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John Higgins
John Higgins at Snooker German Masters (Martin Rulsch) 2014-01-29 11 (cropped).jpg
Higgins at the 2014 German Masters
Born (1975-05-18) 18 May 1975 (age 49)
Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, Scotland
Sport country  Scotland
Professional 1992–present
Highest ranking 1 (May 1998 – May 2000, May 2007 – May 2008, May–September 2010, December 2010 – May 2011)
Current ranking 4 (as of 8 May 2018)
Tournament wins
Ranking 31
Minor-ranking 3
World Champion
  • 1998
  • 2007
  • 2009
  • 2011

John Higgins MBE (born 18 May 1975) is a Scottish professional snooker player. He has won 31 ranking titles, placing him in third position on the all-time list of ranking event winners, behind Ronnie O'Sullivan (41) and Stephen Hendry (36). Since turning professional in 1992, he has won four World Championships, three UK Championships and two Masters titles, for a total of nine Triple Crown titles; this puts him behind only O'Sullivan (23), Hendry (18) and Steve Davis (15), and level with Mark Selby. A prolific break-builder, Higgins has compiled over 900 century breaks in professional competition, including 13 maximum breaks, second only to O'Sullivan's 15. He is also the oldest player to make a maximum break in professional competition, having set the record at the 2024 Championship League when he was aged 48 years and 268 days. He has reached the world number one ranking position four times. Alongside O'Sullivan and Mark Williams, he is one of the three players known as the "Class of '92", who all turned professional during the 1992–93 snooker season.

In 2010, a tabloid newspaper carried out a sting operation in Ukraine, which claimed to show Higgins and his manager arranging to lose specific frames in future matches for money. An investigation cleared Higgins of match-fixing allegations but the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association found that he had brought the sport into disrepute by failing to disclose an invitation to breach the sport's betting rules and giving the impression of agreeing to it. Higgins was banned from professional competition for six months and fined £75,000. After winning his fourth world title in 2011, Higgins' form became less consistent. He reached three consecutive World Championship finals between 2017 and 2019, but lost each time, to Mark Selby in 2017, Mark Williams in 2018 and Judd Trump in 2019. In the 2021–22 season, he lost five major finals, including the 2022 Tour Championship, when he led Neil Robertson 9–4 but lost the match 9–10.


Early professional years, first world championship

As amateur players, Higgins and Mark Williams faced each other in two finals in 1991. At the World Junior Masters Higgins won, while Williams won the British Junior Championship. The following year, Higgins turned professional. He reached the last eight of the 1993 British Open during his first season on the tour, before losing 3–5 to Jimmy White. Aged 19, Higgins defeated Dave Harold 9–6 in the final of the 1994 Grand Prix. This was the first ranking title of his career. The same season, he also won the 1995 International Open and the 1995 British Open, making him the first teenager to win three ranking events in a single season. He reached the finals of the 1995 Welsh Open, losing 3–9 to Steve Davis, and the 1995 Masters, losing by the same score to Ronnie O'Sullivan. His first time playing at the World Snooker Championship in 1995 he lost 3–10 in the first round to fellow Scottish player Alan McManus. Later that year he won his fourth ranking title at the inaugural 1995 German Open beating Ken Doherty 9–3 in the final.

At the 1996 International Open he defeated Rod Lawler 9–3 in the final, to retain the championship. Later that season, at the 1996 World Snooker Championship, he defeated Martin Clarke 10–5 in the first round and McManus 13–5 in the second round. Facing O'Sullivan in the quarter-finals, he led 12–10, but lost the match 12–13 after O'Sullivan won the last three frames. At the 1996 UK Championship, he defeated Tony Drago, Williams, and Doherty to reach the final, where he faced the reigning world champion, Stephen Hendry. Higgins trailed 4–8 before winning five consecutive frames to lead 9–8; however, he lost the final 9–10. He won his sixth ranking title at the 1997 European Open, defeating Parrott 9–5 in the final. He reached the quarter-finals again at the 1997 World Championship, but lost 9–13 to eventual winner Doherty. He won the 1997 German Open, beating Parrott 9–4 in the final, and won his eighth ranking title at the 1998 British Open, beating Hendry 9–8 in the final.

At the 1998 World Snooker Championship, Higgins defeated Jason Ferguson 10–8, Anthony Hamilton 13–9, John Parrott 13–11, and O'Sullivan 17–9 in the semi-finals. In the final, he defeated the defending champion Doherty 18–12 to win his first World Championship and ninth ranking title. He made a then-record 14 centuries during the tournament (Hendry beat his record, with 16 centuries, at the 2002 World Championship, which Mark Williams equalled at the 2022 World Championship). Higgins's success had seen him advance rapidly up the world rankings. In the 1994/1995 rankings, he was 51st; in the 1995/1996 rankings, he was 11th; and in the 1996/1997 and 1997/1998 rankings, he was second. After winning the world title, Higgins became world number one in the 1998/1999 rankings, ending Hendry's eight consecutive years in the top spot.

After the first world title

During the 1998–99 season, Higgins won the 1998 UK Championship, defeating Matthew Stevens 10–6 in the final, and the 1999 Masters, defeating Doherty 10–8 in the final. By winning the UK, Masters and World Championships, Higgins completed a career Triple Crown. He was also the third player, after Steve Davis and Hendry, to hold the three titles simultaneously, an achievement later emulated by Mark Williams. Higgins is also one of six players to have won both the World Championship and UK Championship in the same calendar year; the others are Steve Davis, Hendry, Parrott, O'Sullivan, and Mark Selby.

Higgins held the world number one position for two seasons before Williams replaced him at the top of the rankings. Higgins and Williams met in the 1999 Grand Prix final, where Higgins came from 2–6 down to claim a 9–8 victory. They also met in the 2000 World Snooker Championship semi-finals, where Higgins initially led 14–10 but ultimately lost 15–17. They also played again in the 2000 UK Championship final, where Higgins won 10–4 to claim his second UK title. Higgins reached his second world final at the 2001 World Snooker Championship, but lost 14–18 to O'Sullivan. At the beginning of the 2001–02 season, he became the first player to win the opening three tournaments in a season: the 2001 Champions Cup in August, the 2001 Scottish Masters in September, and the 2001 British Open in October. He failed to win a major title for another three years, until the 2004 British Open. Clive Everton later claimed that Higgins "lost his edge" during this period, due to becoming preoccupied with fatherhood; Higgins's wife Denise confirmed that she had to "push him out of the house to practise".

In the 2005 Grand Prix final, Higgins comprehensively defeated O'Sullivan 9–2. He became the first player to make four consecutive centuries in a ranking event, with breaks of 103, 104, 138, and 128 in frames 7 through 10. Higgins also scored a then-record 494 points without reply in the match. Of Higgins's performance, O'Sullivan commented that he had "never seen anything like it", while Everton stated that Higgins was "back to the kind of form which gave him the 1998 world title". Higgins and O'Sullivan also faced each other in consecutive Masters finals in 2005 and 2006. Higgins lost 3–10 in 2005. In 2006, he lost the first three frames, but won the next five to lead after the first session. O'Sullivan levelled the scores in the evening session, and the match went to a deciding frame. O'Sullivan missed a red ball to a baulk pocket while on a break of 60, and Higgins made a clearance of 64 to win 10–9 and claim his second Masters title.

Second and third world titles

At the 2007 World Snooker Championship, Higgins beat Michael Holt, Fergal O'Brien, O'Sullivan, and Stephen Maguire en-route to the final. Trailing 10–14 against Maguire, Higgins won 17–15, making the 1,000th century to be made at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield since the World Championship was first staged there in 1977. In the final, Higgins held a 12–4 advantage over Selby overnight, but Selby reduced his arrears to a single frame on day two. However, at 14–13, Higgins rediscovered his form to win four consecutive frames to clinch the match 18–13 to secure his second World title at 12:54 am, the latest finish to a World final (equalled when Neil Robertson beat Graeme Dott in 2010); and nine years after his first title – the longest time span between successes since Alex Higgins (1972, 1982), and the longest at The Crucible. He regained world number one status.

As World Champion, Higgins best performance was only reaching the quarter-final stages in the Welsh Open and China Open tournaments. He helped to establish, and actively promoted, the World Series of Snooker – a tour intended to bring snooker to new venues outside the traditional United Kingdom and recently developed Far East markets. He won the inaugural event in St. Helier in June 2008, beating Mark Selby 6–3 in the final. Higgins also devised a new players' union with his manager Pat Mooney, called The Snooker Players Association. He won the Grand Prix for the fourth time in 2008, beating Ryan Day 9–7 in the final in Glasgow – his first ranking tournament win on home soil.

At the 2009 World Snooker Championship, Higgins beat Michael Holt 10–5 in round one. His second-round and quarter-final matches both went the full distance of 25 frames, with Higgins overcoming Jamie Cope and Mark Selby, respectively, to win 13–12. He established a 13–3 lead in the semi-final against Mark Allen and progressed 17–13 . Higgins recorded an 18–9 victory over Shaun Murphy in the final to become the ninth player to win the World title three or more times after Joe Davis, Fred Davis, John Pulman, John Spencer, Ray Reardon, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan.

In the 2009–10 season, as reigning World Champion, he lost 5–6 on the black ball to Neil Robertson in the semi-final of the Grand Prix; and 8–10 to Ding Junhui in the final of the UK Championship, after surviving a comeback by Ronnie O'Sullivan in the semi-final when leading 8–2, to advance 9–8 the previous evening. He also defeated Neil Robertson 9–8 during the tournament. He captured the Welsh Open title by defeating Ali Carter 9–4 in the final, and ended the season as world number one despite an 11–13 loss to Steve Davis in round two of the World Championship.

Match-fixing allegations and fourth world title


On 2 May 2010, Higgins and his manager, Pat Mooney, a World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) board member, were the subject of match-fixing allegations. They were filmed in a sting operation conducted by the News of the World. On 30  April, an undercover News of the World team, led by Mazher Mahmood, posing as promoters, had met Higgins and his manager in a hotel room in Kyiv under the pretence of organising a series of events linked to the World Series of Snooker. The newspaper alleged that Higgins and Mooney had agreed to lose four frames in four separate tournaments in exchange for a total payment of €300,000 and further discussed the mechanics of how to fix a frame, which tournaments and opponents to choose, and how Higgins would receive the money. Higgins was immediately suspended from the game and Mooney resigned from his position on the WPBSA board. Higgins issued a statement on the day of the allegations denying that he had ever been involved in match-fixing, and explained that he had decided to "play along" out of fears for his safety, suspecting the involvement of the Russian Mafia.

A full investigation was conducted into the allegations by David Douglas, former Metropolitan Police detective chief superintendent and head of the WPBSA's disciplinary committee. The independent tribunal that followed in September 2010, hosted by Sports Resolutions (UK) and chaired by Ian Mill QC, concurred that the WPBSA was right to conclude that Higgins had truthfully accounted for his words and actions and to withdraw the more serious charges of match-fixing, but found him guilty of "giving the impression" that he would breach betting rules, and of failing to report the approach made to him by the News of the World. Higgins received a six-month ban, backdated to the start of his suspension period, and was fined £75,000.

Return to snooker

Higgins returned to professional competition on 12 November 2010 in the Ruhr Championship – European Players Tour Championship (EPTC) event five in Hamm and went on to win the tournament beating Shaun Murphy 4–2 in the final. At the next event, the Prague Classic, the sixth European Players Tour event, he reached the final again, but lost 3–4 to Michael Holt.

At the 2010 UK Championship, his first tournament on British soil since his return, he reached his third final in succession. He fought back from 2–7 and 5–9 down against Mark Williams, and from 7–9 after trailing 0–61, and needing a snooker to level the match. He made a 68 break in the decider, and sealed a 10–9 victory with a double on the brown ball. As a result of his progress in those three events, where he won 18 out of 19 matches, Higgins earned sufficient points to regain his position as world number one under the new two-year rolling ranking system after having slipped to third by missing the start of the 2010–11 snooker season.

Higgins lost in the first round of the 2011 Masters 4–6 against Graeme Dott, and withdrew from the German Masters after defeating Robert Milkins 5–3 in round one, to return home due to the deteriorating health of his father, who subsequently died from cancer. A little over two weeks later, Higgins successfully defended his Welsh Open title by beating Stephen Maguire 9–6 in the final – dedicating victory to his late father. Higgins won the Hainan Classic, defeating Jamie Cope in the final. Higgins reached the quarter-final of the China Open, where he lost 2–5 against Shaun Murphy. Higgins' next tournament was the Scottish Professional Championship, where he defeated Anthony McGill 6–1 in the final.

In the 2011 World Snooker Championship, Higgins defeated Stephen Lee 10–5 in the first round, Rory McLeod 13–7 in the second round and Ronnie O'Sullivan 13–10 in the quarter-finals. On the way to a 17–14 victory over Mark Williams in the semi-finals, Higgins was heckled by an audience member who shouted out, "How do you swallow that three hundred thousand, John? ... You're a disgrace to snooker." Higgins went on to defeat Judd Trump 18–15 in the final to win his fourth world title, which prompted Steve Davis to comment "I think John Higgins is the best snooker player I've ever seen in my life". Despite the victory, Higgins lost the world number one ranking to Mark Williams.

After the fourth world title (2011–2017)

In the 2011–12 snooker season, reaching only two quarter-finals of major ranking events. His season-best performance was reaching the semi-finals of the Masters, where he lost 4–6 to Shaun Murphy. Before the 2012 World Snooker Championship, he admitted that he had not practiced much throughout the season and did not feel confident about defending his title. In the first round of the tournament, he came from 6–8 down to defeat Liang Wenbo 10–9. He then played Hendry in the second round, the first time the two players had ever met in a World Championship match, but Hendry won 13–4, with Higgins calling it the worst he had ever played at the Crucible. He finished the season ranked world number five.

John Higgins and Peter Lines at Snooker German Masters (DerHexer) 2013-01-30 02
Higgins at 2013 German Masters

Higgins started the 2012–13 season by winning his 25th ranking title at the Shanghai Masters, after coming back from 2–7 down to defeat Judd Trump 10–9 in the final. He made a maximum break during the final, and compiled another maximum in his second-round match against Mark Davis at the 2012 UK Championship. He won the minor-ranking Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy, defeating Trump 4–2 in the final, also reaching the final of the minor-ranking Bulgarian Open, where he lost 0–4 to Trump. However, Higgins did not enjoy sustained success for the rest of the season, reaching only one other semi-final of a major ranking event, the World Open, which he lost 2–6 to Mark Allen. He exited the 2013 World Snooker Championship in the first round, losing 6–10 to Mark Davis. Afterward, he admitted that doubts about whether he could remain at the top of the world rankings after 20 years as a professional had affected his form. He finished the season ranked 11th, slipping out of the top 10 for the first time in 17 seasons.

Playing with a new cue, he won the minor-ranking 2013 Bulgarian Open with a 4–1 victory over Neil Robertson in the final, having beaten Shaun Murphy and Ronnie O'Sullivan earlier in the event. He reached the final of the season's first major ranking event, the 2013 Wuxi Classic, which he lost 7–10 to Robertson. He changed his cue again before defending his Shanghai Masters title, but lost 1–5 to Mark Davis in the last 16. His Kay Suzanne Memorial Cup title defence ended when he was whitewashed 0–4 by Andrew Higginson in the last 128. He lost 2–4 to Ding Junhui in the last 16 of the 2013 Indian Open, and 2–6 to Matthew Stevens in the last 32 of the 2013 International Championship. In the invitational 2013 Champion of Champions, he lost 3–4 in the first round to Maguire.

Higgins called his form "soul-destroying" as lost 3–6 to Maguire in the last 16 of the 2013 UK Championship. Referring to Higgins's frequent changes of cue, Joe Johnson alleged in commentary that Higgins was "searching for something that is not there" and "looking for someone or something to blame" for his poor form. Higgins retaliated by claiming that players in Johnson's era had struggled to make breaks of 30 or 40 on tables with much larger pockets, and by calling Johnson one of the sport's worst commentators. After the UK Championship, he slipped to number 12 in the world rankings, having failed to progress beyond the last 16 of any tournament since the Wuxi Classic in June.

Before the 2014 Masters, Higgins revealed that he had reached the "depths of despair" after the UK Championship, after spending months "in turmoil". He also revealed that he had switched to a fourth new cue, had regained his tempo, and felt that he was playing better than he had in some time. He defeated Stuart Bingham 6–2 in the first round, but lost 5–6 in the quarter-finals to defending champion Selby, despite having led the match 5–3.

John Higgins at Snooker German Masters (Martin Rulsch) 2014-01-29 09
Higgins at the 2014 German Masters

At the 2014 German Masters, Higgins lost 3–5 to Dominic Dale in the last 32. At the 2014 Welsh Open, he defeated Trump 4–3 in the last 16, but lost 1–5 to O'Sullivan in the quarter-finals. He reached a third consecutive ranking tournament quarter-final at the Players Tour Championship Finals, but lost 1–4 to Marco Fu. He suffered a second consecutive first-round exit from the World Championship when he lost 7–10 to fellow Scot Alan McManus. After the match, Higgins described himself as a "journeyman top-16 player now," suggesting that he no longer regarded himself among the top contenders at tournaments. He ended the campaign as the world number 11, the lowest he has been at the end of the season in 19 years.

Higgins continued to struggle in the opening ranking events of the 2014–15 season, losing 4–5 to Alan McManus in the last 32 of the Wuxi Classic, 2–5 to Robert Milkins in the last 16 of the Australian Goldfields Open, and 4–5 to Ryan Day in the last 32 of the Shanghai Masters. He defended his minor-ranking Bulgarian Open title, but lost 1–4 against Judd Trump in the last 64. At the ranking International Championship, he lost 1–6 to Li Hang in the last 64. He lost 1–4 to Barry Hawkins in the first round of the Champion of Champions invitational tournament, and in the last 64 of the minor-ranking Ruhr Open, he failed to score a single point on his way to a 0–4 defeat by Marco Fu, who outscored Higgins by a cumulative total of 412 points to 0.

Higgins arrived at the 2014 UK Championship stating that he was struggling for confidence and concerned that a poor result in the championship could cost him his top-16 ranking and his place at the Masters. However, he defeated Lee Walker 6–2, Jamie Cope 6–4, and Matthew Stevens 6–2 to reach the last 16, where he lost 5–6 to Anthony McGill. This was enough to keep him inside the top 16, at number 14. At the Masters, he faced Mark Allen in the first round. Even though he made three century breaks, Higgins lost the match 4–6. After the match, he said that "I feel my form is steadily coming back – even when I've been losing matches I have still been gaining nuggets of confidence and I thought I played pretty well again."

In the 2015 German Masters, Higgins lost 2–5 to Peter Ebdon in the first round, but he at the Welsh Open, he defeated Stephen Maguire 5–1 in the quarter-finals, Luca Brecel 6–4 in the semi-finals, and Ben Woollaston 9–3 in the final to claim a fourth Welsh Open title, his first ranking title in two and a half years. In the last 16 of the 2015 Indian Open, he suffered a sixth consecutive defeat to Mark Davis when he lost 0–4, scoring only 38 points in the match. He lost 3–4 to Graeme Dott in the last 32 of the World Grand Prix, and lost by the same scoreline to Stephen Maguire in the last 32 of the Players Championship Grand Final. In the China Open, he reached the quarter-finals, defeating Dott and Trump along the way, but lost 4–5 to Ding Junhui. At the 2015 World Snooker Championship, Higgins won his first match at the event since 2012 with a 10–5 first round victory over Robert Milkins, but he lost 9–13 to Ding Junhui in the second round, despite winning five of the first six frames.

Higgins won his 27th ranking title at the 2015 Australian Goldfields Open by beating Martin Gould 9–8 in the final. Later that year, he also defeated David Gilbert 10–5 in the final of the 2015 International Championship. This put Higgins level with Steve Davis in the list of total ranking events won. Higgins started his quarter-final with Neil Robertson at the 2015 UK Championship by making the 600th century break of his career, but lost the match 5–6. Higgins reached the semi-finals of the China Open, but lost 5–6 after Ricky Walden made a 131 break in the deciding frame. He defeated Ryan Day 10–3 and Walden 13–8 at the 2016 World Snooker Championship, but lost 13–11 to Alan McManus in the quarter-finals, having been 11–9 ahead. He said later that he had "cracked under pressure".

Higgins lost in the quarter-finals of both the 2016 English Open and International Championship, 5–1 to Judd Trump and 6–2 to Ding Junhui respectively. He faced Stuart Bingham in the final of the inaugural China Championship; with the scores tied at 7–7, Higgins made three successive centuries to claim the title and £200,000, which was, at the time, the highest prize awarded outside the United Kingdom. At the 2016 Champion of Champions, he defeated Ding 6–5 in the semi-finals despite Ding making four centuries in the match. Higgins defeated Ronnie O'Sullivan 10–7 in the final to win his second title in a week. In the second round of the 2016 Northern Ireland Open, he made the eighth maximum break of his career and also scored breaks of 137 and 130 in a 4–1 victory over Sam Craigie. He lost a deciding frame to Selby in the quarter-finals of the 2016 UK Championship. He closed out 2016 by beating O'Sullivan 5–2 in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Open and then came back from 5–1 down to Judd Trump to win the semi-final 6–5. In the final against Marco Fu, he made three centuries in moving 4–1 ahead, but then lost eight frames in a row to lose 4–9. Higgins won the non-ranking Championship League by beating Ryan Day 3–0 in the final.

At the 2017 World Snooker Championship, Higgins reached his first world final in six years. He became, aged 41, the oldest finalist in 35 years. In a rematch of the 2007 final, he faced Mark Selby. Higgins took a 10–4 lead, but then lost 12 of the next 14 frames, eventually losing 15–18.

2017 to present

He won the 2017 Indian Open, defeating Anthony McGill 5–1 in the final. The following year, he won his thirtieth ranking event at the 2018 Welsh Open, defeating Barry Hawkins 9–7 in the final. Higgins also reached the final of the 2018 World Snooker Championship, but lost again to Mark Williams. At the 2019 World Snooker Championship Higgins reached the final again, only to be beaten 18–9 by Judd Trump. This was Higgins' third consecutive World Championship final and his eighth overall.

Higgins surpassed Stephen Hendry's career total of 775 centuries during the 2019 Scottish Open. He made his 775th century on 11 December during his match against Alexander Ursenbacher, and made his 776th against Jack Lisowski the following day. Higgins made his 800th career century on the first day of the 2020 Champion of Champions, although he lost the match to Ding Junhui.

In the 2020–21 season, Higgins reached his first Masters final since 2006 after beating Mark Allen, Ronnie O'Sullivan, and David Gilbert. However, he was defeated by tournament debutant Yan Bingtao 8–10 in the final. On 28 February 2021, Higgins defeated Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final of the Players Championship to claim his 31st ranking title and his first ranking title in three years. After his win, Higgins said that was "the best week of [his] snooker career" in terms of the way he played. In his quarter-final against Mark Selby, Higgins outscored his opponent 546–7 in a 6–0 victory. After the match, Selby stated that, "I've never had a match where I had so few chances. John froze me out from start to finish, he played an incredible match.”

Before the beginning of the 2021–22 snooker season, Higgins lost a significant amount of weight by taking spin classes. He weighed 15+12 stones (217 lbs or 98.5 kg) during the 2021 World Championship, but began the new season at 12 stones (168 lbs or 76 kg). At the 2021 Northern Ireland Open, he won six consecutive frames to defeat Yan Bingtao 6–2 in the semi-finals, but lost the final 8–9 to Mark Allen, despite having led 8–6. At the 2021 English Open, Higgins came from 3–5 behind in the semi-finals to defeat O'Sullivan 6–5, but he lost the final 8–9 to Neil Robertson, despite again having led 8–6. This defeat meant that Higgins had lost six of his previous seven major finals. In his post-match comments, he expressed doubt about his ability to compete in ranking finals, stating: "The last two finals I really do think show I've not really got it at this level." Higgins went on to lose the 2021 Champion of Champions final 4–10 to Trump, and the 2021 Scottish Open final 5–9 to Luca Brecel. Even though he lost in the round of 32 at the Gibraltar Open, he won the BetVictor Series bonus of £150,000 by winning the most prize money across the series as a whole. At the 2022 Tour Championship, he came from 4–8 behind to defeat Zhao Xintong 10–9 in the quarter-finals, a victory he called one of his "best ever wins", and went on to face Robertson in the final. Higgins established a 9–4 lead, but lost his fifth major final of the season after Robertson won six consecutive frames to win 10–9. Afterwards, Higgins admitted that losing the final from a position of being five frames up with six to play would leave "real mental scars". At the 2022 World Championship, Higgins won his quarter-final match against Jack Lisowski on a deciding frame, but lost 11–17 in the semi-finals to eventual champion O'Sullivan, finishing the season ranked fifth in the world.

Personal life

Higgins married Denise in 2000; they have three children. Higgins is a supporter of Celtic F.C. and also follows English club Everton. He enjoys playing poker. Higgins's first child was born in October 2001. ..... Higgins was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours.

In January 2010, Higgins appeared on the BBC's Celebrity Mastermind, answering questions on his specialist subject Dallas. He finished third equal. In February of that year, Higgins and his wife Denise appeared on ITV's Mr. and Mrs. and reached the final after answering all of their questions correctly to win £30,000. They donated the money to The Dalziel Centre – a day hospice for cancer patients, based at Strathclyde Hospital in Motherwell, of which Higgins became a patron after they cared for his terminally ill father.

In a complex mathematical study conducted at the University of Limerick, Higgins was named the highest performing snooker player from 1968 to 2020, ahead of Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Williams and Stephen Hendry.

Performance and rankings timeline

Tournament 1992/
Ranking 122 51 11 2 2 1 1 2 3 4 4 5 6 4 1 5 4 1 2 5 11 11 13 6 2 4 5 7 7 5 9 16
Ranking tournaments
Championship League Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 3R RR A A
European Masters LQ QF 1R 1R W NH 2R Not Held 2R QF QF SF F 1R NR Tournament Not Held QF 2R WD 2R 1R 2R LQ SF
British Open QF 2R W F 1R W SF QF 3R W QF QF W Tournament Not Held 3R 1R 1R
English Open Tournament Not Held QF 4R 4R A SF F 3R SF
Wuhan Open Tournament Not Held 1R
Northern Ireland Open Tournament Not Held 4R 3R 1R SF 4R F 2R A
International Championship Tournament Not Held 1R 2R 1R W QF QF LQ 3R Not Held 3R
UK Championship LQ LQ LQ SF F 1R W SF W QF QF 2R 2R 3R SF 1R QF F W 2R 2R 4R 4R QF QF 4R 2R QF 4R 3R 1R 2R
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event A A A A 2R A A A
Scottish Open LQ LQ W W SF F SF QF 3R 2R SF 2R Tournament Not Held MR Not Held F SF 4R 4R 2R F 2R SF
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held NR 2R 1R 2R 1R QF 2R 1R DNQ 1R
German Masters Not Held W SF W NR Tournament Not Held WD 2R LQ 2R 1R LQ LQ A 1R 1R WD LQ LQ QF
Welsh Open LQ LQ F 3R QF F 3R W QF QF 2R 3R 3R 3R 2R QF 2R W W 2R 2R QF W 4R 1R W QF QF 3R 2R 3R SF
Players Championship Tournament Not Held DNQ 1R 1R QF 1R DNQ 1R 1R QF QF W QF DNQ QF
World Open 3R 3R W F 3R F 1R W WD QF 3R F 1R W QF 2R W SF A QF SF QF Not Held QF 3R A SF Not Held 1R
Tour Championship Tournament Not Held DNQ QF QF F DNQ 1R
World Championship LQ LQ 1R QF QF W SF SF F QF QF 2R 2R 1R W 2R W 2R W 2R 1R 1R 2R QF F F F 2R 2R SF QF QF
Non-ranking tournaments
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held Ranking Event 2R 2R Not Held QF
Champion of Champions Tournament Not Held 1R 1R QF W QF QF QF 1R F QF SF
The Masters LQ LQ F 1R 1R 1R W 1R 1R 1R QF SF F W 1R 1R SF 1R 1R SF QF QF 1R QF 1R SF 1R QF F QF 1R 1R
World Masters of Snooker Tournament Not Held QF
Championship League Tournament Not Held A 2R 2R RR A 2R RR RR RR W W SF RR SF W W SF
Former ranking tournaments
Dubai Classic LQ LQ 2R QF 1R Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Not Held Non-Ranking Event QF NR Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters LQ LQ 1R QF 1R 1R QF 1R SF QF NR Not Held NR Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event F QF 1R NH NR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Tournament Not Held NR 3R 2R SF Tournament Not Held
Wuxi Classic Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event A F 2R Tournament Not Held
Australian Goldfields Open Not Held NR Tournament Not Held 1R A A 2R W Tournament Not Held
Riga Masters Tournament Not Held MR 3R A A A Tournament Not Held
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held 2R 2R SF A QF W 2R 1R 2R 2R SF NR Not Held NR
Indian Open Tournament Not Held 3R 3R NH A W SF Tournament Not Held
China Open Tournament Not Held NR W 1R 1R SF Not Held 2R F QF QF F 2R QF 2R 1R 3R QF SF 3R 2R 1R Tournament Not Held
China Championship Tournament Not Held NR 2R F 3R Tournament Not Held
Turkish Masters Tournament Not Held 3R Not Held
Gibraltar Open Tournament Not Held MR 2R A A WD WD 3R Not Held
WST Classic Tournament Not Held QF NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
Australian Goldfields Open Not Held W A Tournament Not Held Ranking Event Tournament Not Held
Champions Super League Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held
German Masters Not Held Ranking Event QF Tournament Not Held Ranking Event
Malta Grand Prix Not Held A F A F QF R SF Tournament Not Held
Champions Cup Not Held A F QF W W SF SF W Tournament Not Held
Scottish Masters 1R A A QF SF SF F F QF W F Tournament Not Held
World Champions v Asia Stars Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Tournament Not Held 1R Ranking Event Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters A A A 1R QF SF QF W QF W Ranking Event NH SF Tournament Not Held
Warsaw Snooker Tour Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held
Euro-Asia Masters Challenge Tournament Not Held A Not Held W Tournament Not Held
Pot Black A A Tournament Not Held SF F QF Tournament Not Held
European Open Ranking Event Tournament Not Held Ranking Event SF Tournament Not Held Ranking Event
World Series Jersey Tournament Not Held W Tournament Not Held
World Series Berlin Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
World Series Moscow Tournament Not Held W Tournament Not Held
World Series Grand Final Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held
World Series Killarney Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
World Series Prague Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
Scottish Professional Championship Tournament Not Held W Tournament Not Held
Hainan Classic Tournament Not Held W Tournament Not Held
Power Snooker Tournament Not Held A RR Tournament Not Held
Premier League A A A A RR SF W SF SF F RR F A A A F RR SF A RR SF Tournament Not Held
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held 1R Ranking Event
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R Ranking Event
China Championship Tournament Not Held W Ranking Event
Romanian Masters Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held
Hong Kong Masters Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held SF NH
Six-red World Championship Tournament Not Held A QF A NH A 3R QF RR A A A F Not Held QF NH
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
DQ disqualified from the tournament
NH / Not Held event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event event is/was a ranking event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Event means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
PA / Pro-am Event means an event is/was a pro-am event.

Career finals

Ranking finals: 55 (31 titles)

World Championship (4–4)
UK Championship (3–2)
Other (24–18)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1994 Grand Prix England Dave Harold 9–6
Runner-up 1. 1995 Welsh Open England Steve Davis 3–9
Winner 2. 1995 International Open England Steve Davis 9–5
Winner 3. 1995 British Open England Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–6
Runner-up 2. 1995 Grand Prix Scotland Stephen Hendry 5–9
Winner 4. 1995 German Open Republic of Ireland Ken Doherty 9–3
Winner 5. 1996 International Open (2) England Rod Lawler 9–3
Runner-up 3. 1996 British Open England Nigel Bond 8–9
Runner-up 4. 1996 UK Championship Scotland Stephen Hendry 9–10
Winner 6. 1997 European Open England John Parrott 9–5
Runner-up 5. 1997 Grand Prix (2) Wales Dominic Dale 6–9
Winner 7. 1997 German Open (2) England John Parrott 9–4
Runner-up 6. 1998 Welsh Open (2) England Paul Hunter 5–9
Runner-up 7. 1998 Scottish Open England Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–9
Winner 8. 1998 British Open (2) Scotland Stephen Hendry 9–8
Winner 9. 1998 World Snooker Championship Republic of Ireland Ken Doherty 18–12
Winner 10. 1998 UK Championship Wales Matthew Stevens 10–6
Winner 11. 1999 China International Scotland Billy Snaddon 9–3
Winner 12. 1999 Grand Prix (2) Wales Mark Williams 9–8
Winner 13. 2000 Welsh Open England Stephen Lee 9–8
Winner 14. 2000 UK Championship (2) Wales Mark Williams 10–4
Runner-up 8. 2001 World Snooker Championship England Ronnie O'Sullivan 14–18
Winner 15. 2001 British Open (3) Scotland Graeme Dott 9–6
Runner-up 9. 2003 Irish Masters England Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–10
Runner-up 10. 2003 LG Cup (3) Wales Mark Williams 5–9
Winner 16. 2004 British Open (4) Scotland Stephen Maguire 9–6
Winner 17. 2005 Grand Prix (3) England Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–2
Runner-up 11. 2006 Malta Cup (2) Republic of Ireland Ken Doherty 8–9
Runner-up 12. 2006 China Open Wales Mark Williams 8–9
Winner 18. 2007 World Snooker Championship (2) England Mark Selby 18–13
Winner 19. 2008 Grand Prix (4) Wales Ryan Day 9–7
Runner-up 13. 2009 China Open (2) England Peter Ebdon 8–10
Winner 20. 2009 World Snooker Championship (3) England Shaun Murphy 18–9
Runner-up 14. 2009 UK Championship (2) China Ding Junhui 8–10
Winner 21. 2010 Welsh Open (2) England Ali Carter 9–4
Winner 22. 2010 UK Championship (3) Wales Mark Williams 10–9
Winner 23. 2011 Welsh Open (3) Scotland Stephen Maguire 9–6
Winner 24. 2011 World Snooker Championship (4) England Judd Trump 18–15
Winner 25. 2012 Shanghai Masters England Judd Trump 10–9
Runner-up 15. 2013 Wuxi Classic Australia Neil Robertson 7–10
Winner 26. 2015 Welsh Open (4) England Ben Woollaston 9–3
Winner 27. 2015 Australian Goldfields Open England Martin Gould 9–8
Winner 28. 2015 International Championship England David Gilbert 10–5
Runner-up 16. 2016 Scottish Open (2) Hong Kong Fu, MarcoMarco Fu 4–9
Runner-up 17. 2017 World Snooker Championship (2) England Mark Selby 15–18
Winner 29. 2017 Indian Open Scotland Anthony McGill 5–1
Winner 30. 2018 Welsh Open (5) England Barry Hawkins 9–7
Runner-up 18. 2018 World Snooker Championship (3) Wales Mark Williams 16–18
Runner-up 19. 2018 China Championship England Mark Selby 9–10
Runner-up 20. 2019 World Snooker Championship (4) England Judd Trump 9–18
Winner 31. 2021 Players Championship England Ronnie O'Sullivan 10–3
Runner-up 21. 2021 Northern Ireland Open Northern Ireland Mark Allen 8–9
Runner-up 22. 2021 English Open Australia Neil Robertson 8–9
Runner-up 23. 2021 Scottish Open Belgium Luca Brecel 5–9
Runner-up 24. 2022 Tour Championship Australia Neil Robertson 9–10

Minor-ranking finals: 6 (3 titles)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2010 Ruhr Championship England Murphy, ShaunShaun Murphy 4–2
Runner-up 1. 2010 Prague Classic England Holt, MichaelMichael Holt 3–4
Runner-up 2. 2011 Players Tour Championship – Event 5 England Higginson, AndrewAndrew Higginson 1–4
Winner 2. 2012 Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy England Trump, JuddJudd Trump 4–2
Runner-up 3. 2012 Bulgarian Open England Trump, JuddJudd Trump 0–4
Winner 3. 2013 Bulgarian Open Australia Robertson, NeilNeil Robertson 4–1

Non-ranking finals: 40 (20 titles)

The Masters (2–3)
Champion of Champions (1–1)
Premier League (1–3)
Other (16–13)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1993 Scottish Masters Challenge England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 5–6
Winner 1. 1994 Australian Open England Thorne, WillieWillie Thorne 9–5
Runner-up 2. 1995 The Masters England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 3–9
Runner-up 3. 1995 Malta Grand Prix England Ebdon, PeterPeter Ebdon 4–7
Runner-up 4. 1996 Charity Challenge England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 6–9
Runner-up 5. 1997 Malta Grand Prix (2) Republic of Ireland Doherty, KenKen Doherty 5–7
Winner 2. 1998 Charity Challenge England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 9–8
Runner-up 6. 1998 Champions Super League Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry Round-Robin
Runner-up 7. 1998 Scottish Masters England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 7–9
Winner 3. 1999 The Masters Republic of Ireland Doherty, KenKen Doherty 10–8
Winner 4. 1999 Charity Challenge (2) England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 9–4
Winner 5. 1999 Premier League England White, JimmyJimmy White 9–4
Runner-up 8. 1999 Scottish Masters (2) Wales Stevens, MatthewMatthew Stevens 7–9
Winner 6. 2000 Irish Masters Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry 9–4
Winner 7. 2001 Champions Cup Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams 7–4
Winner 8. 2001 Scottish Masters England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 9–6
Winner 9. 2002 Irish Masters (2) England Ebdon, PeterPeter Ebdon 10–3
Runner-up 9. 2002 Premier League England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 4–9
Runner-up 10. 2002 Scottish Masters (3) England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 4–9
Runner-up 11. 2004 Premier League (2) Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry 6–9
Runner-up 12. 2004 World Champions v Asia Stars Challenge Hong Kong Fu, MarcoMarco Fu 1–5
Runner-up 13. 2005 The Masters (2) England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 3–10
Winner 10. 2006 The Masters (2) England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 10–9
Runner-up 14. 2006 Pot Black Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams 0–1
Runner-up 15. 2007 Warsaw Snooker Tour England Selby, MarkMark Selby 3–5
Winner 11. 2007 Euro-Asia Masters Challenge Thailand Wattana, JamesJames Wattana 5–4
Runner-up 16. 2007 Premier League (3) England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 4–7
Winner 12. 2008 World Series of Snooker Jersey England Selby, MarkMark Selby 6–3
Winner 13. 2008 World Series of Snooker Moscow China Junhui, DingDing Junhui 5–0
Runner-up 17. 2009 World Series of Snooker Grand Final England Murphy, ShaunShaun Murphy 2–6
Winner 14. 2011 Hainan Classic England Cope, JamieJamie Cope 7–2
Winner 15. 2011 Scottish Professional Championship Scotland McGill, AnthonyAnthony McGill 6–1
Winner 16. 2016 China Championship England Bingham, StuartStuart Bingham 10–7
Winner 17. 2016 Champion of Champions England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 10–7
Winner 18. 2017 Championship League Wales Day, RyanRyan Day 3–0
Winner 19. 2018 Championship League (2) China Yuelong, ZhouZhou Yuelong 3–2
Runner-up 18. 2019 Six-red World Championship Scotland Maguire, StephenStephen Maguire 6–8
Runner-up 19. 2021 The Masters (3) China Bingtao, YanYan Bingtao 8–10
Runner-up 20. 2021 Champion of Champions England Trump, JuddJudd Trump 4–10
Winner 20. 2022 Championship League (3) England Bingham, StuartStuart Bingham 3–2

Team finals: 5 (3 titles)

Outcome No. Year Championship Team/partner Opponent(s) in the final Score
Winner 1. 1996 World Cup Scotland Scotland Republic of Ireland Ireland 10–7
Runner-up 1. 1999 Nations Cup Scotland Scotland Wales Wales 4–6
Winner 2. 2001 Nations Cup Scotland Scotland Republic of Ireland Ireland 6–2
Runner-up 2. 2015 World Cup Scotland Scotland China China B 1–4
Winner 3. 2019 World Cup (2) Scotland Scotland China China B 4–0

Pro-am finals: 1 (1 title)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2008 Scottish Open Snooker Championship Scotland Campbell, MarcusMarcus Campbell 5–4

Amateur finals: 1 (1 title)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1991 Mita/Sky World Masters – Junior (Under 16) Wales Williams, MarkMark Williams 6–1

See also

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