The programme for this year’s Betfred World Championship is now available to purchase online and will be on sale at the Crucible throughout the event for the price of £7.
It’s the 40th anniversary of the World Championship in Sheffield and whether you are making the pilgrimage to the Crucible Theatre, or watching snooker’s tournament of tournaments from home, this year’s programme is the ultimate companion for the action ahead.
You’ll hear from Mark Selby, Judd Trump, Stephen Hendry, Anthony McGill, Stephen Fry, Hazel Irvine and more. Here is a brief taster of what to expect…
“I think this year is definitely one of the hardest to win it. There are a lot of great players playing well at the moment. Judd Trump has been coming into form at the right time. Stuart Bingham won a tournament this year, the Welsh Open. Marco Fu will definitely be up there, and Barry Hawkins is also a contender to do well.
“Defending the title is hard and it would be nice to try and do that. Winning in China gives me a lot of confidence. I’ll be going there and giving it my all, that’s for sure.”
“It’s easily my best season to date. You’ve got to take a lot of confidence from that. The standard is very high, so anytime you can win more than one tournament in a season you’re doing well. The consistency in my game has come as well.”
“Mark Selby has been there for so long, it’s the aim to knock him off the top spot in the rankings. I’d like to try and do what he has done, to hold as many big titles as possible and get to the top of the game. It would be nice to become number one and keep it for a bit longer this time. I want to try and dominate for a few years.”
“To win at the Crucible is the ultimate. You start playing snooker, then you have it as a career. At that point your initial ambition is just to play there. That is what you watch on television, it’s where you want to play the most and when you get there, especially in the one table situation, there’s nowhere that can even touch it.”
“I really enjoy playing the top 16, as they play the game the right way. They make it very hard for you and I know in my head, ‘I need to play well here’. It feels cleaner, the way snooker should be played. It’s a buzz to play these guys. You don’t get away with anything. Whereas if you are playing lower ranked players, sometimes they might play the wrong shot but it makes the game go in a strange pattern. “
“The Crucible is truly, for me, up there with a Lord’s Ashes Test, Augusta for the Masters and Wimbledon for the tennis – one of the holy places of sport. It’s indefinable and to an outsider or someone who doesn’t follow sport it would seem incomprehensible and perhaps pretentious, but for those of us who understand it has all the special qualities of a unique world arena. Atmosphere, history, and some special quality that brings out the best in the players, the drama and the most capricious and unpredictable quirks of the snookers gods.”
“If you want to have a truly unique sporting experience as a spectator, the Crucible is one for your bucket list. There’s the tension, the silence and the feeling that if you move in your seat you are somehow going to impact on the outcome. The place emanates a genuine visceral sense that you are involved. You can almost touch and smell the importance of the action playing out right in front of you. It’s unlike many sporting venues in that it they are often gargantuan in size; this isn’t. I liken it a bit to Augusta which is very reverential with sporadic explosions of noise.”
40 Year Crucible Quiz
It’s time to rack your brains to see how much you know about snooker at the Crucible Theatre, with a question relating to each year of Sheffield’s 40-year tenure as World Championship host.
Why was TV coverage interrupted this year?
Steve Davis won the first of his six world titles, but who did he beat in the final and by what scoreline?
Who did Alex Higgins beat in the first round, on his way to winning his second and last World Championship title?
Make sure you don’t miss out on 116 pages of pure snooker. Click here to get your copy now.