With the ever-simmering cauldron of social media always poised and ready to spurt out the latest big bust-up, it’s unsurprising that we’re faced with whichever rapper, twerker or z-lister gets a little unsettled and takes to the keyboard.
So we thought we’d take things back to basics, and look back at a time when a little altercation between gentlemen wasn’t resolved through a carefully crafted tweet, but instead with a long bit of ash and a set of heavy resin balls (or rather just a few stern words…).
Take a look at some of our favourite snooker bust ups:
1. Quinten Hann v Andy Hicks
2004 World Championship
In a match that crucially determined whether Quinten Hann would remain inside the top 16 at the time, it’s fair to say that tensions would have undoubtedly been already running pretty high at the Crucible. Following a fairly rocky conclusion and a victory for Hicks, his remark ‘that’s you out of the top 16’ as they shook hands didn’t exactly help matters, and subsequently led to a bit of a tussle and the pair having to be separated by the referee.
Hann reportedly responded with ‘You’re short and bald and always will be, and I’ll fight you in the street for 50 grand any time you like.’ Hicks declined the kind offer, and instead it was Mark King – also bald – who stepped in to take on the Aussie in the ring.
2. Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stephen Hendry
2002 World Championship
Sparks were sent flying in Sheffield ahead of the pairs’ semi final tie in 2002, with The Rocket launching a verbal offensive the night before the match was even underway.
With reference to a past issue between the pair which led to Ronnie having ‘no respect’ for Stephen, the then-defending champ said: “The most satisfying thing for me would be to send him home to Scotland as quickly as possible for a nice summer off.”
Hendry refrained from retaliation, instead winning 17-13. He then however went on to lose to Peter Ebdon in the final.
3. Alex Higgins v Dennis Taylor
1990 World Cup
Perhaps one of the most notable disputes in snooker’s history took place between members of the same Northern Ireland team at the Snooker World Cup in 1990.
A fiery dispute came to a head when Alex Higgins told Dennis Taylor – then captain of the national side – how to run the team, which concluded in Higgins threatening: ‘if you ever come back to Northern Ireland I’ll have you shot.’
In the weeks following, the pair met in the Irish Masters in what is widely regarded as snooker’s biggest grudge match. Taylor won 5-2.
4. Mark Allen v Stuart Bingham
2011 Australian Goldfields Open
Some serious beef between the pair broke out ahead of their 2011 quarter final tie at the Australian Open, where Allen said that Bingham had ‘no bottle’.
Bingham however went on to win the match and the tournament – the first pro title of his career. Stating that ‘the rivalry would not go away’, this was set to continue.
However, the pair soon buried the hatchet, and Stuart has since been open in citing the casual remark as inspiration for his 2015 World Championship victory.
5. Alex Higgins v Cliff Thorburn
A few altercations noted between the these two, including one highlighting moment where the pair found themselves in the same bar in their playing days. In remarks from Higgins deemed too raw for this post, Thorburn is said to have floored him with one swift punch.
The fight was broken up by punters, and as they went to shake hands, Thorburn allegedly ‘kicked him right in the unmentionables.’
What are your favourite all-time rivalries in snooker? Tweet us @WorldSnooker1 with your suggestions!