Defending Champions in the World Snooker Championship
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QUIZ! Defending Champions in the World Snooker Championship

There have been a total of 20 different defending champions in the World Snooker Championship since the inaugural staging at the Crucible Theatre in 1977.

Defending Champions in the World Snooker Championship
This guy has been a defending champion three times. Photo credit: World Snooker

Ray Reardon was the reigning champ on that occasion, having prevailed in the last world title staged away from what quickly became the sport’s spiritual home.

Incidentally, the 1976 World Snooker Championship took place in both Middlesbrough and Manchester, with Reardon’s final against Alex Higgins contested over a whopping best of 53 frames.

After Reardon, 19 other players have enjoyed the experience of returning to the Crucible as the previous year’s winner at least once.

Some competitors, of course, have been bestowed the honour of launching proceedings on the opening Saturday on more than just one occasion.



But how have all of these champions fared twelve months on from when they etched their names onto the famous silverware?

A few of the defending champions in the World Snooker Championship were successful in ensuring that lightning struck twice, some others got ever so near to repeating their fate from the previous year, while most of them of course failed to replicate the same level of form and bowed out in the early stages.

All of them, though, have fallen foul of the fabled “Curse of the Crucible”, in which no first-time champion has returned the next year to successfully defend his crown.

This time, Mark Williams is the man tasked with the challenge of duplicating his run of last April and May.

So far so good for the Welshman after safely negotiating his initial test of Martin Gould in the last 32 on day one of the 2019 championship.

Funnily enough, the previous two times Williams has represented the defending champion he has crashed out at the same stage so he’ll be desperate to break the voodoo and advance even further this year.

The question is, do you remember how well the defending champions in the World Snooker Championship have done the following year?


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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.

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World Rankings Top 16

World Rankings after the Tour Championship – won by Neil Robertson.

1. Judd Trump
2. Ronnie O’Sullivan
3. Neil Robertson
4. Mark Selby
5. John Higgins
6. Kyren Wilson
7. Shaun Murphy
8. Stephen Maguire
9. Ding Junhui
10. Yan Bingtao
11. Barry Hawkins
12. Mark Williams
13. Mark Allen
14. Jack Lisowski
15. David Gilbert
16. Anthony McGill

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