The King returns to the Crucible

Following the announcements made yesterday regarding Stephen Hendry’s commitment to play in the Seniors tour, here is what the Yorkshire Evening Post wrote about it:

Crucible legend Hendry will make playing return in Sheffield as he joins Seniors

Henfry, King of the Crucible

Tour Stephen Hendry who dominated snooker in the Nineties.

RICHARD HERCOCK  Published: 22:27 Thursday 12 July 2018

Stephen Hendry is set for an emotional playing return at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre. The 49-year-old retired from snooker in 2012 after a glittering career, which included a record seven World Championship titles and 27 consecutive appearances in Sheffield. But the Scot has signed up to play on this season’s World Seniors Tour.

Hendry will compete at the UK Championship, at Hull’s Bonus Arena, on October 24-25 before travelling to Belfast for the World Seniors Six Reds event in March. But it is his return to the Crucible – for the Sheffield Masters next April – that will evoke memories of his golden years at the home of snooker.

Hendry dominated the snooker circuit in the Nineties, and admitted: “There’s no venue where I love playing snooker more than the Crucible. “We have done exhibitions there over the years, and to still walk down those stairs into that arena to play snooker is still something special. That’s something that will never leave me.”

Hendry, who will also compete at the World Seniors Championships and European Seniors Open, is excited at the new Seniors Tour. “I want to improve on my general standards of play, from the events that I played last year,” he said. “It’s more official this year, with the backing of World Snooker and a calendar of events to look forward to. “I will treat it a bit more seriously, put a bit more practice in. As for my own expectations, I just want to play some good snooker.”

The Tour has £200k in prize money this season, six ranking events and 15 qualifying events where anyone over 40 can win a spot to take on the legends in the final stages. qualifying events will be held in Hong Kong, Toronto, Houston, Brugge and China.

First up for Hendry is a trip to Hull, which will also include a launch dinner and golf day, alongside fellow stars Ken Doherty, Dennis Taylor, John Parrott and Yorkshire’s Joe Johnson. Up for grabs is a £10,000 winner’s prize plus a place in the World Professional Championship Qualifiers. “The new Bonus Arena in Hull looks amazing,” said Hendry. “This year the Seniors Tour feels more serious and I’m looking forward to competing again against the other legends.”

And you can also listen to the interview I did with Stephen yesterday. Thanks to him for taking the time to answer my questions, and thanks to Jason Francis who relayed them to him and recorder the interview.

An exclusive interview with Stephen Hendry

Stephen Hendry is fully embracing the World Seniors Tour – he was today confirmed to play in the World Seniors UK Championship next October – and he very kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me. Many thanks to Jason Francis who relayed those questions to him and recorded the interview. Here it is:

And here is Stephen doing some filming today for the World Seniors Tour promotion.

New eyes, new hopes for Willie Thorne

Willie Thorne on twitter has vowed to play on the Seniors Tour this season after undergoing lens replacement surgery in Bristol. After struggling with poor sight for years, the legendary snooker player and commentator is finally enjoying clearer vision as the surgery was succesful.

In the previous season Willie had entered some Seniors events but it was obvious how badly he was struggling. Hopefully the surgery will make a telling difference and allow him to compete properly and enjoy his snooker again.

All the best Willie!

You can read more about it here

 

Brilliant David Lilley

David Lilley is a World Seniors Tour player, he’s never been a professional. Last season he qualified for the Seniors World Championship. Then he went on to play in the Q-School and finished on top of the Order of Merit. This makes him eligible to compete on the Challenge Tour as well as on Seniors Tour. It also earns him invitations to Main Tour events, should some pros not enter.

David just got, and accepted, two such invitations. This last week he’s played in the Riga Masters Qualifiers and in the World Open Qualifiers and he won both matches. He beat Hammad Miah by 4-2 in the Riga Masters Qualifiers, scoring 118, 112 and 95 on his way, and he beat Li Hang by 5-4 in the World Open Qualifiers, this time with a 93. Li Hang is currently ranked n° 36 in the World, certainly no “numpty” …

David is currently joint first on the Main Tour one year list, has earned himself £5500 in a single week and is Latvia and China bound.

DavidLilleyWinning

#DareToDream