The 10 Greatest Snooker Players of All Time


Snooker is a cue sport that has quite an audience worldwide.

But who’s the best snooker player ever?

Let’s learn who the greatest snooker players are, their career endorsements, record scores, and other achievements.

Top 10 Greatest Snooker Players

Dennis Taylor

photo source: eurosport

Born: 19th January 1949

Country: Northern Ireland

Taylor is a former Irish professional snooker player who decided to put down the cue in 2000. But, before that, between 1972 and 2000, he contributed significantly to the game.

His most recognisable snooker achievement must be the World Championship title (1985) – by potting a long brown.

The world still remembers the intense match between Taylor and Steve Davis (the world’s No. 1 snooker player at the time). The match was carefully followed by literally 18.5m people just in the UK.

Afterwards came The Masters’ victory, which he won fair and square against Alex Higgins (1987) – Taylor’s first and last time to ever won it.

Ray Reardon

photo source: telegraph

Born: 8th October 1932

Country: Wales

The former Welsh snooker pro, called ‘Dracula’ by some, was undoubtedly the 1970s Snooker King.’

Ray has won 6 world titles at 6 (distinctive) venues. And the last of them took place at the Crucible (1978).

Here’s a short run-through of Reardon’s World Champion titles:

  • 1970 — (37-33) vs John Pullman.
  • 1973 — (38-32) against Eddie Charlton.
  • 1974 — (22-12) against Graham Miles.
  • 1975 — (31-30) vs Eddie Charlton.
  • 1976 — (27-16) against Alex Higgins.
  • 1978 — (25-18) vs Perrie Mans.

In 1988, he triumphed over Steve Davis during the British Open – which counts as one of Ray’s honourable victories.

You may also like: Famous volleyball players

Joe Davis

photo source: wstv

Born: 15th April 1901

Country: England

Joe Davis, whom the snooker world owes so much – was an English professional snooker player and one of the sport’s founders. Moreover, he also helped organise the first world snooker championship, which took place in Birmingham in 1927.

But, what’s most astonishing is J. Davis’s career. He is known as the undisputed world champion in snooker — and had the honour of keeping this title from 1927 til 1946. 

Therefore, to sum it all up: 15 world championships, 15 titles, 15 years straight – and not a single snooker match lost. Fascinating!

Throughout his illustrious career, Davis tallied impressive 689-century breaks and has set the world record for max. break of 147.

Mark Selby

Born: 19th June 1983

Country: England

Selby is another great Englishman with impeccable snooker skills. Or, according to some: he’s a versatile all-round player with no weaknesses.’

Mark started his pro career in 1999, and since then, he has acquired several champion titles. In fact, Selby is one of the six players with 4 world champion titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2021).

Talking about snooker’s top players, with twenty tournament wins, the number one position in the world rightfully belonged to Mark (2012-2018). Among other career endorsements, he showcases two UK Championships and three Masters.

Though underrated at times, Mark is the 6th player to become a double winner of the Triple Crown events.

Jimmy White

Born: 2nd May 1962

Country: England

One interesting thing about White is that he doesn’t have a world champion title among the many snooker awards he has won.

And yet, he still managed to dip his toes six times in the world champions waters – as a finalist. For a brief moment, his fans thought the 1994 World Championship finals against Steven Hendry would be THE one – unfortunately, in vain.

Among White’s titles, there’s a World Amateur Champion (1980), a Masters title (1984) and a UK Champion title (1992).

Additionally, followed by more achievements: winner of the Six-red World Championship title in 2009 and winning the World Senior Championship (2010).

Ultimately, Jimmy also became the 2nd player to score a maximum break at the World Championship.

Related: Is Snooker among the best sports to play alone?

Alex Higgins

photo source: newsletter

Born: 18th March 1949

Country: Northern Ireland

‘Hurricane’ Higgins was a professional snooker player who impacted the game tremendously.

Among other top snooker players, Alex was the first to pass qualifications successfully and won a World Championship title (1972). Before that, he won another major title – The Northern Ireland Amateur Snooker Champion (1968).

Afterwards, Higgins seemed unstoppable. He won a double Masters title (1978, 1981) and a UK Champion title (1983). The year 1984 was fruitful, too — Higgins and Jimmy White won the World Doubles Championship.

Moreover, Higgins’s fame went skyrocketing additionally by defeating Steve Davis and his mentor John Spencer at World Championships. Furthermore, he is among eleven others who have won the Snooker’s Triple Crown.

John Higgins

photo source: wikipedia

Born: 18th May 1975

Country: Scotland

In no relation to Alex H., this Scottish Wizard of Wishaw is a 4x World Champion (1998, 2007, 2009, 2011) in three distinctive decades.

Consequently, his prosperous snooker career contains 31 ranking titles that entitle him to 3rd place in the all-time list of ranking event winners.

During his professional career, he also managed to win

  • his 1st Grand Prix trophy (1994)
  • 2 Masters titles (1999 & 2006)
  • 3 UK Champion titles (1998, 2000, 2009)
  • 9 Triple Crown event victories.

Additionally, his ‘breaks compilation’ is outstanding — 900 breaks and a max. of 12 in professional event matches.

And remember that John H. is one of only five snooker players in history to win both – the World Championship and UK titles in the same year.

Steve Davis

photo source: eurosport

Born: 22nd August 1957

Country: England

Steve Davis is a former pro snooker player that’s currently a commentator. Before becoming one, he dedicated 38 (professional) years to snooker. He became World Champion six times (1981, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989).

Additionally, Davis gathered other titles like six UK Championships, fifteen Triple Crown events, and three Masters.

Steve is the only one to win three Triple Crown events in the same season (1988). Consequently, he’s also the 1st snooker pro to have a maximum break in recognised professional competition.

But Davis’s earnings are even more fascinating — he’s the first snooker pro to earn a million pounds in prize money throughout his career.

Finally, Davis’s victorious final show up at the Crucible (2010) made him the oldest quarter-finalist since 1983.

Read More: Snooker Referee Salary: How Much Do Snooker Referees Make?

Stephen Hendry

photo source: mirror

Born: 13th January 1969

Country: Scotland

Hendry is considered a ‘Golden Boy’ that dominated snooker during the 90s and is one of the greatest players in snooker’s history.

At the young age of only 21 (1990), he picked up his 1st World Championship. Plus, he went further on to win another six (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999). Additionally, he managed to stay at the no. 1 rank for nine years.

Among Stephen’s 36 rankings and 11 maximum breaks, you’ll also find 5 UK Championship titles and 6 Masters.

The six Masters he ‘mastered’ between the period of 1989-1993 and the five world championships in a row (1992-1996) are a record set in snooker’s modern days.

Ronnie O’Sullivan

photo source: belfastlive

Born: 5th December 1975

Country: England

O’Sullivan is snooker’s undefeated champion and currently the number one player worldwide.

Ronnie’s career endorsements are astonishing. He holds 7 World Championship titles (2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2020, 2022). And he’s also ‘the oldest snooker player world champion’ (age 46).

In his 30 years as a professional, he managed to get 7 UK Championships and 7 Masters titles. In addition, he is decorated with 19 Triple Crown event victories, more than any other player has won. And he’s also a record holder — the man who achieved 1.000-century breaks!

Ultimately, O’Sullivan has defeated many famous players like Hawkins, Mark Selby, K. Wilson, etc. Thus, the most honourable position on our list of the greatest snooker players ever – it’s rightfully his.

Bottom Line

The world of snooker shelter’s many legends like O’Sullivan, Alex Higgins, Hendry, Davis, and others that you can look up on our list.

Moreover, you must’ve noticed that each of our pro players has verified reasons why they deserve a place among the ten greatest snooker players. But only one can be at the top.

Therefore, the number one position belongs to Ronnie – the mesmerising snooker pro with 7 world championship titles and 19 Triple Crown events.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *