It’s the morning we’ve all been waiting for – Happy opening day of the World Snooker Championship!
After a long, hectic campaign it’s come down to 32 players at the greatest stage of them all, the Crucible Theatre, with global glory within reach.
Yesterday evening in Sheffield was a celebration of the World Championship being staged at the Crucible for 40 years.
A deal was signed between Barry Hearn and Sheffield City Council to keep the sport’s blue riband tournament in the city for the next ten years.
Hearn also announced that two-year invitational tour cards would be granted to legends of the game Jimmy White and Ken Doherty.
The pair had both dropped off the professional circuit after losing in the qualifying rounds at Ponds Forge, but were handed a lifeline for their decades of service to the sport, in which time they have entertained millions of adoring fans and inspired many of the current crop of younger players to pick up a cue for the first time.
The Crucible has created so many memories of elation and despair since it first staged the event back in 1977.
It’s the pinnacle of any snooker player’s career to first play at the venue, and then ultimately be crowned the champion on the May Bank Holiday Monday.
Five debutants will get to experience the feeling of taking the short walk behind the commentary box, through the curtain, and down the steps into the starry-lit auditorium for the first time in 2017.
It’ll bring the number of competitors who have tested their will and stamina at the Crucible to 202.
The question is, how many do you remember?
NOTE: Players with surnames shared with another player must be written IN FULL! Otherwise, the surname on its own will suffice.
You can watch the 40th anniversary occasion below.