147 World Snooker Championship
Features, Ranking, World Championship

Maximum 147 breaks at the World Snooker Championship

There have been 14 maximum 147 breaks in World Snooker Championship matches at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

When the sport’s blue-riband tournament first moved to the Crucible in 1977, not a single 147 break had been made in professional competition on the main tour.

For the next couple of decades it continued to be a rare sight, making the early ones that were compiled that bit more memorable.

But while the chances of a 147 in snooker have improved over the years with the development of table conditions and the rise in the overall standard of play, the feat continues to be a special one.

Let’s take a brief rundown of all of those brilliant maximum 147 breaks at the World Snooker Championship.

Cliff Thorburn – 1983

Cliff Thorburn’s wonderful maximum moment came against Terry Griffiths in the second round, for which he won £18,000 in bonuses.

The Canadian, the world champion from three years earlier, beat Griffiths 13-12 in a grinding encounter that finished just before 4am before eventually losing in that year’s final.

Jimmy White – 1992

It took another nine years for a 147 to be made at the Crucible and it was achieved by the People’s Champion, Jimmy White.

The Whirlwind compiled the perfect knock against Tony Drago in the opening round, earning £114,000 in bonuses.

Stephen Hendry – 1995

Three years on, White was in the opponent’s chair watching on as Stephen Hendry made the break in Sheffield for the first of three times.

The Scot, who had already beaten White in four finals, won the semi-final clash en route to securing a fifth Crucible crown and was the first player to collect the famous £147,000 maximum break prize.

Ronnie O’Sullivan – 1997

Like Hendry, Ronnie O’Sullivan has tallied a hat-trick of World Snooker Championship 147 breaks.

Nothing quite compares to his first, which was conjured in a breathtaking five minutes and eight seconds, signifying not only a special piece of snooker history but an iconic sporting memory as well.

Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2003

The Rocket won only six frames at the 2003 World Snooker Championship, losing to Hong Kong’s Marco Fu in round one.

One of those frames earned him a staggering £169,000, however, with his maximum break and highest break bonuses that year eclipsing what the player finishing runner-up took home.

Mark Williams – 2005

Mark Williams was the next player to add his name to snooker folklore by making a maximum at the Crucible Theatre.

The Welshman, already a two-time world champion, potted the 15 reds and blacks followed by the colours during his first-round 10-1 thrashing of Robert Milkins.

Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2008

Williams was then the opponent as O’Sullivan completed his third at the 2008 edition en route to claiming his third world crown.

But on this occasion, the player who has made the most 147 breaks in history had to share the big bonus with someone else…

Ali Carter – 2008

That’s because, for the first time in the tournament’s history, two 147 breaks were made in the same World Snooker Championship.

Just a few days after O’Sullivan did it, Ali Carter got in on the act with a superb performance against Peter Ebdon – although O’Sullivan got the last laugh by winning the final that year at the Captain’s expense.

Stephen Hendry – 2009

By 2009, seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry’s best days were well and truly behind him.

But there were still fleeting moments of his old flare, including in 2009 when he produced a 147 in a tight quarter-final defeat to Shaun Murphy.

Stephen Hendry – 2012

Hendry had to qualify for the 2012 World Championship, but after doing so he duly constructed his third maximum break against Stuart Bingham in round one and was the first player to take home the reduced £40,000 prize for a 147.

After subsequently beating reigning world champion John Higgins before losing in the quarters, the Scot shocked the snooker world by announcing his retirement.

John Higgins – 2020

It took eight years for the next 147 break to be made in a World Championship, and unfortunately it transpired behind closed doors.

At the pandemic-impacted 2020 edition, John Higgins compiled the break but lost his second-round fixture with Kurt Maflin.

Neil Robertson – 2022

Two years later, Neil Robertson was also on the losing side of a gripping fixture in the last 16 against Jack Lisowski.

But the Melbourne man did manage to write himself into the Crucible annals with a magnificent maximum break.

Kyren Wilson – 2023

A year later, there were two 147 breaks – the first of which was made by Kyren Wilson during his first-round defeat of Ryan Day.

But like O’Sullivan in 2008, Wilson would have to share the bonus because…

Mark Selby – 2023

Mark Selby produced an incredible moment during the 2023 World Snooker Championship, making the tournament’s first maximum break in a final.

The Leicester man may have lost the title to Luca Brecel, but he achieved something that no other player had ever managed before.

Featured photo credit: WST

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