Back in 2019, Judd Trump was the last player to become a first-time winner of the snooker World Championship and with the blue riband event fast approaching at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield this year, we take a look at the youngest winners of the sports biggest prize during the modern era.
1. Stephen Hendry (21 years, 106 days)
The legendary Scot is one of snooker greatest ever players, the seven-time winner first tasted glory in Sheffield in 1990 beating old foe Jimmy White 18-12 in the decider.
A pioneer in the game with his heavy scoring and immaculate break building, Hendry bust onto the scene in the nineties and dominated the green baize for a number of years.
Now a popular commentator and pundit, the 54-year-old recently flirted with the idea of a return to the professional game.
2. Shaun Murphy (22 years old)
Shaun ‘The Magician’ Murphy remains one of snooker’s elite but made his name back in 2005 when landing the biggest prize of them all when still very young at just 22.
Remarkably, Murphy started the season ranked number 48 in the world and his success in Sheffield was a huge shock at the time after he had to come through the qualifiers to even reach the Crucible.
His pre-tournament odds were around 150/1 but his deadly long potting and attacking style surprised many – he has since established himself as one of the top players in the world and has returned a brilliant return to form in recent months.
3. John Higgins (23 years old)
Four-time Crucible king John Higgins is renowned as one of the greatest ever snooker players and widely regarded as the strongest match player to hold a cue.
The ‘Wizard of Wishaw’ has produced countless vital clearances and shown a remarkable amount of bottle and composure throughout his long and illustrious career.
One of the infamous ‘Class of 1992’, alongside Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams, Higgins turned pro in 1992 but didn’t land the biggest prize until 1998, beating defending champion Ken Doherty 18-12 in the final.
4. Steve Davis (23 years old)
Romford’s Steve ‘The Nugget’ Davis is a six-time winner of the World Championship – with all six titles during a dominant 1980s.
Having impressed during a run to the quarter finals in 1980, Davis went all the way a year later. Seeded 13th in the world, Davis beat a number of star names on his way to his first Crucible crown – Jimmy White, Alex Higgins, Terry Griffiths and Cliff Thornburn – before a 18-12 victory over Doug Mountjoy in the final.
Davis now an integral part of the BBC broadcasting team, retired from professional play in 2016 aged 58.
5. Mark Williams (25 years old)
A second entry in the top five youngest Crucible champions from the ‘Class of 1992’, the Welshman is a three-time world champion and regarded as one of the best single-ball potters the game as ever seen.
Currently ranked at number eight in the world, he remains a force, with his most recent ranking title the 2012 British Open.
The talented left-hander first tasted success in Sheffield in 2000 coming through a thrilling final with fellow Welshman Matthew Stevens 18-16.