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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 00:02 GMT
Snooker star Higgins gets honour
John Higgins
John Higgins won the world title for the second time earlier this year
World snooker champion John Higgins toasted his "fantastic" MBE after being recognised in the New Year honours.

The "Wizard of Wishaw" ended a nine-year wait for his second world title in May, and capped a successful year with an honour he never expected.

The 32-year-old said he was "stunned" because not many people involved in snooker had been given honours.

However, Higgins insisted the MBE was no indication he was in the twilight of his career.

Higgins, who picked up his first world title in 1998, is one of only five players who have won the title on more than one occasion at the Crucible in Sheffield.

He said: "When I was asked if I'd like to receive an MBE, I was just stunned.

"As a snooker player you don't expect awards like these.

It's a good thing for the sport that it is getting recognition
John Higgins

"I'm just delighted. It's fantastic, a great thing to have."

Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, John Parrott and Jimmy White have been honoured with MBEs previously, with Davis also receiving an OBE.

Higgins said: "There's not many in snooker who have got such an honour.

"It's a good thing for the sport that it is getting recognition."

"I'm looking forward to the trip to Buckingham Palace now. I'll make sure my wife gets a new dress and hat and it'll be great to take the kids along in kilts."

He added: "The people who have been awarded MBEs have maybe gone downhill a little bit afterwards.

"I don't know if they think I'm going downhill but I hope I'm not.

"I plan to be around quite a while longer."


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