Snooker World Championship Winners List

Only the best players on the planet can join the illustrious World Snooker Champions list. Here, w look at the Snooker World Championship winners…
・The World Snooker Championship was first played in 1927
・Joe Davis is the most successful player in World Snooker Championship history with 15 titles
・Thirteen players have won the tournament more than once, including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby and Stephen Hendry

The World Championships is the pinnacle of snooker. Only the best retain snooker betting favourites status at the season’s biggest event for a prolonged period. Success elsewhere is impressive, of course, but winning world titles is what secures a snooker player’s legacy. While the snooker world rankings give an indication of the world’s top players at any given moment, it is the World Championship which is remembered. Nothing can rival the glory, the honour, of being world champion.

It’s the event snooker fans look forward to more than any other. The best snooker World Championship finals have attracted tens of millions of viewers for final frame showdowns and dramatic comebacks. In this article, we’re taking a look back at the previous snooker world champions, the history of the event and everything else you need to know.

World Snooker Championship History
First played back in 1927, the World Championship has a long, rich history. Joe Davis was the king of the tournament in the early years, winning the first 15 editions before his retirement in 1946. Davis’ final title came just after a break for the Second World War. The World Championship took another hiatus – this time a decade long – a few years later following a dispute between governing bodies. An unofficial Match-Play championship was played briefly during the 1950s, before it returned in 1964. Five years later, it returned to the knockout format and this is when snooker’s ‘modern era’ began.

The World Championship has been the third of the Triple Crown events since the late 1970s along with the UK Championships and the Masters. Joe Davis’ 15 titles make him by far the most successful player ever. Fred Davis and John Pulman finished their careers with eight titles apiece. Most records, however, refer to the modern era and the knockout format. This has been in place since 1969, with Stephen Hendry’s seven titles making him the most successful player in this period. Ray Reardon, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Steve Davis trail Hendry on six titles each. The World Championships has also played its part in the introduction of female snooker referees. Michaela Tabb became the first woman to referee a World Championship final in 2009.

Snooker World Championship Location
Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre is synonymous with the World Championships. That hasn’t always been the case, however. The event bounced around, with no permanent home, for much of its history. Camkin’s Hall in Birmingham hosted the first two tournaments, before Lounge Hall and Thurston’s Hall in Nottingham and London respectively alternated over the next four years. The World Championships was hosted at the Joe Davis Centre in 1933. Then it was several years at Thurston’s Hall until the stoppage for the Second World War. Between 1946 and the stoppage at the end of the 1950s, the event once again jumped around the country.

The Royal Horticultural Hall and Leicester Square Hall allowed the World Championships to take place in London, while Tower Circus in Blackpool and Houldsworth Hall in Manchester saw the tournament played in the northwest. Following its resumption in 1964, the World Championships continued to move around until it settled at the Crucible in 1977. South Africa hosted the tournament in 1965, and John Spencer won in Sydney in 1971. Ray Reardon’s fourth title was achieved in Melbourne. The Crucible has been the home of the World Championships since 1977. The theatre has a capacity of 980 and underwent a £15 million refurbishment between 2007 and 2009.

Snooker World Champions Prize Money
The World Championships is snooker’s most lucrative tournament. The total prize money for the 2020 tournament was just under £2.4 million, which is more than the next two-highest paying events combined. A useful half a million went to the winner in 2020. For reference, the UK Championships winner received a measly £200,000, the same as the runner-up at the World Championships. It’s not just prestige which makes the World Championships the headline event on the snooker calendar – it’s by far the biggest payday for snooker stars, too.

Snooker World Champions
・1927 – Joe Davis
・1928 – Joe Davis
・1929 – Joe Davis
・1930 – Joe Davis
・1931 – Joe Davis
・1932 – Joe Davis
・1933 – Joe Davis
・1934 – Joe Davis
・1935 – Joe Davis
・1936 – Joe Davis
・1937 – Joe Davis
・1938 – Joe Davis
・1939 – Joe Davis
・1940 – Joe Davis
・1941-1945 – No Tournament
・1946 – Joe Davis
・1947 – Walter Donaldson
・1948 – Fred Davis
・1949 – Fred Davis
・1950 – Walter Donaldson
・1951 – Fred Davis
・1952 – Horace Lindrum
・1952 – Fred Davis
・1953 – Fred Davis
・1954 – Fred Davis
・1955 – Fred Davis
・1956 – Fred Davis
・1957 – John Pulman
・1958-1963 – No Tournament
・1964 – John Pulman
・1964 – John Pulman
・1965 – John Pulman
・1965 – John Pulman
・1965 – John Pulman
・1966 – John Pulman
・1968 – John Pulman
・1969 – John Spencer
・1970 – Ray Reardon
・1971 – John Spencer
・1972 – Alex Higgins
・1973 – Ray Reardon
・1974 – Ray Reardon
・1975 – Ray Reardon
・1976 – Ray Reardon
・1977 – John Spencer
・1978 – Ray Reardon
・1979 – Terry Griffiths
・1980 – Cliff Thorburn
・1981 – Steve Davis
・1982 – Alex Higgins
・1983 – Steve Davis
・1984 – Steve Davis
・1985 – Dennis Taylor
・1986 – Joe Johnson
・1987 – Steve Davis
・1988 – Steve Davis
・1989 – Steve Davis
・1990 – Stephen Hendry
・1991 – John Parrott
・1992 – Stephen Hendry
・1993 – Stephen Hendry
・1994 – Stephen Hendry
・1995 – Stephen Hendry
・1996 – Stephen Hendry
・1997 – Ken Doherty
・1998 – John Higgins
・1999 – Stephen Hendry
・2000 – Mark Williams
・2001 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
・2002 – Peter Ebdon
・2003 – Mark Williams
・2004 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
・2005 – Shaun Murphy
・2006 – Graeme Dott
・2007 – John Higgins
・2008 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
・2009 – John Higgins
・2010 – Neil Robertson
・2011 – John Higgins
・2012 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
・2013 – Ronnie O’Sullivan
・2014 – Mark Selby
・2015 – Stuart Bingham
・2016 – Mark Selby
・2017 – Mark Selby
・2018 – Mark Williams
・2019 – Judd Trump
・2020 – Ronnie O’Sullivan