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World Snooker Championship Winners & History

11 Apr 2023
Freetips staff 11 Apr 2023
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  • A guide to the previous winners and runners-up of the World Snooker Championship
  • The World Snooker Championship is the biggest prize in snooker
  • Guide to the recent champions
ronnie o'sullivan crucible
(Getty Images)

The World Snooker Championship was launched in 1927 and will take place for the 91st time in 2023.

It is widely regarded as the leading snooker tournament in terms of prestige and prize money and is the final ranking event of the snooker season each year. 

The tournament is organised by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and will be held for the 47th consecutive year at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 2023.

Joe Davis is the most successful player at the World Snooker Championship after winning 15 consecutive titles between 1927 and 1946. 

The record in the modern era is held by Stephen Hendry who won seven titles between 1990 and 1999 and now Ronnie O'Sullivan, who made it seven titles when winning in 2022.

World Snooker Championship Winners, Runners-up & Final Score

2022Ronnie O'Sullivan Judd Trump 18-13 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2021Mark Selby Shaun Murphy 18-15 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2020Ronnie O'Sullivan Kyren Wilson 18-8 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2019 Judd Trump John Higgins 18–9 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2018 Mark Williams John Higgins 18–16 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2017 Mark Selby John Higgins 18–15 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2016 Mark Selby Ding Junhui 18–14 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2015 Stuart Bingham Shaun Murphy 18–15 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2014 Mark Selby Ronnie O'Sullivan 18–14 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2013 Ronnie O'Sullivan Barry Hawkins 18–12 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2012 Ronnie O'Sullivan Ali Carter 18–11 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2011 John Higgins Judd Trump 18–15 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2010 Neil Robertson Graeme Dott 18–13 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2009 John Higgins Shaun Murphy 18–9 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2008 Ronnie O'Sullivan Ali Carter 18–8 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2007 John Higgins Mark Selby 18–13 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2006 Graeme Dott Peter Ebdon 18–14 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2005 Shaun Murphy Matthew Stevens 18–16 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2004 Ronnie O'Sullivan Graeme Dott 18–8 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2003 Mark Williams Ken Doherty 18–16 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2002 Peter Ebdon Stephen Hendry 18–17 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2001 Ronnie O'Sullivan John Higgins 18–14 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2000 Mark Williams Matthew Stevens 18–16 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1999 Stephen Hendry Mark Williams 18–11 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1998 John Higgins Ken Doherty 18–12 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1997 Ken Doherty Stephen Hendry 18–12 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1996 Stephen Hendry Peter Ebdon 18–12 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1995 Stephen Hendry Nigel Bond 18–9 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1994 Stephen Hendry Jimmy White 18–17 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1993 Stephen Hendry Jimmy White 18–5 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1992 Stephen Hendry Jimmy White 18–14 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1991 John Parrott Jimmy White 18–11 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1990 Stephen Hendry Jimmy White 18–12 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1989 Steve Davis John Parrott 18–3 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1988 Steve Davis Terry Griffiths 18–11 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1987 Steve Davis Joe Johnson 18–14 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1986 Joe Johnson Steve Davis 18–12 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1985 Dennis Taylor Steve Davis 18–17 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1984 Steve Davis Jimmy White 18–16 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1983 Steve Davis Cliff Thorburn 18–6 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1982 Alex Higgins Ray Reardon 18–15 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1981 Steve Davis Doug Mountjoy 18–12 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1980 Cliff Thorburn Alex Higgins 18–16 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1979 Terry Griffiths Dennis Taylor 24–16 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1978 Ray Reardon Perrie Mans 25–18 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1977 John Spencer Cliff Thorburn 25–21 Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
1976 Ray Reardon Alex Higgins 27–16 Wythenshawe Forum, Manchester
1975 Ray Reardon Eddie Charlton 31–30 Nunawading Basketball Centre, Melbourne, Australia
1974 Ray Reardon Graham Miles 22–12 Belle Vue, Manchester
1973 Ray Reardon Eddie Charlton 38–32 City Exhibition Hall, Manchester
1972 Alex Higgins John Spencer 37–32 Selly Park British Legion, Birmingham
1971 John Spencer Warren Simpson 37–29 Chevron Hotel, Sydney, Australia
1970 Ray Reardon John Pulman 37–33 Victoria Hall, London
1969 John Spencer Gary Owen 37–24 Victoria Hall, London
1968 John Pulman Eddie Charlton 39–34 Co-operative Hall, Bolton
1966 John Pulman Fred Davis 5–2  St George's Hall, Liverpool
1965 John Pulman Fred Davis 37–36 Burroughes Hall, London
1965 John Pulman Rex Williams 25–22 South Africa
1965 John Pulman Fred Van Rensburg 39–12 South Africa
1964 John Pulman Fred Davis 19–16 Burroughes Hall, London
1964 John Pulman Rex Williams 40–33 Burroughes Hall, London
1957 John Pulman Jackie Rea 39–34 St Helier, Jersey
1956 Fred Davis John Pulman 38–35 Tower Circus, Blackpool
1955 Fred Davis John Pulman 38–35 Tower Circus, Blackpool
1954 Fred Davis Walter Donaldson 45–26 Houldsworth Hall, Manchester
1953 Fred Davis Walter Donaldson 37–34 Leicester Square Hall, London
1952 Fred Davis Walter Donaldson 38–35 Tower Circus, Blackpool
1952 Horace Lindrum Clark McConachy 94–49 Houldsworth Hall, Manchester
1951 Fred Davis Walter Donaldson 58–39 Tower Circus, Blackpool
1950 Walter Donaldson Fred Davis 51–46 Tower Circus, Blackpool
1949 Fred Davis Walter Donaldson 80–65 Leicester Square Hall, London
1948 Fred Davis Walter Donaldson 84–61 Leicester Square Hall, London
1947 Walter Donaldson Fred Davis 82–63 Leicester Square Hall, London
1946 Joe Davis Horace Lindrum 78–67 Royal Horticultural Hall, London
1940 Joe Davis Fred Davis 37–36 Thurston's Hall, London
1939 Joe Davis Sidney Smith 43–30 Thurston's Hall, London
1938 Joe Davis Sidney Smith 37–24 Thurston's Hall, London
1937 Joe Davis Horace Lindrum 32–29 Thurston's Hall, London
1936 Joe Davis Horace Lindrum 34–27 Thurston's Hall, London
1935 Joe Davis Willie Smith 25–20 Thurston's Hall, London
1934 Joe Davis Tom Newman 25–22 Lounge Hall, Nottingham and Kettering
1933 Joe Davis Willie Smith 25–18 Joe Davis Centre, Chesterfield
1932 Joe Davis Clark McConachy 30–19 Thurston's Hall, London
1931 Joe Davis Tom Dennis 25–21 Lounge Hall, Nottingham
1930 Joe Davis Tom Dennis 25–12 Thurston's Hall, London
1929 Joe Davis Tom Dennis 19–14 Lounge Hall, Nottingham
1928 Joe Davis Fred Lawrence 16–13 Camkin's Hall, Birmingham
1927 Joe Davis Tom Dennis 20–11 Camkin's Hall, Birmingham

World Snooker Championship History

The World Snooker Championship began in 1927 and was won by Joe Davis. Davis won the first 15 championships before retiring from the event undefeated.

Snooker experienced a decline in the 1950s with the tournament not held after 1952, despite an unofficial championship held until 1957. The World Snooker Championship was revived on a challenge basis in 1964 and returned as a knock-out event in 1969.

Since 1977 the tournament has been played at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. The tournament is played over 17 days and ends on the first Monday in May. 

The 2020 World Championship was postponed from 18 April to 4 May until 31 July to 16 August because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 2020 World Snooker Championship was one of the first tournaments to allow live audiences since the outbreak of the pandemic.

In 2022, Ronnie O'Sullivan created history by joining Stephen Hendry as a seven-time world champion.

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