There wasn’t room for his own name on the all-time list.
Stuart Bingham thinks Ronnie O’Sullivan is top of the pile when it comes to the greatest five snooker players in the history of the game.
The 2015 world champion was speaking on the Talking Snooker Podcast earlier this week when the topic of the best ever arose in the conversation.
“My hero was Steve Davis,” was Bingham’s immediate response when quizzed on if he had a top three or top five, having played most of the sport’s legends during his long career.
“Growing up watching Stephen Hendry play, I always thought he was the best ever, but with Ronnie surpassing records after records, I’d say Ronnie is definitely number one.”
“I’d say Hendry is two, John Higgins is three, Steve Davis is four…and I’m not sure about five – maybe Judd, or even Mark Selby, they are sort of joint-fifth.”
“With the tournaments now, people always say that Hendry or Davis didn’t have all these tournaments, but I remember looking back at an old Pot Black magazine and they still had 15 tournaments a year.
“Some people say that Judd has 25 tournaments, so it’s unfair with the hundred breaks and stuff like that.
“Ronnie obviously picks and chooses, and that maybe makes it even more special that he has got to a thousand centuries and the other records he’s beat.
“But I’m sure in five years time Judd will be beating Ronnie’s records, so we’ll see for the future.”
In a wide-ranging discussion with hosts Nick Metcalfe and Phil Haigh, Bingham also opened up about many of his greatest achievements – notably winning at the Crucible six years ago and then another somewhat unexpected success at the Masters in 2020.
The 45 year-old also revealed that he apologised to Mark Selby after their dramatic semi-final clash in Sheffield earlier this year concluded in fiery fashion, with Ballrun accusing the soon-to-be world champion of gamesmanship during his post-match interview with Rob Walker.
“The media are there to do a job, they want stories so they are going to ask you questions that will rile you up,” Bingham said.
“I’ve spoke to Mark since and obviously apologised – it’s a bad time (being interviewed straight after the match ends), if I lose a close match I can’t say ‘well done’ and I can’t speak to anyone.”
“Give me half an hour or an hour and then I’ve calmed down, but straight after it’s raw and I sort of felt that at the end of that match he celebrated before potting match ball, and the antics he came out with when he fluked a red.
“I just thought it was a bit wrong, but each to their own. We have spoke it out and we’ve had a sort of laugh about it now.”