After a glittering 27 years in professional snooker, Hendry brought the curtain down on his career at the end of the 2011/12 season.
After losing 13-2 to Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals of the Betfred.com World Championship, Hendry announced his retirement in a press conference to a roomful of stunned journalists.
He had already created a brilliant final chapter to his career by making a maximum break during his first round win over Stuart Bingham, his 11th career 147 and third at the Crucible. Hendry went on to beat defending champion John Higgins 13-4 in the second round, but was no match for Maguire in the quarters.
He revealed that he had made his mind up several months before. “It was quite an easy decision, there’s a few reasons which I’m not going to go into in detail and bore you with,” said Hendry, who has dropped out of the world’s top 16 earlier in the season and had to play in the qualifying rounds of subsequent ranking events. “The schedule didn’t help, the fact that I’m not playing the snooker I want to play doesn’t help, the fact I don’t enjoy practice doesn’t help. I’ve got other things I want to do, I’ve got a lot of commitments now in China which I’ve signed up for and I can’t do both, I can’t do that and play snooker, because I would never be at home, so the time is right for me.
“If I’d have won this event, it would have been an even better way to go out. I’m delighted that I’ve made a maximum here, that’s why I was more animated than normal when making it, I was delighted to do it on my last appearance here. It wasn’t a spur of the moment thing, I thought about it last year, but 2 or 3 months ago I decided enough was enough.
“My best memories are my first win here, the seventh world title, the maximums, being the youngest ever world champion, no one’s beaten that yet, I could write a book on the memories I’ve had here. I’m not really emotional, you know what I’ve been like over the years, I’ve not been the most emotional of people even when I win. It’s sad that I won’t play here again because I love playing here, but it’s a relief as much as anything. I haven’t got a lot of things to regret in my career.
“It was the right decision to make, it’s sad that my last match was a 13-2 drubbing, but at least it wasn’t 13-0! I haven’t been able to play the way I want to play for the last ten years and it has ground me down, I keep getting beat in first and second rounds to people who I still know are not as good as me, after a while it becomes too much.”
Hendry’s last ranking title was the 2005 Malta Cup when he beat Graeme Dott 9-7 in the final.
Generally considered the greatest snooker player ever, Hendry dominated the sport in the 1990s. He won a record seven world titles between 1990 and 1999 and topped the rankings list for eight consecutive years. The records go on and on…36 ranking titles, nearly £9million in prize money and 775 centuries including 11 maximums.
At the Crucible alone he won 70 matches in 27 consecutive appearances, making 127 centuries and earning £2.3million.
In 1994 he was made an MBE by the Queen, and twice he has been voted BBC Scotland’s Sports Personality of the Year.
Hendry married Mandy in 1995 and their first son Blaine, born in 1996, is a keen player and has won junior tournaments. Their second son Carter was born in 2004.
He is an expert golfer with a single figure handicap at Gleneagles, which is just a few minutes drive from his Auchterarder home. Hendry also enjoys playing poker with friends Mark Williams and Steve Davis. A fan of Scottish football team Heart of Midlothian, Hendry enjoys comedy shows such as Blackadder and Seinfeld.