Every year from mid-April to early May, the World Snooker Championship comes to Sheffield as it has done every year since 1977 when the wife of Mike Watterson watched a theatre production at the Crucible and told him that she has found him the perfect venue for the World Snooker Championship.
Its importance to Sheffield is that it gets the city buzzing for 17 days each year, in partnership with Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Theatres.
It’s importance to Yorkshire is that if it ever moved away from Sheffield, I don’t think it would have the same buzz as it’s the spiritual home of the World Championship, and Yorkshire needs it to stay as it attracts capacity crowds each day.
Why it’s important to me is that I love the World Championship as it’s the biggest event on the snooker calendar, and it also means that I can try and replicate the matches on my small snooker table at home. I also like the fact that they a World Disability Day each year too, where disabled snooker players can go into the Winter Gardens and have a go at challenges on the CueZone table. The only sad thing for me is that even though 17 days seems like a long time, they go too quick and before I know it the tournament is over for another year.
There have been lots of winners of the event which actually started in 1927 but not at the Crucible til 1977 and there have been quite a number of different players who have won it:
Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan 7 times
Steve Davis and Ray Reardon 6 times
Mark Selby , John Higgins 4 times
Mark Williams, John Spencer 3 times
Ken Doherty, Shaun Murphy, Stuart Bingham, Judd Trump , Neil Robertson, Peter Ebdon, Graeme Dott 1 time