Stephen Hendry, who won a record seven world titles at the Crucible, will be among the special guests for the official re-opening of the theatre next week.

The Crucible has undergone a £15.3m redevelopment with a new stage, improved front of house facilities and remodelled bar area.

Prince Edward will officially re-open the iconic Sheffield venue, with Hendry invited as recognition of snooker's unique association with the theatre.

"The re-opening of the Crucible is a major boost for the city and the region. We are absolutely delighted to have the Earl of Wessex with us to celebrate the official re-opening. The theatre will once again be of huge benefit to the public with an excellent set of new facilities and new programme of dynamic and exciting work," said Dan Bates, chief executive of Sheffield Theatres.

Last season, a new deal was signed to keep the World Championship at the Crucible for the next five years.


Anonymous said...

well deserved being asked after being such a great "advert" for snooker through his play and behaviour over the years.

the crucible is the home of snooker to most of us and i look forward to seeing the differences this will have made, both in public and backstage.

moondan said...

Its great to see Stephen honoured in this way.
The game we see today is his game and no matter what Steve Davis would have us believe, he is the greatest player to have picked up a cue.
Steve should learn a little respect for all players, but I fear the misrepresentaion of snooker is safe in his hands.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hello Dave
It’s nice that snooker has been honoured for the Grand opening but though Stephen Hendry got the nod, I think the honour should have gone to snooker oldest Ambassador Mr Ray Reardon.

Ray now a veteran and a six times Worlds and with a few others dragged the game up from the “Back Streets” and made it a profession. Mr Hey you

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Will spectators notice a difference inside the auditorium or is it all outside the doors?

Take the press room will not have any changes?

BTW, I noticed that prior to Hearn taking over Snooker, the world snooker website was anti most other snooker tournaments. Now it is putting reports up from the Premier League snooker qualification tournament. Surely it cannot be long before he cuts the PA contract, and gets the that website re-designed. Please!

Also, is it true that world snooker are moving from Bristol to a new HQ?

Thanks, Joe

kildare cueman said...

In reply to moondan, I dont believe Davis was being disrespectful.

The point he was trying to make is that at his very best, O Sullivan plays to a level that is higher than anything played before.

Im inclined to agree. Nobody can deny that Hendry is the greatest ever. The records confirm that. His day in day out consistency was on a par with Davis, but while Davis was far superior on the safety/tactical front, Hendry redefined percentage snooker with fearless long potting and frame winning breaks.

The real difference between the two I feel was temperament. Davis could sometimes raise his game under the most extreme pressure but not always. Hendry never bottled. The more pressure that was applied, the more he slipped into a cocoon of concentration and potted everything in sight. It was only around 97 that he started to show an odd sign of human frailty.

I believe a large number of pros can, on occasion play to the standard of Hendry at his pomp. They can only do it for a few frames though, or even a match, and certainly not consistently under extreme pressure as he did for many years.

O Sullivan on the other hand,while nowhere near Davis and Hendry regarding records or consistency, has on many occasions played what can only be drscribed as sublime snooker.
When he is at his best, particularly when many balls are safe, nobody in the world can manouvre the cue ball around the table like him. His judgement of pace and angles is uncanny, and like Hendry, he has redefined percentage snooker in his specific area of expertise.

I believe its impossible, with the exception of records, to absolutely define a greatest ever. Theres just too much hypothesis.
What if Joe Davis or Ray Reardon had grown up in the modern day? What if Jimmy White never drank? What if O Sullivans head was right and Higgins or Williams hadnt turned pro.

The only yardstick that can ascertain greatness, therefore, is titles, and the battle is on between Higgins and O Sullivan to find the modern eras finest. Its unlikely that either of these great champions will emulate either Davis or Hendry when the final count is taken, partly because of todays standard, but also partly because of each others presence.

Anonymous said...

Stick to 606 Moondan this blog is for proper snooker mester's..

Anonymous said...

i totally agree with you moondan.

good refreshing pov.

moondan said...

Dave, this might not be the place so forgive me if I reply to the excellent post of Kildare Cueman.

I dont believe you can compare the last 3 decades of snooker, simply because the conditions have changed so much.
I thought the 80s table with the thicker cloth inhibited potting and positional player, not to mention the Half and full butt and no luxury of the extensions we see in the modern game.
The nineties probably saw the perfect snooker table and Hendry exploited it to the full.
Then we had the disgraceful 2000s version, where we saw balls hitting the near cushion and still dropped and the explosion in centuries had a lot to do with that.
Finer cloths have allowed the ball to slide into pockets much easier than on the thicker cloth so for me Ive never really took to Steves version of improvement.
He says that its rubbish to say different conditions are responsible for todays socalled improvement. I find that absurd.
In the next breath he will concede that todays player has never had better conditions.
I do find the guy a nightmare to listen to and I think old Ted lowe has much to answer for when he christenned Davis the professor of snooker.
I wouldnt be sending my kids to his school.
I think his continued overegging of Ronnie and John does snooker no favours and he manages that by puting down all players that came before.
A better class front man would tell the kids about the great players of the past, the problems they had with the surface they played on, but no he leaves them frustrated, and irritated by his constant nonsensical drivel.
Here is one of his many peaches,
"in my day I didnt worry too much when a player got in, I knew he would breakdown before he got to seventeen"
And heres one from just a month ago,
"Mark Williams has got to up his game to a higher level than when he won the 4 bbcs tournaments a few years back"
Truely astonishing, only Hendry and Ronnie had played to the level he produced then.
No, I love my snooker, watched it all my 65 years avidely. I know a player when I see one and could inform the kids in a manner that leaves all players with a sense of worth.
I see Davis developing his grasp on snooker in the same way that J Edgar Hoover did with the FBI, and for me that is no good thing.

kildare cueman said...

Fair enough Moondan. I didnt fully grasp your point yesterday, but now I can understand your criticism of Davis.

I would be inclined to agree with your assessment of williams. There was nobody more surprised than me when he went into decline. like Hendry, he seemed oblivious to pressure and could pot them off the lampshade. Like Davis, his tactical game was superb and didnt mind how awkward the balls lay. He could scrap it out.

I thought the 1999 championship had the strongest semi final line up ever.
The great hendry, wounded after losing the last two worlds, Williams, who was starting to dominate, O Sullivan who could win or lose a session 8-0 with equal aplomb, and the consistent Higgins who also happened to be defending champion.

It was impossible to call a winner. I think even the bookies had only a point and a half between the favourite and outsiders price.
In the end, Hendry beat O Sullivan in a ridiculously high quality encounter while Williams, as he did so often in those days, disposed of Higgins.
The final, which may have acted as a dress rehearsal for Williams successful assault on the following years championship, fittingly saw the greatest player ever, win the last championship of the century, and hitherto his last.

While todays standard is incredibly high, I believe that year was at least as high, if not better. Dont forget Doherty, Ebdon,Stevens and Hunter were all at their peak and all won titles around that time.

To me, that was the golden age of snooker, an age which has not yet been superceded. The fact that all of the above [ph rip] are still actively competing, tells a story itself

moondan said...

Kildare Cueman,
Thanks for another great reply.

Im a great admirer of Davis the player and often argue his case for being included in any greatest ever debate, and thats what makes it so disappointing that he can be so nonsensical at times.

To be very honest, I distrust anything Ive seen on the table since 2001, even Hendrys record 16 centuries at sheffield in 2002.
For me this past decade has seen balls missing the pocket by half a ball and still dropping, as mentioned before, balls hitting the near cushion or knuckle and still dropping and all this after the board had said that they would give players the conditions to play top notch snooker.
I do think the tables were modified to enhance the chances of big breaks, especially after we lost the tobacco money.
For my money the public dont want to see 7 minute frames, they like the battles, the misses and the close finishes and I believe snooker took the wrong road in providing these great players with tables that really were unworthy for championship matchplay and more akin to exhibitions.
By the end of the decade it was getting embarrassing and in fact it was the commentators, including Davis and Parrot at sheffield last season where the whistle was finally blown on a disgraceful decade.
I could go on for hours but that might streatch Dave's patience.

I will just add this, Hendry has 9 final appearences at sheffield in the competition that will define your career, he has 42 major titles in an era of tough match players. He has more world titles than John and Ronnie put together and its also worth mentioning that its not as if Ronnie or John were knocking each other out at sheffield they were victims of many a lesser player, and I have no doubt whatsoever, that had Hendry arrived on their boat he would have dominated them as he has done all the others in his prime.
Ronnie and John are very great players but over the years they have had the time to prove their worth and they have won what they were good enough to.
It doesnt measure up to Hendry, and the reason for that is they didnt have Hendrys head.
Rant over, enjoyed our chat, enjoy snooker but fight for its dignity because others who run the game couldnt even spell dignity.
That dignity adds many millions to it fanclub, lose it and we all might as well watch pool.

Anonymous said...

moondan, you are a breath of fresh air!

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hello Dave
How are you lad! There seems to be a lively debate on who is the “Bestist” in snooker ability or is it in trophies won?
Personally I have watched them all; especially from the Pot Black days and there is not much difference in any of the top players.

My preferences have always been who entertains and who is good to watch. The introduction of the “Walkies” round the table was deceitful, but encouraged, and actually taught as a ploy to winning.

If the Dave-Den blogs want something a bit more serious to discuss that has a conclusion! Why not nominate the player that has written the most constructive copyright material on the art of coaching snooker? Most blog members are really great players without “Snooker Know How”.

Is “Hazels Corner” exclusive to World Champions? Why is the old “Follow Through” expression now barred from TV coaching?
Steve and big John used the expression at least one thousand times each on BBC TV to teach and coach with great authority for over thirty years. Mr hey you

moondan said...

anonymous 9.54pm thanks for your kind words.

Through the years snooker has only ever come second to my family.
Im just a guy that has followed the game closely for fourty odd years, found something good about every players game and appreciated what they have to go through just getting to the point of professional competiveness.
In that time they have all pushed the cue through just as straight but the real battle has been won and lost in the head.
Snooker is not ball room dancing, there are no points for presentation, the end game is winning within the rules.
In the professional game, the one who wins the most is always the best, it would be a form of insanity to conclude otherwise.

In all my years snookers never had the best balance, its lurched from one bad lot running it, to the next bad lot running it, and snooker has suffered and only a fool could assume that those days are over. The people entrusted to reinvigorate the game are the same faces that have long histories of being central to many of its past problems, so to me we are on the same cycle. I dont know.

I do know this though, you dont sell-out your past to promote your future.
All past players should be thanked for their contribution to the game, instead of being downgraded by a man who really should know better.
I really did think snooker had got the east end, out of its system.

moondan said...

anonymous, the big secret, yes we all have our hang ups, but can you please enlighten me to what yours is ?
Im a simplistic sod, thats why I love snooker, anyone who really needs coaching should not take the game too seriously, because they really dont have an idea in the first place. It really is this easy, just dont miss son thats all, its not rocket science.

moondan said...

secret anonymous, Whats your hang up son? Im puzzled.
Snookers simple, just dont miss. All the missing in the world brings you nothing but grief, its not rocket science. I think there are a lot of people in snooker that would have us believe differently, your not a paid up member of steves club are you.?
7 is better than 3.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hi Dave how’s tricks!
That Moondan man sure has a lot to say, I hope Dave that the dear chap keeps getting feeds from the Steve Davis blog as Moondan is so right on some things he says.
All professional are good players, some are even great players but none are “Genius” as the great Steve Davis claimed of Ronnie O.

You are right Mr Moondan that 7 is greater than 3, but you are so wrong mister that the coaching game is only “To push the Cue through straight” every time.
The game (if true) sir would have its fair percentage of female world champions, as that simple “Technique” could be practiced by house wives on the kitchen table at home.

You are partly right Mister. If a person has correct “Stance and Balance” Timing, knowing with detail how to “Pot balls” plus a first class cue action that always strikes the correct address all that is left is “Push the cue through straight”.
The above mister Moondan is the rudiments for a student to start coaching lessons. Mr hey you