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  Friday, 18 January, 2002, 11:45 GMT
Jimmy White MBE
Jimmy White
White: The Whirlwind is always a popular figure
Date of birth: 2/5/62
World ranking: 11
Career earnings: 3,933,739
2001-2002 points: 11375

"People's favourite" Jimmy White is arguably the most popular the sport has had in the last 20 years.

He is the most experienced player in the top 16 and is still defying critics by performing well in major tournaments.

He has virtually won every major honour in snooker except the ultimate crown - the World Championship title.

The Whirlwind has been runner-up in the event no fewer than six times.

The closest he came was when he lost 18-17 to Stephen Hendry in 1994 - player who has beaten White in the final a total of four times.

White, however, has won nine ranking tournaments in total during a professional career that began back in 1980.

It has been 10 years since he last won a ranking title, but White is still at the top of his game.

Last season he failed to qualify for the World Championship for the first time since 1981, but this year he goes in automatically as one of the top 16 seeds.

White recently reached the semi-final of the Benson and Hedges Masters only to be knocked out by world number one Mark Williams, 6-5, in what was a thrilling contest.

That form, guts, determination and experience could stand him in good stead come the 2002 World Championship.

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