Shaun Murphy’s capture of the 2005 World Championship came out of the blue.

Murphy had been earmarked as ‘one to watch’ for a number of years, which is usually a poisoned chalice because if results don’t come quickly it gives people the chance to say ‘he’s not as good as they say.’

Well, Murphy proved he was as good as had been suggested.

He had to qualify for the Crucible in 2005. Indeed, he nearly missed out, scraping past Joe Swail 10-8 to reach Sheffield for a third time.

On his first appearance three years earlier he had drawn Stephen Hendry. After losing, he came into the small press conference room to face the assembled media. This can be a forbidding experience for even hardened competitors let alone rookies.

But Murphy took it all in his stride. His self confidence has never been lacking and he spoke of how he wanted to be remembered in the same breath as Hendry and Steve Davis.

A year later, Ken Doherty beat him 10-9 on the black. In 2004, Murphy reached the British Open semi-finals but this hardly pointed to his extraordinary success at the Crucible a few months later.

In the first round he drew Chris Small, by then seriously afflicted by a disease of the spine. Murphy came through before knocking out John Higgins in the second round and thus proving he could handle the game’s big names on its biggest stage.

Davis fell in the quarter-finals and Peter Ebdon provided a stern test in the semis but Murphy won all five frames of the final session to beat him 17-12.

Matthew Stevens held the clear advantage after day one of the final but Murphy, whose rock solid technique is allied to a similarly fierce temperament, never gave up and won 12 of the final day’s 18 frames to win 18-16 and, at just 22, achieve a lifetime’s ambition.

Murphy became the first qualifier since Terry Griffiths in 1979 to win the world title.

His was the last victory under Embassy’s sponsorship and seemed to indicate the end of one era and the start of another.

It hasn’t quite turned out that way but Murphy, firmly ensconced in the world’s top four, is well placed at the age of 27 to achieve plenty more success in the years to come.

He added the UK Championship trophy to his haul of silverware last season and has also won two Malta Cups.

He was in the world final against last season and I would personally be surprised if he didn’t win it again.


Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hello Dave
It is very thoughtful and generous of you giving us reminders of young Mr Murphy past accomplishments in the game. Long may it continue Dave; but with lesser known names also given a chance to display a logo.

The days of big endorsements are gone Dave, but you are opening the door to possible a new style of advertising for local businesses from the televised venue.

Your enterprise Dave will create a new incentive for youngsters to qualify. A few bob from the local; Butcher Baker Candle stick maker for displaying a logo could take the pressure off the house hold budget.

A word of advice for Young Mr Murphy. Try smiling lad when you are NOT told to. There’s a lot of nice people out there Shaun.
Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

Excellent player Murphy and a certainty for further big prizes in my view.

What I just cannot stomach is a religious man endorsing gambling firms on his waistcoat for a quick buck. Really bizarre. Ho hum.

Keep up the good work Dave, really enjoying the blog at the moment.

Anonymous said...

12-19 seems to be just posting to create a reaction.

shaun is an excellent player to watch

not everyones cup of water..

jamie brannon said...

I think Murphy was a fearless long potter when he won, but has become a more rounded player as the years have progressed. I think he could win a second world title but I would not be that surprised if he didnt as he has never struck me as being a multiple world champion in the vain of Williams, Higgins and Ronnie. Out the current crop I still feel Ding and maybe Selby if he can get that first win soon could be.

Anonymous said...

How does Mr Hey you manage to up his quota on surrealism with every post? This guy is a genius, I'm sold!

Anonymous said...

Murphy's brain isn't all there. I don't mean that in a derogatory way but I've seen enough of him now to know that he doesn't reason with himself very well about the relative difficulty of shots and the right time to play them.

He is also for a top player very bad at cannons. More often than not he relies on power and a good split over controlled finesse.

For these reasons he will not reach the echelons of others such as Higgins and O'Sullivan in the game. In short, great cueist that he is, his game is flawed.

Anonymous said...

disagree jamie.

shaun is a good bit better than selbu IMHO and is cpable of winning a fair bit more than him during their careers too.

Anonymous said...

OK anon at 5:39pm - I will have a cyber wager with you that Selby will win more in his career than Murphy.

Selby is more than a good bit better than Shaun. Unless you're talking about a player I've not heard of called selbu in which case you're probably correct.