1980: Cliff Thorburn 18 Alex Higgins 16
In a final of hugely contrasting styles, it was Canadian Thorburn's tactical cunning and safety play that triumphed over the more instinctive snooker of Higgins. 'The Hurricane' forged himself a lead on three occasions - at 5-1, 6-2 and 9-5 - but as the first day's session closed, Thorburn had clawed the match back to 9-9. In an absorbing final day, the match eventually swayed in Thorburn's favour to 17-16 after a magnificent 119 break, before the Canadian held his nerve to take the championship in the final frame.
1982: Alex Higgins 18 Ray Reardon 15
Higgins emerged victorious in what would be his last Crucible final. Higgins was too much of a match for two-times champion Reardon - playing in his last World Championship - taking the title with a 135 clearance in the final frame. A tearful Higgins called for his wife and baby during the presentation of the trophy.
1985: Dennis Taylor 18 Steve Davis 17
Probably the most famous of any of the World Championships and considered to be one of the finest moments in British sport. With a record television audience of 18.5million - and BBC Two's best ever ratings - it was Taylor who took the title on the final black after a deciding frame which lasted an hour and eight minutes. Davis overcut the ball and left a simple pot for Taylor, who celebrated with the finger-wagging, cue-waving gesticulations which have become so famous.
1994: Stephen Hendry 18 Jimmy White 17
In a repeat of the previous two finals, it was three-times champion Hendry against perennial Crucible runner-up White. Hendry played the tournament with a fractured elbow - after slipping in his hotel bathroom - but still managed to defend his title. The match went to a decider at 17-17 with White well placed in the balls, but he missed a routine black off the spot and Hendry completed a 58 clearance for his fourth World Championship. It was White's sixth final, and he has not been back for a seventh.
2002: Peter Ebdon 18 Stephen Hendry 17
Ebdon produced some brilliant snooker, taking Hendry all the way, but missed a chance to wrap up the title in the penultimate frame. With the match level at 17-17, both players were showing tension and missing easy pots, but Ebdon succeeded in making a calm 59 before allowing Hendry back to the table with a miscued shot. Hendry was then unlucky to go in-off after a safety attempt, and Ebdon was able to take the title late after midnight.
2011: John Higgins 18 Judd Trump 15
Trump was the qualifier who shocked defending champion Neil Robertson in round one and knocked out the likes of Graeme Dott and Ding Junhui on a swashbuckling run to the final. Higgins was the three-time champion, back for a fourth. It was a final which lived up to all expectations as the 21-year-old from Bristol hauled his way back to 14-14, but the hard match-play experience of Higgins eventually won the day. It was an emotional triumph for the Scot, who had lost his father to cancer earlier in the year and was coming back from a ban for his part in the scandal which broke on the first morning of the 2010 final.