When was he born?
Stephen Hendry was born on January 13th 1969 in Edinburgh. He grew up in nearby Fife.
Why is he famous?
Hendry is one of the most successful snooker players in history. He won 7 World Titles, all in the 1990s, dominating the game for a decade. He was also runner-up twice.
He is the youngest ever professional (at just 16) and the youngest world champion, winning in 1990 at the age of 21.
He was ranked world number 1 from 1990 to 1998, and remained in the world top 8 until 2010.
Hendry had a famous rivalry with Jimmy White, albeit one in which Hendry usually won. He beat White 4 times in the World Championship final (in total White reached 6 finals, and lost them all). In 1992 White was winning 14-8 in the final and needed only 4 frames to become world champion. Hendry won 10 frames in a row to win 18-14. In 1997 Hendry dramatically beat White 18-17 to again become World Champion.
In 2002 Hendry made his final appearance in the World Championship final, this time losing 18-17 to Peter Ebdon.
In a 1997 tournament final in Liverpool Hendry played Ronnie O’Sullivan in a match described as the ‘best snooker ever’. In a first-to-9 match Hendry went ahead 8-2, only for O’Sullivan to bring it back to 8-8. In the final frame Hendry scored a maximum 147 to win the title.
As well as winning 7 world titles, Hendry has other achievements: most professional centuries (775 – beaten by Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2015); second-most 147s (11); second-most professional titles (74). He is also the oldest player to have scored a 147 at the World Championship, doing so when he was 40.
Hendry’s style changed the way snooker was played: whereas in the past players were more conservative, Hendry went for aggressive break-building, trying to score as many points as possible on one visit to the table. He used middle pockets more than many players, went for long pots, and broke up the reds as early as possible.
Hendry was given an MBE in 1994.
He has twice been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
After the September 11th attacks in 2001 snooker players were no longer allowed to bring their cues as hand luggage. Hendry’s cue, which he had had through all his world championship successes, was duly broken in the hold.