Canada’s Stevens began playing the game at the age of ten. Two years later, having already made his first century break, he had the audacity to challenge his idol, Cliff Thorburn for $2, he lost – but paid up.
By the age of 15 he was playing many money matches. By 1978 aged 20 he had qualified for the world amateur championship, where he lost in the semi-final to Cliff Wilson, following which he turned professional.
Throughout his career he was noted for his white suits and shoes.
He reached the Crucible at his first attempt in 1979 but lost in the first round to Fred Davis. A few months later however he got his revenge over Thorburn, beating him in the final of the Canadian Professional Championship.
At the 1980 World Championship, Stevens became the youngest player to reach the semi-finals, before losing 13-16 to Alex Higgins. The Toronto cueman climbed to 4th in the rankings on the back of several quarter and semi-final appearances. This was topped off by a second world semi-final, this time losing to Jimmy White. It was also against White a few weeks earlier that Kirk recorded a 147 in the semi-final of the Masters at Wembley.
He won the Canadian title again in 1981 and 1983 but still had not reached the final of a major event. In fact, he had lost no less than nine major semi-finals before, in 1985 he met South African Silvino Francisco in the British Open final. Although Stevens was a heavy favourite, he lost 12-9.
After seven seasons in the top 16 he dropped out of that group at the end of the 1986/87 season and a year later was out of the top 32 as well. He played on until the end of the 1992/3 season but then decided to return to Canada.