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Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 15:50 GMT
UK Championship history
The UK Championship is one of snooker's oldest tournaments, with only the World Championship and the Benson and Hedges Masters boasting a longer history.

Steve Davis
Davis won a record six titles
WINNERS 1977-1987
1977: P Fagan 12-9 D Mountjoy
1978: D M'ntjoy 15-9 D Taylor
1979: J Virgo 14-13 T Griffiths
1980: S Davis 16-6 A Higgins
1981: S Davis 16-3 T Griffiths
1982: T G'fiths 16-15 A Higgins
1983: A Higgins 16-15 S Davis
1984: S Davis 16-8 A Higgins
1985: S Davis 16-14 W Thorne
1986: S Davis 16-7 N Foulds
1987: S Davis 16-14 J White
It is widely regarded as the second most prestigious of the ranking events with a big prize fund up for grabs.

The event started life as the Super Crystalate UK Championship in December 1977.

Blackpool was the host with Ireland's Patsy Fagan defeating Welshman Doug Mountjoy 12-9.

It took time for the event to grab the limelight, but its potential was soon to be realised.

Coral Racing stepped in to become the new sponsors in 1978 and immediately doubled the prize fund to 7,000.

The tournament was becoming a lucrative business due to the interest of television and needed a new home to accommodate more fans as well as the cameras and commentators.

After a year at Blackpool the event packed its bags and moved down the M55 to the Preston Guild Hall.

It remained in Preston until 1998 before moving south to Bournemouth, the headquarters of new sponsor Liverpool Victoria.

From 1980-1993 the finals were played to a maximum of 31 frames and even now, with the winner only needing to reach 10, the format has created few shock results over the years.

In the tournament's hall of fame the cream has most definitely risen to the top.

Stephen Hendry
Hendry ruled the 1990s
WINNERS 1988-1998
1988: D M'ntjoy 16-12 S H'dry
1989: S Hendry 16-12 S Davis
1990: S Hendry 16-15 S Davis
1991: J Parrott 16-13 J White
1992: J White 16-9 J Parrott
1993: R O'Sullivan 10-6 S H'dry
1994: S Hendry 10-5 K Doherty
1995: S Hendry 10-3 P Ebdon
1996: S Hendry 10-9 J Higgins
1997: R O'Sullivan 10-6 S H'dry
1998: J Higgins 10-6 M Stevens
Steve Davis has been crowned champion a record six times, with the first of his wins in 1980 when he demolished Alex Higgins 16-6, while Stephen Hendry is not far behind with five UK titles.

There have been some great finals and if they were handing out badges for exhilarating matches then the Davis-Higgins rematch in 1983 would be hard to beat.

Davis had crushed the 'Hurricane' with a session to spare in their world championship semi-final clash the previous spring.

And he looked set to win in similarly convincing fashion after taking a 7-0 lead.

But the Irishman was in fighting mood and took seven of the eight frames in the evening session and the final two frames to snatch the crown in a famous 16-15 victory.

It was a welcome result for Higgins, having suffered defeat to Terry Griffiths the previous year by the same scoreline.

In 1984, the UK Championship became a ranking event after it changed from only allowing players holding a UK passport and welcomed entry from all professional players.

Davis was clearly not put off by the foreign competition and he beat Higgins again in 1984 in the first of four successive titles for the Golden Nugget.

A young Hendry began to make his mark on the game in the late 1980s.

At the tender age of 19 he reached the final in 1988 and was favourite to see off the rejuvenated veteran Doug Mountjoy.

Stevens was the 2003 winner
WINNERS 1999-2003
1999: M Will'ms 10-8 M Stev'ns
2000: J Higgins 10-4 M Williams
2001: R O'Su'van 10-1 K Doh'ty
2002: M Williams 10-9 K Doh'ty
2003: M Stevens 10-8 S Hendry
2004: S Maguire 10-1 D Gray

It had been 10 years since the Welshman had last won the UK title.

But Mountjoy's renaissance was complete and three successive century breaks helped him on the way to a remarkable triumph.

Hendry did not have to wait long for success in the tournament and claimed the first of his five crowns in 1989, beating his rival Davis 16-12.

The conveyor belt of young talent continued to roll and 'Rocket' Ronnie O'Sullivan became the youngest winner of a world ranking event in 1993.

O'Sullivan won again in 1997, before making it a hat-trick of titles in 2001 with a 10-1 victory over Ken Doherty at the tournament's new home - York's Barbican Centre.

And last year saw the emergence of 23-year-old Scot Stephen Maguire, who thrashed David Gray 10-1 to win his first major snooker title.

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