The knockout stages of the 2018 Six Red World Championship get going on Thursday but the release of Stephen Hendry’s new autobiography today will have just as many people talking about the game – if not more.
Hendry, who retired from the sport six years ago after a farewell swansong at his old stomping ground in Sheffield that included a poignant 147 break at the Crucible Theatre, of course won the World Snooker Championship a record seven times throughout his illustrious career.
There has been much interest already in the Scottish star’s musings, with plenty of media coverage being given to the excerpts that have filtered through in the last few days.
Stories about Hendry’s private life, his rivalry with Ronnie O’Sullivan, and a struggle with the yips that ultimately curtailed his career at the top of the game have all already made the headlines in a lot of the major news publications in the UK.
The book – straightforwardly titled Me and the Table – My Autobiography – will also look into Hendry’s early life and rise into the professional ranks during the 1980s, before his overpowering dominance in the early years of the following decade.
During that time, Hendry built up a gripping rivalry with people’s champion Jimmy White, albeit a generally one-sided one with the former usually getting on top of the “Whirlwind” at the Crucible especially, much to the dismay of his legion of fans.
Hendry racked up a total of 36 ranking event titles, a record that stands to this day, and compiled 775 century breaks, including eleven maximums. both stats which are still good enough for second on the all-time list behind O’Sullivan.
The 49 year-old was as proven a champion as you could get, eclipsing even Steve Davis’ supremacy as the killer machine that could not be dismantled on the baize.
Like many forces who suffer a slide after once dominating a sport, Hendry’s popularity in fact grew in his latter years of playing and, without doubt, this book will be one that every snooker fan should be interested in.