Stephen Gordon Hendry MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player and a commentator for the BBC and ITV. One of the sport’s most accomplished players, he dominated professional snooker during the 1990s, when he won the World Snooker Championship seven times, a record in the modern era, surpassing the six world titles previously achieved by both Ray Reardon and Steve Davis. He is snooker’s youngest world champion, having won his first world title in 1990, aged 21.
In addition to his seven world titles, Hendry has won six Masters titles and five UK Championship titles for 18 Triple Crown tournament wins, a total surpassed only by Ronnie O’Sullivan’s 20. He won five consecutive Masters titles between 1989 and 1993, and five consecutive world titles between 1992 and 1996, both records in the modern era. One of three players to have won all three Triple Crown events in a single season, he is the only player to have achieved the feat twice, in the 1989–90 and 1995–96 seasons.[ His 36 ranking titles are second only to O’Sullivan’s 38, and his nine seasons as world number one set a record under the annual ranking system used until 2010. A prolific break builder, Hendry has recorded 776 career century breaks. He was the first person to reach 3 officially recognised maximum breaks in professional competition and ended up with 11, surpassed only by O’Sullivan’s 15 and John Higgins’s 12.
Awarded an MBE in 1994, Hendry was voted BBC Scotland’s Sports Personality of the Year in 1987 and 1996. In May 2012, after appearing in his 27th consecutive World Championship, he retired from professional snooker, ending his record 23 consecutive seasons in the top 16 of the world rankings. Hendry made his decision in response to a severe loss of form caused by “the yips”, a condition that had first affected his game 12 years previously. In September 2020, citing improvements in his play, Hendry announced that he would come out of retirement and accept an invitational tour card for the next two seasons. After an almost nine-year absence from the tour, he returned to professional competition at the Gibraltar Open in March 2021, but as of January 2022 his best result since his return has been reaching the second round of one ranking event. Hendry also competes on the World Seniors Tour.