This was the moment when snooker history was made – and the record still has not been broken.
Ronnie O’Sullivan at just 17-years-old won a thrilling UK Championship final to beat Stephen Hendry and lift the prestigious trophy – becoming snooker’s youngest ever ranking title winner.
That unforgettable moment in November 1993 proved the start of a sensational career for O’Sullivan who today is still the man to beat after winning two ranking titles almost 25 years later.
In his own words from his first autobiography ‘Ronnie’, O’Sullivan said: “I had beaten Stephen 10-6 and won seventy grand. A week short of my 18th birthday and I had seventy grand.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was buzzing and I just thought, I want more of this: that brilliant feeling of a packed house, sweating with tension and nearly everyone rooting for me.
“I’d beaten Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry in one tournament, the two greatest players in snooker history and I was in a state of blissful shock. I’d even trimmed nine months off Stephen Hendry’s record to become the youngest winner of a ranking tournament.
“Suddenly I was back page news in the newspapers. Every profile seemed to start with my vital statistics – first century at 10, first 147 at 15, 38 matches unbeaten etc. It was only when I read it like that I began to have any sense of what I’d achieved.
“The snooker commentator Clive Everton wrote an article in which he talked about my ‘confidence, fluency, and fearlessness’ and said that I was a model of dedication to my sport. I was well chuffed although I wasn’t sure how true it was.”
Since then O’Sullivan’s record in snooker’s majors has been nothing short of superb – five UK championship titles (including his 1993 triumph), four World Championships, and seven-times Masters winner.
Last week saw China’s Yan Bingtao have the chance to beat O’Sullivan’s record but he fell agonisingly one frame short losing the Northern Ireland Open final 9-8 to Mark Williams.
O’Sullivan begins his bid for a sixth UK Championship title when he takes on teenager Jackson Page of Wales later today (Thursday).