World Snooker Facts

We pick out the best facts and stats ahead of the World Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Last Updated: 16/04/13 4:13pm

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The perfect clearance

The fastest 147 maximum break in snooker history came at the World Championship and was achieved by Ronnie O'Sullivan in 1997. O'Sullivan made his perfect clearance in just five minutes and 20 seconds, against Mick Price. Price, who was making his third Crucible appearance, never qualified for another World Championship.

There have been ten 147 maximum breaks in the televised stages of the World Championship. Two players have made three of those each, and no prizes for guessing Stephen Hendry and O'Sullivan are those men responsible.

Scots on top

Scottish players have won 12 of the last 23 World Championship titles, with Hendry claiming seven (1990-92-93-94-95-96-99), John Higgins four (1998-2007-2009-2011) and Graeme Dott one (2006).

The Sultan of Snooker

Derbyshire player Joe Davis was the first world champion in 1927 and won all 15 editions of the tournament he entered. His last title came in 1946 when he retired unbeaten from the World Championship but kept playing in other tournaments.

First competition

The first event, staged in Birmingham, offered prize money of £6 10s.

Only two players entered the 1931 World Championship. Tom Dennis, in whose pub the event was staged, lost 25-21 to Joe Davis.

Davis, who won eight world titles, reached the 1978 semi-finals at the age of 64. His brother, the great Joe Davis, sadly collapsed while watching the match and died two months later.

Great Scot

The youngest world champion was Hendry in 1990. The Scot was just 21 when he beat Jimmy White 18-12.

Qualifier to final

In 2005 Shaun Murphy became the first player to come through qualifying and win the world title. Judd Trump almost matched him in 2011 but lost out to John Higgins in the final.

Black ball final

Television audience of 18.5million watched Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis on the final black in the 1985 final.

Six finals

Jimmy White, Walter Donaldson and Fred Davis have each lost six finals - a record. White, unlike Donaldson and Davis, has never been a world champion.


There has been only one whitewash in a match at the World Championship. It came in the first round in 1992, when 62-year-old Australian Eddie Charlton was beaten 10-0 by defending champion John Parrott.

Crucible Theatre

The Crucible Theatre has a maximum seating capacity of 980. Recent champions have been said to be struck by the 'Crucible Curse', with the effect that no player has successfully defended his title the following year since Stephen Hendry won his five in a row from 1992 to 1996. Only Ken Doherty of the champions since Hendry's win has returned to reach the following year's final, losing out in 1998 to John Higgins.

Two world titles

Doherty is the only player to have won the amateur and professional world titles, registering his win in the unpaid ranks in 1989 before pocketing £210,000 for triumphing at the Crucible in 1997.

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