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Seven of the greatest moments in the history of UK Championship Snooker

O'Sullivan takes the trophy to HM Prison Gartree when visiting his father in 1993

The UK Championship is one of the most historic and prestigious events on the snooker calendar and we've picked out seven of its most memorable moments from over the last four decades.

Second only to the World Championship in terms of importance, the UK Championship has provided some of the sport's defining moments since it was first staged back in 1977.

Only two men (Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry) have ever successfully defended this title, while five different locations have hosted the event - with the York Barbican Centre returning to duty in 2011 after a four-year absence.

There have been no less than twelve maximum breaks in the final stages of the competition, while the prize fund now stands at a staggering £850,000.

Here are our top seven UK Championship moments... 

Selby makes the 100th max (2013)


Mark Selby etched his name into snooker folklaw with a magical maximum in his Semi-Final show-down with Ricky Walden.

The Leicester ace was in the midst of an impressive title defence in York when he achieved snooker's holy grail in frame seven against an in-form Walden.

After powering in 15 reds and 15 blacks, he played a superb shot on the brown to go around the angles and finish on the blue, but after potting the blue, looked to have over-struck the cue ball as the adrenaline began to flow.

Selby, however made light work of a tricky pink using his cue extension, but could only leave the cue ball on the top cushion, seemingly running out of position on the final black.

Nicknamed 'The Jester', Selby lived up to the name as he let out a silent scream to relieve the tension in the sell-out arena, and completed the sensational maximum by rolling the black into the narrow middle pocket.

The conclusion provided one of the sport's most memorable and dramatic moments, and on a personal note for Selby, quashed his miss on the last black on 140 at the China Open a season earlier.

The break was his second career maximum and the 100th in snooker history, pocketing him a cool £59,000 bonus.



The Rocket launches (1993)


Ronnie O'Sullivan became the youngest-ever winner of a major ranking tournament aged just 17 years and 358 days at the 1993 UK Championship.

O'Sullivan had been much talked about on the amateur scene in the preceding years and headed to Preston full of confidence having defeated Alain Robidoux on debut the year before.

Alan McManus and Nigel Gilbert were the first to fall to the quick-fire youngster, before legends Ken Doherty and Steve Davis were brushed aside as he stormed into the Semi-Finals.

There, he defeated Welshman Darren Morgan 9-5, before announcing himself as a star in the making with a 9-6 triumph over Stephen Hendry in the final.

An emotional O'Sullivan took the trophy to HM Gartree prison in the following days when visiting his father - who had been sentenced to 18 years for murder.



Robertson makes a maximum in the final (2015)


Having completed an unprecedented 'Century of Centuries' during the previous season, Robertson had established himself as perhaps the most prolific break-builder in the game.

The Australian had watched Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh agonisingly miss the final black for a maximum break in their Third Round contest and made no mistake of completing the feat himself in the final against Liang Wenbo a few days later.

In the first UK Championship final not to feature a British player, Robertson produced the 115th competitive 147 break in the sixth frame - the first ever in a Triple Crown event final, for which he scooped a cool £44,000 bonus, before going on to claim his second UK title with a 10-5 victory.



Lucky 13th for O'Sullivan (2014)


Crowd favourite Ronnie O'Sullivan raised the roof at a packed Barbican Centre with a sensational maximum break during his Last 16 clash with Matthew Selt.

O'Sullivan had cruised to the opening five frames without reply and duly put the gloss of a memorable victory in perfect fashion, splitting the pack early before firing in 15 reds with blacks and maintaining pinpoint position up until the final blue.

It looked as though 'The Rocket' had overcut the blue to the middle pocket, only for it to go in off the jaws, leaving a simple pink and black to secure the £40,000 bonus and make it career maximum number 13 - two clear of the tally amassed by Stephen Hendry. 

O'Sullivan went on to win the tournament, claiming a fifth UK Championship crown and an astounding 27th career ranking title, edging out rival Judd Trump 10-9 in a thrilling final.



Davis rolls back the years (2005)


The 2005 tournament saw Davis, aged 48, reach his first ranking tournament final for almost two years and make his highest break in tournament play for 23 years. 

BBC pundit Davis had seen off Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire, Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendy en route to the final.

In a match that featured the widest age gap between finalists in professional tournament history, he lost 1-60 to 18-year-old Ding Junhui - a man who would spearhead the Chinese snooker revolution in the years that followed. 

That remains Davis' last appearance in a world ranking event final before he eventually lost his place as a tour professional in 2014.



The one that got away (1985)


In the 1985 final, Willie Thorne, then on the brink of emerging as a major force to be reckoned with in the game, led Steve Davis 13-8 at the start of the evening session.

The defining moment in the match, however, saw Thorne miss a simple straight blue off its spot to squander a chance at a 14-8 advantage.

Davis didn't need a second invitation and swung the pendulum by taking eight of the last nine frames for glory.

The victory regenerated Davis's confidence after his devastating World Championship loss to Dennis Taylor; Thorne, on the other hand, failed to win another ranking title before retiring.



Hurricane battles back (1983)


Fresh from his second World Championship win a year earlier, Alex Higgins remained snooker's man of the moment, but could not have wished for a more disastrous start to his final show-down with Steve Davis.

In the ultimate battle of introvert versus extrovert, Davis coasted to the opening seven frames to stun the people's champion at the first interval.

Roared on by his partisan fans, however, Higgins rallied in the evening and battled back with a series of stunning breaks to eventually force a decider at 15-15.

The captivated crowd and onlooking nation stayed up late into the night to watch 'The Hurricane' complete his greatest fightback by winning the decider 77-0 to take the crown.



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Seven of the greatest moments in the history of UK Championship Snooker

The UK Championship is one of the most historic and prestigious events on the snooker calendar and we've picked out seven of its most memorable moments from over the last four decades.

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