1. Ronnie O’Sullivan

Ronald Antonio “Ronnie” O’Sullivan is arguably the most successful player in the history of snooker. Born in Wordsley, England, on December 5, 1975, he is the reigning snooker world champion as of this writing. According to the world ranking system utilised by the sport, O’Sullivan currently sits as the “world number one” player. Therefore, we believe it is only fitting that he also claims the top spot on this list.

Nicknamed “The Rocket,” Ronnie had his first game experience on the snooker table at the tender age of seven. He was already competing with other amateur players at age nine and later turned pro in 1992 when he was only 16. Ronnie got his first-ever highest-pro break at the 1997 Embassy World Championship. But before that, he had already won his professional game just a year after turning pro, giving him the world record of the youngest player to win a ranking title at 17. Ronnie also holds the record for the youngest player to win the Masters, which he accomplished at 19.

The Rocket won his first world final in 2001, defeating another legend, John Higgins. He won his third UK title that same year. It was what cemented him into the list of greats. His career continued as he broke more records and defeated even more snooker stars, such as Ali Carter, Barry Hawkins, Mark Selby, and Kyren Wilson. In the last World Championship final in 2022, O’Sullivan beat Judd Trump, underlining his position as the greatest snooker player.

Ronnie also shares the record for the greatest number of appearances at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. He currently holds the record for the oldest world champion when he won his 7th world title in 2022 at 46.

The talented Ronnie O’Sullivan has more ranking titles than any other snooker player. He has more Triple Crowns, as well, and has gathered more 147s and centuries than anyone – and that’s why he deserves the number one spot.

2. Stephen Hendry

Here comes the tricky part: determining the succeeding players in the ranking. Nevertheless, we’re giving this spot to Stephen Hendry. He received his first World Championship in 1990 when he was only 21, making him the youngest receiver of the title. Stephen Hendry topped the world rankings for a total of eight seasons consecutively. He also garnered seven world title wins six Masters, and five UK Championships.

Stephen Gordon Hendry was born on January 13, 1969. He is a Scottish snooker player and works as a commentator for ITV and BBC. It was not long before Stephen started playing on snooker tables when he was 12. About four years later, he was the youngest snooker player to win the Scottish Professional Championship in the 1985-86 season. However, in the 1989-90 season, he showed his dominance in the sport. He won the UK Championship and obtained his second Master’s title whilst also gaining his first world title.

Stephen was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1994. This was also the season when he won his third UK Championship. Hendry was indeed unstoppable, winning all three Triple Crown events in the 1995-96 season. Before he retired in 2012, he won his 27th world title.

Stephen’s joint record of world titles, including five that he won consecutively, was achieved from 1990 to 1999. This record is still the benchmark today. Although he did retire, he returned to the game in the 2021-22 season.

3. Steve Davis

It was the 1980s, and everyone who loved table games like snooker tuned in to watch the man-to-beat, Steve Davis himself. Although he has since retired, Davis has left an indelible mark. He won eight World Championship finals and six world titles. He remained at the top of the world ranking for seven consecutive seasons.

Steve Davis was born in 1957 in Plumstead, London, England. He learnt about snooker when he was 12, thanks to his father, who gave him a snooker instructional book. This book was where Davis based most of his techniques in the 1970s, allowing him to navigate through snooker tables even before his prime. When he was 18, Steve started playing against professional players like Alex Higgins and Ray Reardon. He later earned the nickname Nugget because people who bet on him would always win.

His success came in 1980 when he reached the quarter-finals of the 1980 World Snooker Championship. Although he did not win the title, he was a talent to watch out for. He had more wins later, but he also lost some games. However, he dominated the scene for 18 months until the 1982 World Snooker Championship, where he lost to Tony Knowles in the first round. Even though he was unsuccessful, he was anointed the world number one when the season finished.

Davis made his 30th Crucible appearance in 2010 when he was 52 and defeated John Higgins, the reigning world champion at that time. Steve Davis is the only snooker player to receive the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

By Azan

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