Friday, 11 May 2012

And the winner is...

After a long, hard snooker season it seems fitting to finish it all off with an almighty party.

Players, journalists, sponsors, referees and others made the trip to the luxurious Dorchester hotel in London to see who won World Snooker's most prestigious prizes last night, and enjoy a well-earned celebration.

Here's a little bit more about the winners...

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Journalists' player of the year
World Snooker player of the year

Still great for a story and showed his absolute class this season, especially at the World Championship. Make no mistake, snooker still needs Ronnie. He's a massive draw and by far the best player to watch when he's in top form. No awards here will come close to his fourth world title in Sheffield but the way he played makes him a worthy winner of the top gongs.

Judd Trump
Fans' player of the year

A year on from his sensational run to the final at the Crucible and there's still a lot of love between the fans and young Judd. Trump prides himself on being a crowd-pleaser. He goes for his shots and has quickly accumulated an army of fans. He's added the UK Championship title to his CV this season and has played with a spark throughout. It's particularly nice to see Judd win this award. His rise to being one of the sport's top stars has seen the emergence of a few critics, but this proves he still has the majority of the fans' backing.

Luca Brecel
Rookie of the year

A tremendous run to the Crucible has put this Belgian sensation on the map. The 17-year-old won four matches to qualify for the World Championship before losing to Stephen Maguire, who after the match tipped him to be a future world champion. For a player so young, it's no surprise it took him time to settle into life on the professional circuit but a great end to the season proves his potential. It is a credit to his game that he can play on such a big occasion with such control and composure. Capable of playing with both hands and has a great, natural cue action. He'll be looking to build on his success after being given a wildcard for two more years on tour. You haven't heard the last of him.

Stephen Hendry 
Magic moment (for his 147)

Not for the first time, seven-time world champion Hendry brought the Crucible crowd to their feet. It was perhaps fitting he bowed out of the game on such a high on his most successful hunting ground. The atmosphere inside the venue was at its scintillating best. He knows how to make a snooker crowd tingle. This was reminiscent of his glory days. King for the day again. 

Stuart Bingham
Performance of the year (for winning the Australian Open)

A first-time achievement for one of the sports' greatest professionals. Stuart has put his whole life into playing snooker and was excellent Down Under to capture his first ranking title, which helped him go on to break into the top 16 of the world rankings for the first time later in the season. A real snooker lover and a moment he will cherish forever. Reward for a lot of hard work.

**Walter Donaldson, Mark Williams, Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins were also inducted into the World Snooker Hall of Fame.

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