Four time Crucible King

 

D.O.B. 18 May 1975

 

Lives Wishaw, Lanarkshire

 

Turned Pro 1992

 

Ranking Tournament Victories 25 - Grand Prix 1994, 1999, 2005, 2008; International 1995, 1996; British Open 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004; German Open 1995, 1997; European Open 1997; World Snooker Championship 1998, 2007, 2009, 2011; UK Championship 1998, 2000, 2010; China International 1999; Welsh Open 2000, 2010, 2011; Shanghai Masters 2012

 

World Snooker Tour prize money 2011/12 + 2012/13 seasons (ranking events / PTCs only): £223,302



Highest Tournament Break 147 - seven times

 

Higgins enjoyed a purple patch of form early in the 2012/13 season, highlighted by victory in the Shanghai Masters which gave him his 25th world ranking title. He played brilliantly to come from 7-2 down and beat Judd Trump 10-9 in the final - also making a 147 - in arguably the best match of the season.

 


"To beat Judd from 7-2 down is unbelievable, I can't explain how it feels because I'm shell-shocked," said Higgins. "In the first session he steam-rollered me, but I still felt confident that if I came back tonight and played my best I would have a small chance. To beat Judd when he was playing that well must be one of my best wins ever."

 

He went on to beat Trump again in the final of a PTC event in Gloucester, then lost to Trump in the final of the Bulgarian Open. But after that it was a poor season for Higgins, and he was devastated after losing to Mark Davis in the first round of the World Championship.

 

"I don't know if it takes the strain out of you winning continual big matches throughout your career, but you've seen it happen to other players. You just miss certain shots and you don't know how you're missing them," he said. "Maybe you get to the end of your career, your late 30s or 40s and you just tend to miss those shots.  I was missing anything half difficult out there and that was just putting the pressure on me. I couldn't cope with it at the end."

 

 

The 2010/11 season had seen Higgins capture the two biggest ranking titles in snooker.

 

At the UK Championship, he beat Mark Williams 10-9 in an incredible final. He trailed 9-5 at one stage but fought his way back, crucially winning the 17th frame after needing a snooker on the yellow.

 

He also lifted the trophy at the Welsh Open, coming from 5-2 down in the final to beat Stephen Maguire 9-6.

 

On to the World Championship and victories over Stephen Lee, Rory McLeod, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Williams, put him into the final against young sensation Judd Trump.

 

Once again Higgins had to recover a deficit as he trailed 10-7 overnight, but snooker's version of the Terminator just can't be killed off. Inspired by an extraordinary atmosphere, he hit back to win 18-15.

 

"I want to get to seven world titles now, because I've won three in the last five years," said ambitious Higgins. "I've rededicated myself in recent years and I want to keep winning it."

 

Higgins won his first World title in 1998 when he beat Ken Doherty 18-12 in the final, and his second in 2007 when he got the better of Mark Selby 18-13. His third came in 2009 when he beat the cream of the crop of snooker's emerging talent, knocking out Jamie Cope, Selby and Mark Allen before beating Shaun Murphy 18-9 in the final.

 

"To come through the matches with the standard put up by Cope, Selby and Allen, three of the best young players we have in the game, and to fight fire with fire when they played really well, to come through that gave me an enormous boost of confidence coming into the final," he said.

 

With a superb tactical game to go alongside his break-building class, he is considered alongside Steve Davis as the best all-round players of the modern era.

 

Higgins has won 25 ranking titles in all, as well as the Masters twice. In the thrilling 2006 Masters final at Wembley he faced Ronnie O'Sullivan. Tied at 9-9, O'Sullivan opened the deciding frame with a break of 60 only for Higgins to clear the table with a brilliant 64 which included several do-or-die pots. "This win will stay with me for the rest of my days," he said.

 

Higgins has made seven competitive 147 breaks, including two in consecutive matches - one in the 2003 LG Cup final and the next in the first round of the subsequent British Open.

 

His hobbies include watching football and playing golf. He enjoys gourmet food and cooking and appeared alongside Shaun Murphy on BBC show Ready Steady Cook.

 

He has also appeared on Celebrity Mastermind, showing off his knowledge of the TV soap Dallas, as well as winning £30,000 for charity on All Star Mr And Mrs.

 

He and wife Denise have young sons called Pierce and Oliver and a daughter called Claudia.