Ronnie O’Sullivan or Stephen Hendry?

Ronnie O’Sullivan or Stephen Hendry?

As the World Snooker Championships begin today and Play with Flair has announced the creation of their Hall of Fame, what better way to celebrate than to discuss two of snooker’s greats: Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry.

It is great news that this year both will be competing in the event again. Together they boast almost 50 years at the Crucible, which is an astonishing amount of time.

Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan is my tip for the title this year but, to be honest, it has rarely been anyone else. Everyone who follows the game knows that O’Sullivan is probably the most unpredictable talent in snooker.

He could lose to Peter Ebdon next week and it would not be the biggest shock in the competition. However, when this man is on form there is no professional player that can match him.

He has made the most maximum breaks in the game at 11 and the only man who comes close to his record is, you guessed it, Stephen Hendry with 10 breaks of 147 to his name.

It is true that O’Sullivan has not won the amount of tournaments that he could and should have. However, the fact that we don’t know how he will perform makes his matches unmissable.

If you doubted him as a crowd pleaser watch this below:

Stephen Hendry

This man is quite simply one of the greatest snooker players to have lived. Many have said that his aggressive play marked a new era in the game and that O’Sullivan aptly followed.

He is the youngest ever champion at the World Championships, winning at the age of 21 and has won the tournament a record 7 times.

Hendry is a living legend in the game and his total of 72 professional titles is proof of this. Where many criticise O’Sullivan for his inability to win tournaments consistently, Hendry has shown the world of snooker how it should be done.

Regardless of how far he progresses in the tournament this year, his status as one of the best will remain.

Stephen Hendry with Jimmy White after winning his first World Snooker Championship title in 1990

Should Ronnie O’Sullivan or Stephen Hendry be entered into the Hall of Fame? Leave a comment below.


Leave a comment
  1. colB

    April 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Any ‘Hall of Fame’ involving snooker that didn’t include Hendry would have no credibility whatsoever. Every successful professional in the last 15-20 years plays a variation of Hendry’s game – including Ronnie. Hendry invented modern snooker.

    • playwithflair

      April 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      I agree, Stephen Hendry is up there with Steve Davis as a snooker great. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Debbie

    April 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Stephen Hendry has to be in the Hall of Fame. He is THE greatest player of all time. I’ve supported him for over 20 years now and you can see the upcoming players playing just as he did and they play this way because they know that that’s how you win. Snooker without Stephen is uncomprehendible

    • playwithflair

      April 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      Well so far Stephen Hendry is a definite in the Hall of Fame. But what about Ronnie?

  3. David Curtis

    April 27, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Has to be Hendry – even more so with what he’s done this week. Another maximum and absolutely slaughtering John “I’m don’t deal with the Russian Mafia” Higgins. Go, Stephen!

  4. Snooker Blog and Snooker Coaching

    May 1, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Hi. Just found your blog! Neat idea putting up the great moments in sport on your web site. I thank you for putting up snooker, and Ronnie OSullivan as it’s the sport I follow on my blog as well, Consider also mentioning at some point some of the other greats like Joe Davis, Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, and Jimmy White. Snooker doesn’t deserve it’s place without those great men. And what about the female snooker players like Reanne Evans who won a remarkable 8th world championship in a row this year.,,13165~2747932,00.html

    Keep up the great work!

    • playwithflair

      May 1, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Thank you for your kind comments and for the link to the article on Reanne Evans, she definitely has a place on Play with Flair. Of course more of the great names that you have mentioned will go into the Hall of Fame. I began with Hendry and O’Sullivan because they are still at the top of the game and it seems to have worked out very well as they are both in fine form this week.

  5. Patrick (NL)

    May 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Why should Reanne Evans be in that list? Snooker is a sport where men do not have an advantage over women like in athletics, swimming, etc. It is a sport of skills and focus. Not of muscle power.

    • Aidan Taylor

      April 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      Why shouldn’t she be on the list? As in most sports women have had to play ‘catch up’ in terms of sponsorship, coverage and respect. Which is what is needed to bring more female players into the sport. If and when that happens, the general standard will increase, just as happened with the men’s game. Eight consecutive titles definitely makes Reanne a ‘great’ within the current context of women’s snooker.

    • Joanna Kamenou

      April 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      I think you make a great point! Thanks for commenting Aidan.

  6. playwithflair

    May 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Regardless of your opinion on the women’s game, eight World titles in women’s snooker is no mean feat, it shows someone who is dominant in their field. She did beat Higgins soon after he became world champion which shows that she can play to a high standard. There is still great disparity between men and women in the game, but this should not undermine her achievements so far.

    • Snooker Blog and Snooker Coaching

      May 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Part of the reason women haven’t achieved top class status compared to men is the lack of competitive play. If Hearn decided to make the PTC’s and Q-School open to men and women, I think you would see a woman win the World Championship before someone from China or India. Women, technically speaking, are actually better suited to snooker as they have a more intimate understanding of their own bodies. In addition, because power is rarely required, a women may perform better with touch and soft cue ball control when left in close.

  7. Michael

    May 2, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Hendry was the greatest ever player to pick up a cue, the records speak for themselves any snooker hall of fame without him would be a joke. As for Ronnie, on his day, is an amazing player to watch but alas is too unpredictable to be thought of as better than Hendry. As for Ronnie being in the hall of fame I’m really not sure on that, while he could beat almost anyone on his day , that day doesnt come often enough for me to consider him a great. However there is time for that to change.

    • Snooker Blog and Snooker Coaching

      May 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      One of the things which made Hendry so great was his scoring and potting. In particular his break building was second to none when in his prime. If you have made centuries or studied the game deeply (like I have), you understand this. Ronnie, as a break builder, is as close to genius as you will ever find. He easily surpasses Higgins, Murphy, Hunter and others. I think only Hendry could out-play Ronnie in terms of heavy scoring and playing in the black/pink/blue. Both are truly masters of their chosen sport. Ronnie, today, as an all around player, would easily hold the World Championship title for the next 10 years if he had the unwaivering fortitude and determined personality that made Hendry so great. Ronnie belongs on this web site and has earned his place in history as a legend.

  8. fi

    May 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    As machine like as Hendry was, you cannot fail to fall in love with the artistry that O Sullivan shows.

    They of course both belong in HoF but i guarantee more people would want to watch Ronnie if they were both at their very best.

  9. jim sinton

    October 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    ok lets be silly for a moment, reardon,alex higgins, from the seventies, davis, white, from the eighties, hendry, williams, from the nineties, osullivan, and john higgins from the naughties, add to the mix trump, ding, robertson. and murphy, and any other top four players, selby ect, put them in a time machine and play them at the VERY TOP OF THIER GAME, ie when they ruled the roost, me thinks hendry on top, osullivan second, john higgins third. davis forth, stars of today good players but mere immitation of greatest of them all, MR HENDRY.

    • Joanna Kamenou

      October 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Great comment! I think that many snooker fans would agree with you there.

  10. Tom

    November 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Ronnie is the best snooker player of all time. Stephen Hendry is the best winner of all time. If I was going to choose between the two at their best, you’d have to say Ronnie. Hendry couldn’t make a 147 in 5 minutes and 20 seconds, Hendry couldn’t make centuries with his left hand, Hendry couldn’t play a whole tournament with a pot success rate of 96% (O’Sullivan had a pot success rate of 96% in the 2005 Masters); in the same way that Ronnie can’t win seven world titles and dominate the game like Hendry did. O’Sullivan is the best “player” of all time, but Hendry is the best “winner” of all time. The same way that Ayrton Senna is the best “driver” of all time in F1, but Michael Schumacher is the best “winner.”

    • izPratzi

      April 29, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      I agree. Though Stephen is the man who “invented” modern snooker and also dominated it since, it must be admitted that Ronnie exhibits genius when it comes to playing snooker as a series of pots and placements rather than as a series of matches.

    • Joanna Kamenou

      April 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Absolutely, To see Ronnie playing in full flow is spectacular but he must be in form on the day. I wonder if you have him as your favourite for the World Championships?

  11. Bryn

    May 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Ronnie – winning the World championship after playing one competitive match in the season, with the right mental attitude (aka Hendry) he would have broke every record in snooker. The key one for me is winning percentage Higgins (69.09%) is marginally higher than Hendry (68.95) but Ronnie is miles clear at 73.17% in a much more competitive era, don’t forget his career started when Hendry was still in his prime and still leads 30 wins to 21 on head to heads. On results and titles Hendry number 2 with Higgins a close third and Davis 4th.

    • Joanna Kamenou

      May 6, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Yes I think that his mental attitude has always been the key. Dr. Steve Peters has been an integral part of his recent success and he knew to thank him first.

      Hendry, Higgins and Davis are all outstanding players, as your statistics show. Yet, Ronnie’s talent is astounding to watch, especially at the speed he plays the game.

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