4.5.09

JOHN HIGGINS: WORLD CHAMPION

Before marriage, before fatherhood, before the stresses of everyday adult life became a reality, John Higgins was world champion.

He won the title for the first time on May 4, 1998, 11 years ago to this night.

It took him nine years to win it for a second time but only two more to win it for a third.

He could have lost in the second round when he trailed Jamie Cope 12-10, but brought his exceptional poise under pressure to the fore to fight through in a decider.

He could have lost in the quarter-finals but again survived a deciding frame finish to see off Mark Selby.

He played superbly in pulling away early against Mark Allen and demonstrated his superior all round game in exposing Murphy’s weaknesses in the final.

Higgins joins Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan in capturing at least three Crucible crowns. In the modern era, only Ray Reardon and John Spencer have also accomplished this feat.

On any roll of honour bearing the names of snooker’s all time greats, he would have earned a place before today.

But, were there any doubt, John Higgins tonight joined the pantheon of green baize legends.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

scotland has had the best champions over the last 20 years.

well done higgy
mon the hoops

dzierzgul said...

Congratulations, John! It's a magnificent achievement and it couldn't happen to a more worthy player!

Jenna said...

Was a great performance from what I saw of him over the last 2 weeks. Well done to him for winningh it three times now, also quite interesting that his first time was 11 years ago! So obviously he has the quality and durability.

Should have said this before but May the 4th be with him!

Jenna x

Isak said...

Well said Jenna! and happy star wars day :P
Higgins was the man for this tournament, although Selby was my favorite... I hope the World Champs will just keep getting better :P

Anonymous said...

Well done John great win. Great scenes at the end with you're wonderful family.

Ruthie said...

Well done, John! I think he showed excellence in every possible aspect of the game over the course of the tournament (including dealing with unexpected breaks...) Would have loved to see a new name on the trophy. Just wish there were more tournaments next season so Allen, Robertson, Cope, Selby, and the other stars of the tournament could have a chance to develop real rivalries.

Anonymous said...

He was the best player of the tournament and thoroughly deserved to win. After beating Cope and Selby it would've been a travesty if he hadn't won and I'm sure those two can now take their defeats as positives.

Great tournament, not a great final but Murphy was always going to be found out by Higgins superior tactical game.

Jenna said...

Yes Isak I had forgotten it was star wars day til I read Daves post about it being the 4th! Must be Higgins lucky day since he won it before on that day!

Jenna x

Anonymous said...

yeah but he used the force well, didnt he Gemma?

Anonymous said...

Well deserved. Always thought that he should have won many more great chances in 2000/2001 spring to mind. However 2 in the last 3 years has changed that and if there was the slightest doubt in anyones mind of whether he was one of the all time greats, tonight and the last fortnight as a whole has certianly put pay to that.

Well Done John.

Let's get the boys on the baize! Yaaay! Woohoo! said...

Not seen much of this tournament having been out of the country. But caught the end of the final. Well played Higgins! It's well known that he's a cut above most of the others and he showed his class today.

On another note, funny that Clive Everton ended up commentating on one of the highlights of the tournament, Hendry's 147, especially as the BBC forced him to the sidelines. It was Clive and Virgo as well for the Ali Carter 147 last year as well wasn't it?

Anyway congrats to Higgins!

S Brennan said...

Well done John a very worthy champion.It was a very good tournament this year and the television coverage on British Eurosport and the BBC was excellent

Jenna said...

Dunno about the previous matches in other years but most of the players are so good it should be exciting watching in future!

Jenna x

Jenna said...

What do you mean BBC forced him to the side? He was sat on that chair talking about nearly falling and pulling one of the other guys tie, cant remember who it was now.

Oh and funny name! I like that Rob Walker hes such a nutter but in a good way.

Jenna x

Anonymous said...

Gemma - It means he didnt move aside by his own will.

Demon Potter said...

Higgins thoroughly deserved it, but why oh why was Ken Doherty commentating on the final? The man is dullness personified...

Anonymous said...

i think ken is a much better commentator than clive

you may not agree, but i am entitled to opinion and thats mine

i am glad he was doing the final

Let's get the boys on the baize! Yaaay! Woohoo! said...

Hi Jenna, don't know how much you follow snooker but Clive Everton has been commentating on the sport for donkeys years and to me is one of the best in the business. The BBC basically forced him out of their main circle of commentators, so rather than commentate on the final as he usually does, he only commentated up to the quarters (I think).

Some people, myself included, thought this was a stupid decision but for whatever reason, the BBC prefer to have ex-players in the box rather than someone who is clearly more proficient in the role.

As for him being included in various pre-recorded pieces, it means nothing. They often have random journalists talking about what the reaction is in China to Ding's win etc.

I thought Rob Walker was a bit too much at first but I've started to warm to the nutter, as you put it! He does try to add some excitement, even if he overdoes it at times.

Jenna said...

Ok cool thanks for the info!

Jenna x

Let's get the boys on the baize! Yaaay! Woohoo! said...

Fair enough Anon 10.35.

I think Ken is ok, he has a long way to go though. But I still think Clive is the best of the lot. Willie Thorne is so annoying and Virgo so dull so don't understand why Clive was dropped. And that's before I get onto Dennis "Golf" Taylor. Never mind now it's too late to complain seeing as nothing will be done about it.

Jenna said...

I like Ken but maybe thats coz I like his accent. Think Clive sounds a bit boring compared to the others but thats just my opinion. He seems to know a lot but hes got the kind of voice that you tend to ignore. But I just asked my dad and he said the best ones are the ones you dont notice. I dunno.

Past my bedtime anyway now so thanks everyone for the chats the past few days! Even you mickey takers!

Jenna xxxx

Jenna said...

Nite nite all.


jemma xxxxx

Anonymous said...

"But I just asked my dad and he said the best ones are the ones you dont notice"

In the commentary box today is Mr Invisable lol.

Anonymous said...

Aye we can see straight thru him

Betty Logan said...

Five years ago it was starting to look like he'd missed the boat. He'd gone almost three years without winning a ranker, and now he's won two world championships. If anything it just goes to show how far the standard has dropped; he was playing better snooker 5/6 years ago and it wasn't getting him anything.

Tom said...

Standards dropped!? You haven't been watching much snooker lately have you!!
Higgins has been class and he wasn't playing anywhere near the standard he produced over the past two weeks 5/6 years ago!

Anonymous said...

Standards dropped you having a laugh Betty, how many century's were made this year, the standard has got so high today it's unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last two comments; ok the pockets this fortnight seemed to be playing easier but the standard had definatly improved.

5/6 years ago was Higgins at his weakest, barring the odd result, he barely featured in the latter stages of tournaments however now he appears to have his confidence back and his playing the best stuff of his career, he may miss the odd shot but his safety and all round play is so much better

Matt said...

Just got back from Sheffield, well done to John Higgins, sheer class once again. Final was a bit of an anti-climax but I'm sure that he won't mind about that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Matt hope you enjoyed you're day at the crucible. Feel a bit sorry for you being a bit short changed with the final session, but at least you was there i suppose.

Matt said...

Yeah, to be fair I knew the risk when booking the ticket but I'm not too bothered really, I wanted to be there to see the trophy being lifted and there is always something special in the air on final night. Got some cracking photos too so it could have been worse.

The six reds exhibition afterwards wasn't the best thing I've ever seen but it was something to watch I guess. Parrott/Holt vs Doherty/Knowles, won 2-1 by the latter fwiw.

Monique said...

All praise John Higgins. A great win for a great person!

legoland from TFS said...

Is Higgins on the brink of out-totalling Ronnie on ranking title wins? If so that is fantastic. They both have 3 WC wins and now it looks like Higgins can overtake Ronnies total soon. I think that adds fuel to the debate about "nobody dominating the game, but Ronnie being a class above everyone". To me that seems like Ronnie fans not actually paying attention to how close a race it is to titles. Of course you can say that Ronnie has more 147s or that he plays left handed, or that he can play faster than Higgins, but that means absolutely nothing WRT winning titles which is how players are ultimately measured when experts look back on their careers.

(experts dont look back at Jimmy white saying he was the best, because as titles prove, he certainly wasnt) * opinions arent hard facts of who is the best when you actually have something to compare, - titles.

Still, they have a long way to catch Hendry in that respect...

Black_cat from TSF said...

Legoland,Higgins has 20 rankers, Ronnie has 21. According to World Snooker website stats and I counted his 2009 WC win, too.
So they are close, indeed. But Higgins is not "on the brink of" surpassing Ronnie's ranker tally.

jamie said...

A couple of times in commentary it came up as to where you would rank Higgins in a list of all time greats. I was wondering where people would particularly Dave who has done some good top tens on here, but has yet to do an all time top ten. I admit not easy comparing era to era, but with little snooker to talk about for the next few months you have the time now Dave!

Twister said...

Well done John a fantastic all round player who if he had not gone off the boil a while back would of won more events than he already has done.

and in trying to promote snooker further with the world series events he is trying to help the sport keep on some sort of even keel.

good on him

Dave H said...

As it stands now I'd put Higgins fourth behind 1) Hendry, 2) Davis and 3) O'Sullivan

legoland from TFS said...

being one behind is "on the brink" as far as i am concerned. two more and he will be in front. that is what on the brink means the last i knew... on the brink - ready to, nearly there...

legoland from TFS said...

Ive just looked the meaning up:

very near
on the point of

Seems to me i was correct.

Anonymous said...

Keep playing with you're prick's lego.

loadsoflego said...

jealous?

Andrew said...

The trouble with saying "Higgins is on the brink of overtaking O'Sullivan" is it suggests that he's been gradually catching him up all along - whereas in fact if you go back ten years, Higgins had won 11 ranking events to O'Sullivan's 6.

lego said...

it doesnt suggest that at all.

if it suggests that to you, you dont know what the phrase means either.

it is a statement regarding the present. it doesnt mention the past or suggest anything about it.

Anonymous said...

Lego gee over man you have some fetish with O'Sulivan.

dzierzgul said...

Apart from who's trying to catch whom; just after the final match ended camera spotted Ray Reardon and he a) wasn't clapping his hands and b) didn't join the standing ovation for Higgins. Now, Reardon of course coached Murphy so it's understandable that he wasn't exactly overwhelmed with joy, but still he should have shown appreciation for new world champion. I hope that he was just spotted in an unfortunate moment and that he was applauding Higgins with the rest of the crowd, but somehow it still bothers me. I've always considered Reardon a very decent and fair player. It would be a terrible shame if he really refused to honor Higgins.

legoman said...

dzierzgul - is there any footage available online of this? id like to see it.

Anonymous said...

Lego loves Ronnie 4 eva IDST.

dzierzgul said...

dunno, I was watching Eurosport International so I guess you can try to look for Reardon on some youtube videos of Higgins' winning moments and post-match ceremony (though at the moment they've rather bad quality). It was just a brief moment so maybe he was applauding after all but the camera just spotted him in an unfortunate moment. I was just hoping that maybe someone on this forum has been sitting next to him :-)

Anonymous said...

I can't see Ray being
disrespectful to a great champion Higgin's is.

Anonymous said...

dzierzgul when did Ray coach Murphy?

dzierzgul said...

to 5.03 poster: Wikipedia says that Murphy received some tactical guidance from Dracula and I'm sure I've also heard it someplace else. So not exactly coaching but Reardon is/has been a part of Team Murphy.

Anonymous said...

Reardon gave him some tactical tip's hardly coaching is it. You did write, Now Reardon of course coached Murphy, when the truth is told he has'nt. Steve Prest has coached Murphy and so has Joe Johnson.