Stephen Hendry to face Jimmy White in first round of Snooker World Championship at Crucible… with combined age of 110
STEPHEN HENDRY has drawn Jimmy White in a sensational opening round of qualifying for the Betfred World Snooker Championship.
The pair, who have a combined age of 110, faced each other in four world finals between 1990 and 1994 with Scot Hendry winning all of them in a decade of dominance.
It is remarkable that Hendry, 52 and White, 58, will meet again on the Road to Crucible next month.
Qualifying begins on Easter Monday at the English Institute of Sport – there are four rounds in total – and this heavyweight clash will garner enormous excitement and interest as they both aim to return to the famous Sheffield theatre, potentially for the final time.
Hendry, who retired from the professional arena in 2012, received a two-year Tour Card from snooker boss Barry Hearn following a round of golf last September.
In his comeback match at the Gibraltar Open this month in Milton Keynes, the seven-time world champion showed signs of his former glories as he hit a century in a 4-1 defeat to close pal Matthew Selt.
Hendry has not played at the Crucible for nine years while Londoner White, who lost in six world finals, has not been there in the pro ranks since 2006.
Despite their intense history and rivalry, the duo have formed a surprise practise Dream Team partnership in recent weeks.
White, nicknamed the Whirlwind, told SunSport he had teamed up with his Scottish nemesis and that playing for money in lockdown has improved his form and technique.
The world No.83 said: “Like Stephen Hendry, I want to play there one more time before I retire.
“I’ve played Stephen in a few matches at his club and my club in the last 3-4 weeks. We play for a £10 a set.
“And believe me, he’s trying harder then than he was when played me at the world champs!
“We have had some good old battles down the years. The extra practice has definitely helped me.”
Hendry and White played each other 60 times in professional combat — the Scot won 36 of those meetings — and their first encounter was at the 1986 Scottish Masters.
1990 – LANDMARK MOMENTS
STEPHEN HENDRY and Jimmy White will go back to the future when they meet at the Crucible again.
They first battled it out for the World Snooker Championship way back in 1990.
Here’s some other big moments that happened in that memorable year:
- The destruction of the Berlin Wall begins
- England reach the semi-final of the World Cup
- Nelson Mandela is released from prison in South Africa
- Margaret Thatcher resigns and ends her 11-year reign as Prime Minister
- Tim Berners-Lee creates first web server, the foundation for the World Wide Web
- Liverpool win the title for the 18th and last time until 2020
Hendry was gobsmacked when told live on ITV4 by presenter Jill Douglas, saying: “No! Stop it. Wow! I cannot believe that. You’re winding me up. That is unbelievable.
“Seriously? That is unbelievable. Unbelievable. All those finals we played and then now we are starting off at rock bottom playing each other in the very first round.
“Incredible. We have been practising together as well – so that has ended! Wow.”
Fellow Scot Alan McManus, the 1994 Masters champion, said: “I’m flabbergasted by that draw. I genuinely thought that was a windup. But it’s brilliant for the snooker fans out there.”
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