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Journeyman Bingham hangs tough to land first world snooker title

Unfancied Stuart Bingham lifts the famous trophy after beating Shaun Murphy

By Ed Osmond

Journeyman Stuart Bingham held his nerve in a dramatic and fluctuating final to beat fellow Englishman Shaun Murphy 18-15 on Monday night and win the world snooker championship for the first time.

Thirty years after Dennis Taylor famously beat Steve Davis on the final black to lift the title, Bingham upset 2005 champion Murphy with an inspirational performance at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

“Four words: Winner, winner chicken dinner’,” Bingham told the BBC. “My mum, dad, my wife, my family. My whole team I have to thank.”

The 38-year-old Bingham, world number 10, trailed 8-4 but he fought back to lead 15-12, only for Murphy to level at 15-15.
Bingham, however, upped his game again and a break of 88 in the 33rd frame sealed victory.
Bingham, 38, had won two ranking tournaments in a 20-year professional career during which he had only once previously reached the world championship quarter-finals.

“Twenty years as a professional, blood sweat and tears on the road,” said Bingham who will rise to number two in the world rankings.
“Qualifying in places like Prestatyn and Malvern. So many family and friends have backed me. It is unbelievable.”

The 32-year-old Murphy, world number eight, was simply overwhelmed as the silky-smooth cue action which took him to the 2005 world title and 2009 final wilted under intense pressure.

“Sometimes your name is on the trophy. As a snooker geek like Stuart, there is not a player alive who deserves it more than him,” Murphy said.

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