick out a favourite moment of his glittering career.
"I've had so many it's hard to pinpoint special ones," he said. "My first win here, obviously the seventh world title, making maximums, I could write a book on the memories I've had here.
"I've never been the most emotional person even when I win. It's sad that I won't play here again. I love playing here, but no, it's a relief as much as anything.
"Obviously it's sad that your last match is a 13-2 drubbing but that was just the way it went. At least it wasn't 13-0. I haven't been able to play the way I've wanted to play for the last 10 years, and it's just ground me down and down and down.
"I keep getting beaten in first rounds and second rounds by people I still know are not as good as me. After a while it becomes too much. I think I've had a decent career."