Sport country: Scotland
Highest ranking: є 1
Highest break: 147 (11 times)
Career winnings: £8.97 million
Nickname: The King of Crucible, The Golden Boy, The Maestro
The Ice Man, The Wonder/Golden Bairn, The Great One
Tournament wins: 74
World Champion: 7 (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999)
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE (born 13 January 1969) is a Scottish former professional snooker player.
Hendry became the youngest professional snooker player in 1985 aged 16 and, in 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He won the World Championship seven times, a record in the modern era, and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive seasons between 1990 and 1998, and again in 2006/2007. Hendry has the distinction of winning the most world ranking titles (36) and is second on the century break list behind Ronnie O'Sullivan with 775 competitive century breaks. He has made 11 competitive maximum breaks, second only to Ronnie O'Sullivan. In May 2012 he retired from the sport to concentrate on his commercial interests, and also works as a commentator for the BBC.
Amateur years (1981Ц1985)
Hendry started playing snooker in 1981, aged 12, when his father, Gordon, bought him a child-sized snooker table as a Christmas present. Two years later he won the Scottish U-16 Championship. He also appeared on BBC's Junior version of Pot Black. The following year he won the Scottish Amateur Championship and also became the youngest ever entrant in the World Amateur Championship. In 1985, after retaining the Scottish Amateur Championship, he turned professional. At 16 years and three months old he was the youngest ever professional. Hendry was managed by entrepreneur Ian Doyle.
Early professional years (1986Ц1988)
In his first season he reached the last 32 in the Mercantile Credit Classic and was the youngest ever Scottish Professional champion. He also became the youngest player ever to qualify for the World Championship, a record he held until 2012 when Luca Brecel qualified at the age of 17 years and one month. He lost 8Ц10 to Willie Thorne who then applauded him out of the arena. In the next season he retained the Scottish Professional Championship title and reached the quarter-finals of both the Grand Prix and World Championship, losing 12Ц13 to defending champion Joe Johnson, and the semi-finals of the Mercantile Credit Classic. Hendry and Mike Hallett combined to win that year's World Doubles Championship. In 1987/88 Hendry won his first world ranking titles, the Grand Prix, beating Dennis Taylor 10Ц7 in the final, and the British Open. He also claimed three other tournament victories, retaining both the Scottish Professional Championship and the World Doubles Championship (with Hallett), and the Australian Masters. By the end of that season he was ranked world no. 4 and was voted the BBC Scotland Sports Personality of the Year.
No ranking titles came his way the following season, although he did win the New Zealand Masters and also his first Masters at Wembley.
World Champion and World Number One (1989Ц1999)
The 1989/90 season saw the beginning of Hendry's period of dominance. That year, he won the UK Championship, Dubai Classic, Asian Open, Scottish Masters, Wembley Masters and his first World Championship, beating Jimmy White 18Ц12 in the final, elevating him to the summit of the world rankings at the age of 21. The following season, he set a record of five world ranking titles in one season and recorded a hat-trick of Masters, beating Mike Hallett 9Ц8 after coming back from 0Ц7 and 2Ц8 behind in the final. However, Hendry failed to retain his world title, losing to Steve James in the quarter-finals. In 1991/92, Hendry regained the World title, winning 10 frames in a row to come from 8Ц14 down to defeat White 18Ц14, adding to the victories in both the Grand Prix and the Welsh Open. He won the Masters, too, and achieved his first competitive 147 break, in the Matchroom League. A year later, he retained both his World Championship title and a fifth consecutive Masters crown. The following season, he retained the World Championship, narrowly beating Jimmy White 18Ц17 in the final. Also in 1997, Stephen Hendry played Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Liverpool Victoria charity challenge final. The match was best of 17 frames. Stephen raced into a 6-1 and 8-2 lead with breaks of 110, 129 and 136, whereas Ronnie made a break of 106 in one of the two frames he won. Ronnie won the next 6 frames to level the match at 8-8. In the deciding frame, Stephen potted a long red to land himself on the black. Stephen went on to make a 147 maximum break, to win the match 9-8.
In 1994/95, after being awarded a MBE he won three ranking events, including the World and UK Championships, both of which he would retain the following year. In the 1994 UK final, Hendry defeated Ken Doherty 10Ц5, making 7 centuries in the match. This performance has been described by snooker journalist David Hendon as "possibly the best anybody has ever played". His run of successes continued in 1995/96 with three titles, including the World Championship, where an 18Ц12 victory in the final against Peter Ebdon saw him equal the achievement of Ray Reardon and Steve Davis by notching up a sixth World crown. In 1997, he won BBC Scotland Sports Personality of the Year award for a second time and added another three ranking titles to his collection, although Ken Doherty denied him a sixth consecutive World crown by defeating him 18Ц12 in the final.
Hendry's dominant position in snooker appeared to be on the wane, as the only ranking event he won in the 1997/98 season was the Thailand Masters. In the 1998 Masters final at Wembley, Hendry led his good friend Mark Williams 9Ц6, needing just one more frame for victory. However, he then wasted numerous chances to close out the match and eventually lost 10Ц9 after the deciding frame went to a re-spotted black. This match is regarded by many as one of the greatest in the history of the game. He also lost his World No. 1 ranking for the first time since 1990 and was eliminated in the first round of the World Championship, losing heavily to White (4Ц10). 1998/99 began with an embarrassing 0Ц9 first-round loss in the UK Championship to unseeded Marcus Campbell. However, a resurgent Hendry won the last two events in the campaign Ц the Scottish Open and a record seventh World title. After beating Ronnie O'Sullivan 17Ц13 in their semi-final, he emerged a convincing 18Ц11 winner over future double World Champion Mark Williams. This was Hendry's last World Championship title.
Later career (1999Ц2010)
Hendry made a strong start to the 1999/2000 season by winning two of the first three tournaments, including the British Open, where he made the fifth 147 break of his career and the first maximum in a ranking final. However, he was surprisingly defeated in the first round of the 2000 World Championship by debutant Stuart Bingham. By Hendry's high standards the 2000/01 season was a disappointment, as he failed to win a ranking event for the first time since the 1988/1989 season and reached only one final. Still he won the European Open the next season and came close to an eighth World Championship. Having eliminated defending champion O'Sullivan in the semi-finals (17Ц13), he lost narrowly to Ebdon in the final (17Ц18).
The Welsh Open in 2002/03 and British Open in 2003/04 came Hendry's way, with his victory in the 2005 Malta Cup being his most recent ranking success. However, following O'Sullivan's decision to not enter the 2006 Malta Cup, Hendry was able to regain the world no. 1 position in 2005/06 due to consistency in reaching the latter stages of tournaments without, by his own admission, reproducing his form of old. He reached the final of the 2006 UK Championship in a tournament memorable for his quarter final against Ronnie O'Sullivan, in which O'Sullivan unexpectedly forfeited the match at 4Ц1 down following a strong start by Hendry. The Scot then came back from 7Ц5 behind in his semi-final to defeat then-World Champion Graeme Dott 9Ц7, but lost in the final, 6Ц10, to Peter Ebdon. Following a disappointing season in 2007/2008 Hendry unexpectedly reached his 12th semi-final at the World Championships, a new record surpassing Steve Davis' tally of 11. In doing so aged 39 Hendry became the oldest player to reach the semi-finals of the tournament since Terry Griffiths in 1992.
Hendry started season 2008/09 with two losses in his first matches. He was beaten 1Ц5 by Stephen Lee in the Northern Ireland Trophy and 4Ц5 by Ricky Walden in the Shanghai Masters. He had more success in the Grand Prix, however, winning his first-round match with David Gilbert 5Ц4, before succumbing to the eventual winner, John Higgins, 2Ц5 in the next round. However, in the next ranking event, the Bahrain Championship, he reached the semi-final, but he lost 4Ц6 to Matthew Stevens. In the next 3 professional tournaments, the UK Championship, the Masters and the Welsh Open, Hendry lost in the first round to Stephen Lee, Neil Robertson and Martin Gould respectively. He found some form in the China Open, beating Robert Milkins and Ricky Walden, but lost his quarter-final match to Peter Ebdon, the eventual winner of the tournament.
At the 2009 World Championship Hendry beat Mark Williams 10Ц7 in first round. This win guaranteed Hendry a place in the top sixteen of the rankings for the following season. He then went on to win 13Ц10 against Ding Junhui. In that match Hendry reached another milestone: a 1000th frame won at the Crucible (also, in that very frame Hendry scored 140 points). On 28 April, Hendry made a 147 maximum break against Shaun Murphy. He eventually lost the match 13Ц11 to Murphy the next day to go out of the championship. At the age of 40, he became the oldest player to make a maximum in a ranking tournament and only the second player (after O'Sullivan) to make more than one 147 at the Crucible. Hendry ended up at no. 10 of the world rankings, falling outside the top eight for the first time since the 1987/1988 season.
In the 2009/2010 season Hendry won his opening matches in every ranking tournament, however didn't manage to get to a quarter-final until the China Open, where he lost 4Ц5 to Mark Allen, despite at one time leading the match 4Ц2. In the Masters Hendry lost in the first round. In the first round of the World Championship, Hendry defeated China's Anda Zhang. Hendry was 7Ц9 down in the best-of-19 match, but managed to win 3 frames in a row for a 10Ц9 victory. At the press conference he confessed, that, had he lost the match, he would have seriously considered retirement. He lost in the second round 5Ц13 against Mark Selby. Apart from the Main Tour tournaments he won the seniors invitation tournament "Legends of Snooker" beating Ken Doherty 5Ц3 in the final. Another important event was the much publicised challenge match with Ding Junhui played in Beijing, which Hendry lost 6Ц13.
Final professional years (2010Ц2012)
In the 2010/2011 season Hendry could not maintain his unbeaten run in the first round of ranking events, as he lost it at the Shanghai Masters against Martin Gould by 2Ц5. At the World Open in Glasgow, Hendry recorded 3Ц0 whitewashes against Bjorn Haneveer and Mark Davis, before he was beaten 1Ц3 by rival Ronnie O'Sullivan. At the UK Championship in Telford, Hendry was drawn against another old rival, Jimmy White. Despite struggling with his game throughout the match Hendry came through 9Ц8, rolling back the years by compiling a match-winning break in the deciding frame. In the second round Hendry was defeated 6Ц9 by Mark Williams. Afterwards Hendry expressed his frustration with his form and revealed that he has been suffering from "the yips" for the last ten years, leaving him unable to cue through the ball and causing him to miss the simplest of shots.
Hendry lost 3Ц6 against reigning World Champion Neil Robertson in the 2011 Masters. Hendry made his 10th 147 break at the 2011 Welsh Open in the opening frame of the last 16 round vs Stephen Maguire, but later lost the game. At the 2011 China Open Hendry whitewashed Matthew Stevens 5Ц0 in the first round, before losing to Ding Junhui 2Ц5 in the second round. At the 2011 World Championship, he beat Joe Perry in the deciding frame of their first round tie before going out in the second round to Mark Selby 4Ц13.
Hendry began the 2011/2012 season at the first event of the Players Tour Championship, and lost 3Ц4 against Kyren Wilson. As a result of this he was ranked number 17 after the event, the first time out of the top 16 since the 1987/1988 season. However, he moved back into the top 16 after reaching the second round of the Australian Goldfields Open. In September he played Robert Milkins in the first round of the Shanghai Masters, but lost the match 1Ц5, subsequently losing his position inside the top 16 after the first cut off point and was ranked number 21. This meant that Hendry would not participate in the Masters for the first time in 23 years and that he would have to qualify to reach the main stages of all the ranking events in the snooker calendar.
Hendry managed to qualify for the 2011 UK Championship after beating Gerard Greene 6Ц2 in the final qualifying round. It was his first qualifying match since 1989.[unreliable source?] However, he lost 3Ц6 to compatriot Stephen Maguire in the first round. He reached the semi-finals of the twelfth PTC event in January 2012, but narrowly lost 3Ц4, once again to Maguire. Hendry needed to reach the final in order to make the top 24 of the Order of Merit and secure a place in the Finals. Hendry lost 1Ц5 in a qualifying match against James Wattana for the German Masters and therefore did not play in a ranking tournament for the first time in 15 years.
Hendry qualified for the Welsh Open by whitewashing Kurt Maflin 4Ц0 to reach the first round, where he played reigning Masters champion Neil Robertson and recorded the result of his season so far by triumphing 4Ц1. He was then whitewashed 0Ц4 by Mark Allen in the following round. Hendry also played the Australian in the first round of the World Open after he defeated Mike Dunn 5Ц2 in qualifying, however this time he lost 3Ц5. Hendry won his 4th qualifying encounter out of 5 so far this season, when he defeated Yu Delu 5Ц1 to seal his place for the China Open. There he beat Martin Gould 5Ц4 in the first round on the final black. He played Robertson for the third consecutive time in a ranking event in the last 16 and was beaten 3Ц5.
Hendry tends to play at a steady pace. He introduced the now universal tactic of potting the blue with pace and bottom spin on the white ball to cannon into the pack of reds and develop them for break-building. Prior to Hendry, players used stun not screw, to do this. Aside from his break-building consistency, Hendry's ability at long potting was crucial to his success, as was his knack of potting balls in the middle pocket during a break. Throughout his career he has played very aggressively, more often than not attempting quite difficult pots and trying to break open the reds early in a break rather than waiting until all open reds have been potted. In this way he has compiled more than 700 competitive century breaks. However, towards the end of his career the standard of his break-building and long potting declined, his aggressive instincts gave his opponents more opportunities than in the past.
Hendry was born in South Queensferry, Edinburgh, but brought up in Fife, where he attended Inverkeithing High School. He met his future wife Mandy Tart at a Pontins holiday camp when he was 16. The couple married in 1995 and settled in Auchterarder. They have two sons, Blaine (born 1996) and Carter (born 2004). In 2014, Hendry left his wife after 19 years of marriage and moved to England to pursue a relationship with 26-year-old children's entertainer and actress Lauren Thundow, whom he had met at a snooker event the previous year.
Hendry has a single-figure golf handicap. He enjoys poker and has appeared in several televised tournaments. Hendry is also keenly interested in football, supporting Scottish side Hearts.
When returning to Scotland from the Thailand Open in September 2003, Hendry had his cue broken. The cue, which he had owned since he was aged 14, having purchased it for £40, was the cue he had used when winning his 7 world titles. Since the 11 September 2001 attacks, snooker players have been required to put their cues in the holds of aeroplanes, where they are susceptible to damage.
In August 2011, HM Revenue and Customs successfully applied to Glasgow Sheriff Court to liquidate the assets of Stephen Hendry Snooker Ltd., following its failure to pay an £85,000 tax bill.
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