Sport country: England
Born: 10.08.1982
Highest ranking: 3 (3 years)
Highest break: 147(4 times)
Career winnings: £2,794,110
Nickname: The Magician
Tournament wins: 20
Ranking: 6
Minor-ranking: 4
Non-ranking: 10
World Champion: 1 (2005)

Born in Harlow, England, Murphy began playing snooker at the age of eight after his parents bought him a snooker table for Christmas. He made his first century break at the age of 10 and practised at the Rushden Snooker Centre, where players such as Stephen Hendry, Mark Williams, and Ken Doherty have also played. At the age of 13, he secured a five-year £5,000-a-year sponsorship deal with the Doc Martens shoe company and stated his ambitions of winning the World Championship and becoming world number one. He turned professional in 1998 at the age of 15.

Murphy was coached by Steve Prest until the 2006/2007 season. Willie Thorne and Ray Reardon also gave him guidance, and when he was 15, he was given the latter's old cue by his father.

Early career

Murphy began his career on the UK Tour in 1998 (renamed the Challenge Tour in 2000), at the time the second-level professional tour. He was runner-up in the fourth event on the UK tour for the 1997/1998 season and, for the 2000/2001 season, won the third and fourth events on the Challenge Tour, topping the Order of Merit rankings.

In 2000, he received the World Snooker Newcomer of the Year award and one of six Young Player of Distinction of the Year awards from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. In 2000, he won the English Open Championship.

Murphy won his first professional tournament at the 2000 Benson & Hedges Championship, defeating Mark Davis 61 in the semi-final, and Stuart Bingham 97 in the final, recovering from 25 down. Although he was not yet on the first-level main tour, this victory brought qualification for the Masters prestigious non-ranking invitation tournament with places for members of the top 16, the winner of the qualifying tournament, and a limited number of wildcards. In the 2001 tournament, he showed promise in his first televised match, defeating world number 15, Marco Fu, and building a 41 lead over seven-time world champion Hendry, before losing the match. He made his first maximum break in the 2001 Benson & Hedges Championship.

Early ranking results

Murphy first reached the final stages of a ranking event at the 2002 World Championship, hosted at the Crucible Theatre, where he lost 410 to Hendry in the first round. In the 2002/2003 season, he reached the final stages of the Scottish Open, where he was defeated 35 by Drew Henry in the first round, and the World Championship, where he lost 910 against Doherty on the final black in the first round.

For the 2003/2004 season, Murphy was ranked number 64 and qualified for the final stages of three ranking tournaments. In the LG Cup, Murphy defeated Steve Davis 54 in the second round, before losing 25 to John Higgins in third round. After the victory over Davis, Murphy said "This is one of the greatest days in my snooker career." In the British Open, he defeated Dave Harold 51 in the first round, before losing to Paul Hunter 25 in the second round.

In the Players Championshipthe new name of the Scottish Openhe lost 35 to eventual champion Jimmy White in the second round. He failed to reach the World Championship, losing a qualifying match 710 against Stuart Pettman, in which Pettman was docked a frame for arriving late.

For the 2004/2005 season, Murphy was ranked number 48 and reached the final stages of four ranking events, including the World Championship victory. In the Grand Prixthe new name of the LG Cuphe lost 25 to Stephen Maguire in the first round. This was followed by his first ranking semi-final, at the British Open, where he was whitewashed 06 by Higgins. In the Malta Cup, he lost 25 to Matthew Stevens in the first round.

2005 World Championship

Murphy won two qualifying matches to qualify for the 2005 World Championship. He defeated former world champions Higgins 138, Davis 134, and Peter Ebdon 1712 to reach the final to face Stevens, the world number six. He trailed Stevens 610 at the end of the first day (the World Championship final is played over two days), but made a comeback to bring the score to 1616. He then made two frame-winning breaks to lift the title. His 11 century breaks were the most in that year's tournament.

Murphy's victory was considered a major surprise. His pre-tournament odds were 1501, and before his win he was considered an underachiever. He became only the third qualifier to win the World Championship (or to reach the final) after Alex Higgins in 1972 and Terry Griffiths in 1979. At the age of 22, Murphy was the second youngest player to win the World Championship, following Hendry who first lifted the title when he was 21. No previous world champion had played as many matches (seven) to lift the title, and he was the lowest ranked player, at number 48, to win the tournament. No player had won the World Championship as his first ranking event win since Joe Johnson in 1986. His run in the tournament earned him the nickname "Magician" and the tournament doubled his previous career prize money, with which he purchased a Mercedes-Benz and a house. After his win, in July 2005, he married his fianc?e Clare.


For the new season, he improved his ranking to number 21, which would not usually guarantee qualification for ranking events. However, as world champion he qualified automatically for every tournament in the season as the number two seed (and number one seed for the 2006 World Championship). He was invited to play in the Premier League Snooker, a non-ranking tournament with a 25-a-second shot clock, but he went out in the round-robin stage.

In the inaugural, non-ranking Northern Ireland Trophy, he reached the quarter-finals before he was defeated 45 by Neil Robertson. In the first three ranking events of the seasonthe Grand Prix, the UK Championship, and the Malta Cuphe reached the last 16, losing final-frame matches to Bingham, Robertson, and Graeme Dott, respectively. After his loss to Bingham, he complained about having to play his match on an outside table, given his world champion status. In the revival of Pot Black, a single-frame knockout tournament not staged since 1991, Murphy was defeated in the final by Stevens. Murphy was awarded Sportsman Of The Year at the BBC East Midlands Sports Awards in December 2005.

In the Masters, Murphy lost 46 to Higgins in the quarter-finals, but reached his second ranking final in the Welsh Open, losing 49 to Stephen Lee. In the World Championship, he reached the quarter-finals, but fell victim to the so-called "Crucible Curse" no first-time champion has successfully defended the title at the Crucible Theatre when he was defeated 713 by Ebdon.


For the next season, Murphy moved to number five in the world rankings, entering the elite top 16 for the first time, and thereby automatically qualifying for the final stages of ranking tournaments and receiving an automatic invitation to the Masters.

In the Northern Ireland Trophy (a ranking event in this season), he lost 45 to Lee in the quarter-finals, and in the UK Championship, he lost 39 to Alan McManus in the second round. A 36 defeat by Stephen Hendry in the quarter-finals of the Masters was followed by his second ranking title, when he defeated Ryan Day 94 in the final of the Malta Cup. After the victory, he said it was a relief to get rid of the one-hit wonder label. In his next match, a victory over Jamie Cope in the Welsh Open, he scored centuries in four consecutive frames, becoming only the second player to do this (after Higgins in the 2005 Grand Prix final) and the only person to do so in a best-of-nine match. He went on to lose 35 to Maguire in the quarter-finals. In the World Championship, Murphy defeated Stevens 1312 in the quarter-finalsrecovering from 511 down and knocking the latter out of the top 16before losing 1617 against Mark Selby in the semi-finals.


For the 2007/2008 season, he was ranked number three, his highest ever ranking, and reached at least the semi-finals of five ranking events, without winning any.

In the inaugural Shanghai Masters, he was defeated 25 by Ian McCulloch in the first round. He reached the final of the Pot Black, where he was defeated by Doherty. In the Grand Prix, he reached the semi-finals, where he lost 56 against Ronnie O'Sullivan, despite leading 52. Further semi-finals followed at the Northern Ireland Trophy and the UK Championship, where he was defeated on both occasions by Maguire, 56 and 59, respectively, making it three consecutive semi-final losses. Before the UK Championship, he was provisionally ranked number one. He successfully defended his Malta Cup title (that year the tournament was not a ranking event) with a 93 victory over Doherty in the final. In the China Open, he defeated Selby 63 in the semi-finalhis sixth semi-final in the past seven ranking eventsbut lost 910 to Maguire in the final. Before the World Championship, he was again provisional number one.

In the World Championship, as one of the favourites, he reached the second round, before losing 413 to Ali Carter. After his loss, Murphy criticised the state of the tables.



Murphy maintained his number three ranking for the 2008/2009 season. He won the non-ranking Paul Hunter Classic, defeating Selby 40 in the final, but lost in the first round of the first four ranking tournaments, including a 45 defeat by world number 47 Mike Dunn in the Bahrain Championship. In October, Murphy and his wife separated, after three years of marriage; he did not wear his wedding ring in the Grand Prix.

Despite the four consecutive first-round losseswhich had been attributed to the split from his wifeMurphy claimed his third ranking title at the UK Championship, defeating Fu 109 in a low-quality final, in which he fluked a pink in the deciding frame that was effectively match ball. The victory meant he joined Davis, Alex Higgins, Griffiths, John Parrott, Hendry, O'Sullivan, Williams, John Higgins and Ebdon as the tenth player to have won both the World title and the UK title, cementing his place as one of the elite top players in the world.

In the World Championship, there were concerns that Murphy's estranged wife would serve him divorce papers during play of his first-round match against Andrew Higginson. He defeated Higginson 108 without incident, although his wife's parents were present in the arena and were asked to leave. He went on to defeat Fu 133, Hendry 1311, and Robertson 1714 to earn a place in his second world final, with two-time world champion Higgins as the opponent. In the final, he trailed 511 after the first day, and was beaten 189 by Higgins. On the first day of the final, a newspaper published a "kiss and tell" story involving Murphy.



Murphy maintained his number three ranking for a third year in the 2009/2010 season. He successfully defended his Paul Hunter Classic title, defeating White 40 in the final. He won the Premier League Snooker with a 73 win against O'Sullivan in the final, ending the latter's run of five consecutive wins in the tournament.

He reached the semi-finals of the first ranking tournament, the Shanghai Masters, before losing 56 against Liang Wenbo. This would be his only run to the semi-finals or better in a ranking tournament that season. In the UK Championship, as the defending champion, he lost 59 to eventual winner Ding Junhui in the second round. After the match, Murphy complained about Ding leaving the arena too often after frames, saying "I can't believe anyone needs to go to the toilet after every single frame." He reached the quarter-finals of the Masters, where he lost 46 against Williams. In the Welsh Open and the China Open, he lost his first-round matches to Stevens and Nigel Bond, respectively. In the World Championship, he defeated Gerard Greene and Ding, but lost 1213 against Carter in the quarter-finals, despite leading 84. This was the first season in which he did not reach a final or better of a ranking tournament since the 2003/2004 season.


After three seasons ranked number three, he dropped to number seven for the 2010/2011 season. He won the Wuxi Classic, a non-ranking tournament held in China, defeating Ding 98, having recovered from 28 down. Murphy reached the semi-finals of the Paul Hunter Classic, now part of the Players Tour Championship minor-ranking series, but lost 24 against eventual winner Judd Trump. Murphy won the Brugge Open, the second European event of the Players Tour Championship, with defeating Matthew Couch 42 in the final. He reached the final of the Ruhr Championship, but lost 24 against John Higgins. Murphy finished 1st on the Players Tour Championship Order of Merit, couldn't defend his Premier League Snooker title, as he lost 17 against Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final. He then reached the semi-finals of the 2010 UK Championship, where he lost to eventual runner-up Mark Williams 89.

Murphy lost in the first round of the Masters 36 against Jamie Cope, in the second round of the German Masters 25 against Joe Swail and in the first round of the Welsh Open 04 against Matthew Stevens. Murphy then won the finals of the Players Tour Championship with a 40 victory over Martin Gould, winning his fourth ranking title. The next week Murphy also reached the final of the Championship League, but lost 13 against Matthew Stevens. Murphy reached the semi-final of the China Open, where he lost 16 against Judd Trump. Murphy's last tournament of the season was the World Championship, where he lost in the second round 1013 against Ronnie O'Sullivan.


Murphy began the 2011/2012 season ranked number seven. He could not defend his Wuxi Classic title, as he lost 36 against Ali Carter. Murphy reached the semi-finals of the Australian Goldfields Open, but lost 26 against eventual champion Stuart Bingham. At the Shanghai Masters Murphy reached the quarter-finals, but lost 45 against Mark Selby. Murphy's next tournament was the Brazil Masters, where he defeated Graeme Dott 50 in the final. Murphy also participated at the Premier League and ended the league stage with two wins and four losses. As a result, he did not advance to the play-off. Murphy then reached the quarter-finals of the UK Championship, but lost 36 against Ricky Walden. He also participated at the Players Tour Championship, where his best results came at the Warsaw Classic and the Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy, where he reached the quarter-finals, but lost 34 against Neil Robertson and 24 against Matthew Stevens respectively. He finished number 37 on the Order of Merit, and could not qualify to the Finals to defend his title.

Murphy reached his first Masters final, but lost 610 against Neil Robertson. Murphy then reached the semi-finals of the next two ranking tournaments, but lost 06 against Stephen Maguire at the German Masters, 26 against Ding Junhui at the Welsh Open. He then lost in the quarter-finals of the World Open 05 against Mark Selby. Murphy ended the season with two first round losses. He lost 25 against wild-card Lu Ning at the China Open and 810 against Jamie Jones at the World Snooker Championship.



Murphy began the 2012/2013 season ranked number six. The first tournament for Murphy was the Wuxi Classic, where he lost in the first round 15 against Ken Doherty. Murphy's next tournament was the Six-red World Championship, where he finished first in Group E with four wins out of five matches and advanced to the knock-out stage. There he defeated James Wattana, Barry Hawkins, Dominic Dale and Judd Trump to reach the final, but lost 48 against Mark Davis. He then reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Goldfields Open, but lost 45 against Peter Ebdon. Murphy gone one better in the next two ranking tournaments, as he reached the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters and the International Championship, but lost 36 against John Higgins and 59 against Neil Robertson respectively. Murphy than reached the final of the 2012 UK Championship courtesy of two tight victories. The first against teenager Luca Brecel in the quarter-finals, after Brecel twice had the chance to pot the final pink and black to win the match, then against Ali Carter in which Murphy recovered from 48 down and 032 in points behind in the deciding frame to win 98. He was ultimately defeated by good friend Mark Selby 106 in the final. He also participated at the Players Tour Championship, with his best result coming at the third English event, where he reached the semi-finals, but lost 04 against Marco Fu. He finished number 29 on the Order of Merit, and couldn't qualify to the Finals.

Murphy began the year by reaching the semi-finals at the Masters, but lost 26 against Neil Robertson. He then reached the quarter-final of the German Masters, but lost 45 against Robertson. In the first round of the 2013 World Snooker Championship, Murphy defeated Martin Gould 105 to advance to the second round, where he faced Graeme Dott, winning 1311. In the quarter-final, he faced Judd Trump in a tense match that went to a deciding frame, after Trump won five consecutive frames from 712 down to level at 1212. Trump ultimately prevailed in a nervy last frame to go through to the semi-final.


Murphy's 2013/2014 season began with a shock 15 defeat by Alex Davies in the qualifying round of the 2013 Wuxi Classic. The tournament was the first to use a new format that required top-16 players to compete in qualifiers.


Between August 2013 and January 2014, Murphy lost 3 stones (42 pounds or 19 kg) in weight, due to a new diet and fitness regime. He stated that one of his health and fitness goals was to improve his stamina and concentration at the table.

In group two of the 2014 Championship League, he made his second official maximum break in his round-robin match against Mark Davis.

In the first round of the Masters, Murphy came back from 24 behind to defeat Ding Junhui 64. He produced another comeback in the quarter-finals, where he trailed Marco Fu 14 before winning five frames in a row to clinch a 64 victory. He faced defending champion Mark Selby in the semi-finals, but lost 16.

In February 2014, while playing Jamie Jones in the last 16 of the minor-ranking Gdynia Open, Murphy made his second 147 break of the season and the third of his professional career. He went on to win the tournament, defeating Fergal O'Brien 41 in the final to capture his first title in 29 months. The following month, he defeated Selby 106 in the final of the World Open, winning the fifth ranking title of his career and his first ranking title in three years.

At the World Championship, Murphy defeated Jamie Cope 109 and Marco Fu 138 to reach the quarter-finals, where he faced defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan. Although Murphy won the first two frames and left O'Sullivan requiring three snookers in the third frame, O'Sullivan ultimately made the score 21 then won 12 of the next 13 to defeat Murphy 133 with a session to spare.



In October 2014, he won the Bulgarian Open defeating Martin Gould 42 in the final. Two weeks later he reached the final of the General Cup but lost 67 against Ali Carter. In November, he won the Ruhr Open beating Robert Milkins 40 in the final. In the second frame of the final he achieved the fourth maximum break of his career after missing out on the maximum on two previous occasions during that day, in matches against Joe Swail where Murphy made a break of 129 before missing the blue ball and in a match against Mark Williams with the break ending on the green ball and thus 122. In 2014, Shaun Murphy became the first player to make three maximums in a calendar year.

In January 2015, at the Masters, Murphy beat Mark Selby, Stephen Maguire and Mark Allen en route to the final against Neil Robertson. Murphy won the match 102, completing his career Triple Crown.

In the World Championship, Murphy, seeded eighth, beat Robin Hull 103, Joe Perry 135, Anthony McGill 138 and Barry Hawkins 179 to reach his third World Championship final, meeting tenth seed Stuart Bingham. In the final, despite leading 30 and 85, Murphy fell behind 1411 in the third session. Despite fighting back to level the score at 1515, Murphy lost the next three frames and the final 1815.

Personal life

Murphy was born in Harlow and grew up in Irthlingborough. He was home-schooled from age 13 after being bullied at school, and his parents split up when he was 14. He lived with his father Tony, a former professional golfer, and did not see his mother again until he was 19. During the 2007 World Championship, it was reported that he had developed a rift with his father, who was a member of the World Snooker board. He said that they had not spoken in over a year, but that he would willingly speak to his father again if the other called him.

Murphy moved to Rotherham during the 2004 season to be with his fianc?e, Clare, whom he married in July 2005. Murphy's wife filed for divorce in 2009 on the grounds of infidelity after The People newspaper published an expos? revealing he had spent the night with an escort girl he had met at a religious youth group. Murphy's then manager, Brandon Parker, issued a statement confirming that Murphy had slept with the woman but denied he had been unfaithful, stating that Murphy did not have sex with her. He also dated Claire Chorlton, who was first introduced to the viewing public backstage during the final of the 2012 UK Championship. Murphy is currently engaged to his girlfriend Elaine, after proposing marriage at a restaurant in her native Ireland during Christmas 2014, and he now lives just outside Nottingham.

Murphy has been a Christian since 15, after meeting a religious family on holiday. Murphy is well known for his charitable nature, having spent some of the summer of 2006 doing aid work in Zimbabwe with his then wife, Clare. He also donated one-tenth of his 2005 World Championship winnings to the church, and at the 2012 World Snooker Championship Murphy donated £100 to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity for every century he made.

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