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Stephen Hendry Returns in UK Seniors Championship

The first major event in the new World Seniors Tour gets under way on Tuesday with the UK Seniors Championship in Surrey.

UK Seniors Championship Trophy (ML)

The trophy is a replica of the one used for the early editions of the UK Championship. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

Organised by Snooker Legends promoter Jason Francis, the World Senior Tour will comprise four tournaments in its debut campaign.

The UK Seniors Championship pits eight seeded legends against four qualifiers, who each emerged from qualifying events that were staged around the UK between August and October.

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry is the top seed and has been granted a bye through to the quarter-final stages alongside World Seniors Championship runner-up John Parrott, Jimmy White, and Ken Doherty.

The latter pair represents the only competitors who still ply their trade on the sport’s Main Tour.

Indeed, Irishman Doherty will arguably be the favourite going into the tournament after a resurgence this season that has already seen him reach the semi-finals of the Riga Masters in Latvia.

The remaining four seeds will all face off against the qualifiers in the opening round on Tuesday.

Dennis Taylor entertains Les Dodd, who won the first prelim event held a couple of months ago in Newbury.

Sixth seed Joe Johnson, the 1986 world champion at the Crucible, meets Patrick Wallace in a repeat of their World Seniors Championship showdown earlier this year that the Eurosport commentator prevailed in comfortably.

In the other two first round fixtures, Cliff Thorburn will do battle with Jonathan Bagley while Tony Knowles plays Gary Filtness.

Every round except the final will be played over the best of five frames, with the final increasing to the best of seven.

However, if the scores are tied heading into a decider, the match will be determined by a single black-ball tie-breaker.

There’s £7,500 on offer for the champion crowned on Thursday, while any player who can compile a 147 break will also be rewarded with a Kia car worth over £30,000.

Patsy Fagan, on the 40th anniversary of his victory in the inaugural UK Championship in 1977, will present the trophy to the winner.

Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.