Stuart Bingham is the 2015 world snooker champion after a thrilling 18-15 victory over Shaun Murphy in Sheffield.
The English duo served up a treat in a dramatic final that ebbed one way and then the other.
The pendulum swung in Bingham’s favour for the defining time in a tense 31st frame that lasted more than an hour.
Murphy appeared as though he was set to regain the lead for the first time since he held a 9-8 advantage after the opening day’s play on Sunday.
However, the 2005 champion missed a yellow off the spot when on a routine-looking clearance, before a lengthy tactical battle ensued.
Bingham tied his opponent up in knots with a succession of difficult snookers to eventually take a psychological stranglehold on the contest.
The 38 year-old got in with a sizable break in the next to go within one of the title and, as Murphy’s trademark long game began to let him down, the player known as ‘Ballrun’ compiled a run of 88 to capture his maiden World Championship trophy.
But despite his nickname, there was nothing lucky about Bingham’s success.
The Basildon break-builder produced scintillating snooker for much of the final, oozing in the confidence gained from momentous victories over favourites Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump in the previous rounds.
He becomes the 20th Crucible champion and joins the likes of O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis to have had their names etched on the famous trophy.
It completes a wonderful journey that has seen the likeable character fulfill a dream that he has aspired to achieve for more than two decades.
Bingham was emotional just to reach the single table set-up for the first time and again when he overcame Trump in a decider to ensure his participation in the final.
Yet, he didn’t let that sentiment get the better of him during a finale in which he was 3-0 and 8-4 down.
A two-time ranking event winner before this tournament, Bingham has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Barry Hearn era and, along with the £300,000 champion’s cheque, he moves up to a career-high of no.2 in the world rankings.
For Murphy, it’s disappointment in a Crucible final for the second time after his defeat to John Higgins in 2009.
The 32 year-old cued with the same attacking intent as he had displayed for much of the competition, but arguably was left to rue some substandard safety play.
The showdown, though, will be remembered for a barrage of big breaks that the pair delighted the audiences with both inside the arena and those watching at home.
A massive congratulations to Stuart Bingham – the 2015 world snooker champion!