A ‘very emotional’ Ken Doherty received a special award last night after he was inducted in Ireland’s national broadcaster’s Hall of Fame of sporting stars.
The 1997 world champion, who is still competing on the word stage more than 20 years later, was placed into RTE’s hall of fame list at a glitzy RTE Sports Awards ceremony held on Saturday night.
The Darlin’ of Dublin as he is known around the world, Doherty received many glowing tributes from legends and current masters of the game from the likes of Steve Davis and Ronnie O’Sullivan. A video played before Doherty collected the award recalled the moment the Irishman won the World Championship 20 years ago after beating Stephen Hendry in the final.
It also played video clips of Doherty’s fabulous homecoming in Dublin where he received a heroes welcome just days after winning the world title.
Doherty dedicated the award to his late mum who passed away on Mother’s Day this year.
When receiving the award Doherty said: “Like everybody in the room we all play the sport because we love it and grew up of images of past champions such as Dennis Taylor, Alex Higgins and they were the inspiration for me to take up the game and emulate what they had achieved.
“So to do that and to win it (the World Championship) is just like every birthday and every dream came true on that particular day. It’s one of the greatest days of my life.
“(Stephen Hendry) won it five years previous and was going for six in a row so it was a fantastic night.
“(The homecoming) was a great day for my mum and we lost her this year so I think I will dedicate this (award) to her.
“I lost her on Mothers Day and she never wanted me to play snooker, she couldn’t watch me (play) live at all – it was only if I won or it was recorded she would watch it. She used to say to me ‘will you ever get a real job and give up that game’ but anyway this is for you mum.”