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Friday, 31 January, 2003, 15:22 GMT
Your favourite Masters memory?
Paul Hunter will be defending his Masters title at Wembley
Mark Williams become the last ever winner of the Benson and Hedges Masters when he beat Stephen Hendry 10-4 at the Wembley Exhibition Centre.

Tell us about you best Masters memories.

The B&H Masters has long been regarded as one of snooker's premier events, but the competition faces an uncertain future.

The imminent tobacco sponsorship ban in sport means the tournament will need to find a new sponsor next year.

Mark Williams avenged his defeat in the 2000 final by beating Stephen Hendy 10-4 to take the last ever B&H title.

Defending Champion Paul Hunter famously revealed that his back-to-back successes were inspired by between-session 'sessions' with his fiancee.

Those with longer, and purer, memories will recall an epic encounter between Dennis Taylor and Alex Higgins in 1987.

What is your favourite B&H moment - and what will you miss about it most?

This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.
My favourite moment was the 1984 match between Kirk and Jimmy. Who says that snooker has changed beyond all recognition nowadays. That session was probably the best ever.

Being a huge Steve Davis fan and having seen his decline in the 90s, the 1997 win was unbelievable. My only question is, will that be Steve's last major success?

One final comment I would make - it was a shame that B&H did not invite all of the past champions to a presentation ceremony on the final day. Also, I would have liked to see some old highlights of the tournament (eg Kirk's 147). Perhaps this was shown during the daytime - I only saw coverage in the evenings.

This year's tournament was a classic - I agree with the previous comment that there was not much difference between Hendry and Williams. I still believe Hendry is the better player - and in fact, although it is a hard pill to swallow for a Steve Davis fan, Hendry is certainly the best player ever to pick up a cue! "Respec"!
Colin McDowell, England

My favourite moment from the B&H tournament was seeing John Parrot's little quiff. It looked like he stood out in the wind for half an hour before doing the programme!
Steve Lamarra, Belgium

I have not seen snooker in a while but when I recently saw Jimmy White beat Peter Ebdon I was impressed and I do think this was excellent viewing, especially because Jimmy White looked as if he was hoping to lose.
Jatinder Singh, UK

The Best game was Kirk Stevens v Jimmy White; check it out there were century breaks in every frame! Extremely memorable
Paul Gaubert, USA

Hendry was unbeatable in the 90's but McManus proved in 1994 that the trophy could be taken away from him

Philip Henderson, England

The final was a good match with Hendry knocking in two centuries. Although he missed a few easy balls, probably due to how much the title meant to him, it has to be said Mark Williams did constantly have the run of the ball which proved to be the difference as he did not play any better than Hendry. For some reason it just wasn't meant to be like 1998. I'm sure Hendry will bounce back and win more titles.
Nicole, England

I believe the greatest moment in the history of the Benson and Hedges Masters is the 1994 final in which Alan McManus defeated Stephen Hendry because Hendry was unbeatable in the 90s and McManus proved that the trophy could be taken away from Hendry
Philip Henderson, England

One of your previous correspondents asks why a game with extra orange and purple balls did not catch on. Answer: the orange would look too similar to the brown and reds, even for the players. Already the brown is very hard to tell from a red when watching it on TV!
Michael, England

Best moment is when Steve Davis came from 8-4 behind to beat Ronnie o Sullivan 10-8 in the final
Luke, England

My favourite Masters moment would be the black ball finish between Mark Williams and Stephen Hendry because it was an exciting finish. Having said that the moment when the streaker appeared in the Davis- O'Sullivan final would have to be a close second!
David Knights, England

Who can forget Alex Higgins beating Steve Davis

Anthony Greening, England
My two favourite moments when Williams beat Hendry in the final frame or when Hendry came back from 7-0 down
Richard, England

Doherty missing the black needed for a 147, agonising but gripping!
Shane, England

As a life-long Steve Davis fan for me it has to be the 1997 final with Ronnie. Firstly he won last two frames of afternoon to level at 4-4, then Ronnie came out at start of the evening session winning the first four frames playing his absolute best.

Then at 8-4 he started to play well and slowly got back into it, making a 139 in the process, and from 8-8 there was only going to be one winner. Truly one of the greatest performances by the greatest ever.
Daniel Clarke, Ireland

Favourite moment is Kirk Stevens recording a maximum 147 break in 1984
Luke Crosby, England

I was happy to see Jimmy's comeback as he proved there is still room for the veterans.
Calvin, Hong Kong

After watching that comeback from Jimmy White, I have to say that is my favourite moment, truly on the edge of the seat stuff and everyone was rooting for the whirlwind too, come on Jimmy.
Daniel Oakes, England

Has to be when White came back against Ebdon

Steve Hughes, London
For me there have been many magic Masters' moments. Who can forget Alex Higgins beating Steve Davis, the atmosphere was unbelievable, Kirk's max 147 or Jimmy's 1984 win, Hendry's comeback against Mike Hallet or Mark Williams black ball win against Hendry.
Anthony Greening, England

Jimmy White's comeback this afternoon against Peter Ebdon was absolutely magic, top class! Jimmy's safety play was tremendous, his judegment of the cloth was brilliant and he battled his way to victory and that's what champions are made of.

Jimmy can take confidence into his next match. He is an excellent ambassador for the game of snooker and a great example for young people in general.
Danny Doyle, England

Has to be when White came back against Ebdon. On second thoughts, nothing will beat the streaker moment!
Steve Hughes, London

There is no snooker venue in the world like Wembley, so as long as the event stays there, the Masters will not lose its magic.
Paul McGilton, England

Re: The match table - Why can't the players have a couple of practice shots before the match commences? This would help them to get used to the pace of the table.

When I was playing serious snooker, I was always offered a couple of shots up & down the table when I was playing on a strange table. The same courtesy was given to a visiting player at my home venue.

Darts players have six darts at the board before the start a match. Football players have a kick around on the pitch before kick-off. Why can't the same consideration be given to snooker players?
Bernie Martin, UK

I have to say the best game of the Masters has to be that great 1998 final between Mark Williams and Stephen Hendry. I have watched those last few frames again and again and I still can't see why Hendry didn't win that match. Going down to a re-spotted black I was on the edge of my sofa throughout. It was great tension.
Amir Aaron, England

My most memorable Master's moment is the Ken Doherty "147" when he missed the last black

Eric Burke, Rep of Ireland

Mike Hallett/ Stephen Hendry final. Hendry was 0 - 7 down after first session. Mike Hallett missing the pink off its spot for the match, from which he never recovered.
Paul Honeyman, England

My favourite moment was in 1997 when there was a streaker in the O'sullivan v Davis final. Ronnie blamed his loss on that!!!
Matthew Pickles, England

My most memorable Master's moment is the Ken Doherty "147" when he missed the last black. Even Matthew Stevens looked gutted.
Eric Burke, Rep of Ireland

Jimmy White made a break of 119 in the final frame of his semi-final against Kirk Stevens in 1984. The same match in which Kirk made the maximum. Jimmy potted the pink and black which were the two best shots I have ever seen.
Tom Jones, Wales

I'd probably go for Kirk's 147 - it was a novelty in those days

Drew Beaton, Scotland

In my youth I played snooker using two additional balls; one orange and one purple. I think the game may have been called "progressive snooker" as opposed to "straight". Can anyone shed any light on the origins of this and why it did not catch on?
John Stewart, Northern Ireland

The re-spotted black for Mark Williams to beat Stephen Hendry 10-9 in 1998 would have to be my favourite Masters moment. The tension was incredible and I can still see Hendry playing a slow black to the centre pocket and it hitting the knuckle.

I also vividly recall Ken Doherty's missed black against Matthew Stevens in the 2000 final. Although hard to call a 'best' moment, Ken's, Matthew's, the crowd's and commentator's reaction is unforgettable.
Steve Carley, England

Quite a few magic moments to pick from: Steve Davis overcoming all the odds to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan. Stephen Hendry's comeback from 7-0 to beat Mike Hallet. Kirk Steven's 147 break. Mark Williams beating Stephen Hendry on the black. Alan McManus ending Stephen Hendry's unbeaten run in a final frame decider.

I'd probably go for Kirk's 147 - it was a novelty in those days.
Drew Beaton, Scotland

The Masters is for me the most enjoyable tournament. Williams' victory over Stevens on a respotted black after trailing 9-6 was just magical. It measures up with Man United's last gasp victory over Munich in the Champions league final. A memorable spectacle.
Helal Ahmed, UK

My most memorable match is the 1991 final between Stephen Hendry and Mike Hallett

Dan Cowham, England
My favourite moments are any which included Steve Davis as he is my hero.
Sophie Davies, England

Steve Davis' victory over Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final.
Mark Welton, UK

I think it's sad to hear that the B&H won't be anymore. If it is to do with tobacco advertising then why is motor racing being allowed to continue advertising?
Lyndsay Rothery, UK

Kirk Stevens' 147 in 1983.
Stuart Vale, Wales

One of the most exciting games was last year's quarter-final between Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan. The atmosphere was unbelievable and the comeback from Jimmy was brilliant. The roars from the crowd as he potted the last few balls. Unforgettable. One of his biggest victories in the last few years.
Gary, Rep of Ireland

There have been so many great matches at Wembley over the years but my most memorable match is the 1991 final between Stephen Hendry and Mike Hallett. Hendry was the defending champion and world champion, going for a hat-trick of Masters titles.

Many thought that Hendry would walk it so it was bound to come as a shock when Hallett took a 7-0 lead. Hallett then led 8-2 and was two balls away from victory. However, he missed the pink with the rest and Hendry nicked the frame to make it 8-3.

Hendry then took the next six frames in a row to break Hallett's heart and take the title. That has to be one of snooker's greatest comebacks.
Dan Cowham, England

Two pots in the 1984 Final between Kirk Stevens and Jimmy White

Charlie, England

The black ball finish in the 1998 Masters! Come on Mark!!!
Laura, Wales

One of the best performances at Wembley must be the incredible run of sustained scoring which Paul Hunter displayed in his 2001 final against Fergal O'Brien.

After equalling the high break (a 136, which was his third century in five frames) Fergal was only to break off and had to sit in his chair watching Paul clearing up again!!! So four centuries plus a 75 in six frames, must be the tournament record!!
Michael, Holland

My favourite moments in the history of The Masters have to be two pots in the 1984 Final between Kirk Stevens and Jimmy White. Kirk Stevens shot from green to brown on 122 for the maximum, was one of the best positional shots I've ever seen.

Then the second moment was in the same game, when Jimmy showed some of his whirlwind magic on a pink when already won the frame. He put loads of screw with left hand side and bananaed the cue ball in a semi circle then smashed the black in, in a similar fashion.

Total entertainment from start to finish in that game, something we miss from Jimmy nowadays!
Charlie, England

My best memory has to be when Hendry and Williams went to the final frame and the black had to be re-spotted, that was a brilliant match, this year I want Hendry to win.
Kenny Guild, scotland

The 1984 semi-final between Jimmy White and Kirk Stevens epitomised how the game of snooker should be played

Darren Cunningham, Manchester, England

I agree that the re-spotted black between Hendry & Williams was incredible - talk about playing under pressure!!!
Mr Niaz Faiz, London, England

I was one off the 2500 lucky people who where at the Wembley Conference Centre in 2001, watching Ronnie O'Sullivan against Jimmy White. I can tell you, the atmosphere was electric in the minutes before the players came on! Watching live snooker doesn't get any bigger than in that!
Michael Ides, Holland

My favourite moment was when Steve Davis won in 1997. With the standard of Snooker so high, it really was a superb achievement for the 40-plus legend. I always knew he would win again and still believe he is in with a chance this year !!!!! Good luck the Nugget !!!
Simon Meer, England

The final black in the Hendry vs Williams match was a turning point in Hendry's career. Before then, Hendry had the X-factor over many players, if not all. Hendry lost to one the best one ball potters in the game. It was not about outplaying Hendry in terms of centuries, break building and safety, but to win that vital one ball under the most extreme pressure.

Williams was the man to do just that. This psychological blow for Hendry was the start of his X-factor slowly been eaten away. He may have been beaten in earlier rounds in previous tournaments, by some people virtually unknown, but this defeat was crucial. I remember Jimmy White in earlier years coming so close to beating Hendry, but he couldn't make those vital pots when it really mattered.

It required someone with determination, concentration and the guts to pot that vital ball. Williams was the man. From then on Hendry's career had peaked as he now suffered his first big blow. As Davis began to decline in that Hendry-Davis match in the 89 final, the same pattern was to repeat with that of the 'emotionally cool stable' Hendry.
Dave, England

One of snookers greatest matches was the semi-final in 1984, Jimmy White against Kirk Stevens. The match had everything and epitomised how the game should be played. A 147 countless centuries, and what an atmosphere! The B&H will be missed.
Darren Cunningham, Manchester, England

I went to see the Masters quarter-finals for the first time when Fergal O'Brien was playing against Alan McManus. I thought the match was a bit boring the first for the first two frames, which were really scrappy.
Marc Ricketts, UK

I have been coming up from Bognor Regis with various friends since the 1978 tournament

Brian H J Burberry, England

Best Masters final had to be 1998 between Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams going down to the final frame and a re-spotted black.

There was another one in the 1970s or 80s which went down to the final frame and re-spotted black. I can't remember which year or who the players were.
Graham Carter, UK

My best memory of the Masters has to be a frame from a game between Fergal O'Brien against Paul Hunter in 2001.

It was a crucial frame in the match and the yellow was the next ball to pot, but it was right over the black pocket and being covered by the black which made it un-potable. However, phenomenal safety play from O'Brien kept himself in the match.
Rachel, England

I have been coming up from Bognor Regis with various friends since the 1978 tournament which I believe was won by the Perry Mans. I have enjoyed every moment of my visits to the Conference Theatre with its unique atmosphere, and have met all the top players including Steve Davis, Alex Higgins and Terry Griffiths.
Brian H J Burberry, England

My best memory of the Masters has to be the suspense filled climax of the match between Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams in 1998. Down to the black and sure Hendry would pot it into the middle and lift the crown. I suppose that's just the rub of the green!
Nicole, England

The unforgettable session between Kirk Stevens and Jimmy White in 1984

Jonathan Fletcher, Burton On Trent, England

My parents and I regularly travelled up from Hampshire to watch matches at the B&H Masters in the late 80s and early 90s. In 1991 I saw one of the greatest final comebacks of all time when in 1991 Stephen Hendry beat Mike Hallett 9-8 in the Final after trailing 0-7 (after the first session) and 2-8.
Martin, England

The greatest Masters memory hails from the classic 1984 semi-final encounter between Jimmy White and Kirk Stevens.

White led 4-3 and produced a scintillating century break to be within a frame of the final. Stevens then produced one of those magical sporting moments - a 147 maximum break (the cue ball control from green to brown was, under extreme pressure, a sensational position shot.) The best maximum I've seen!

Next frame and Jimmy clears with another century break to clinch the match 6-4. What a wonderful game to referee.... lucky John Smyth!
Derek Bentall, Crawley, England

The unforgettable session between Kirk Stevens and Jimmy White in 1984 the year Jimmy won it.

Kirk produced a magical 147 in the white suit, and then Jimmy won the next frame with a superb 119 clearance to win that semi-final match. Screwing the final pink in, bending the white around off two cushions and holding perfect for the final black, then slamming the black in with loads of screw bending the white again in a semi circle!!!

Everybody was cheering, even Kirk, fresh from his maximum enjoyed the clearance laughing and clapping probably Jimmy's finest performance at the Bensons, and probably the best session ever played there!
Jonathan Fletcher, Burton On Trent, England

The black ball finish was definitely the best moment, but for me the most memorable if heart wrenching moment was Ken Doherty's 100,000 missed black off its spot for a 147 in the final a few years back. Ouch.
Niall Fitzgerald, Ireland

Best memory has to be the re-spotted black for the match between Williams and Hendry

Guto Edwards, Wales

I remember when Alex Higgins played Steve Davis in the early 80's and Alex won 5-4 and he shouted "WE'RE F****** BACK" to his supporters. It was so loud the BBC showed it and Alex got fined 1000 for it.
Andrew Cherry, England

Well it'll be sad two see the last B&H Masters in London. It really has given us some great moments over the years. My funniest memory would have to be that young gal who came down streaking in the final with Ronnie and Steve.

Maybe if it wasn't for her Steve would never have won that title! I'm sure Ronnie would have beaten him! Still I love the both of them & wish them all the best in this year's tournament.
Claire, Leeds UK

I can't agree more Guto Edwards. That black ball finish must be the golden moment for lots of us.
Berry Franssen, Netherlands

Best memory has to be the re-spotted black for the match between Williams and Hendry. It had everything!!! Hendry storming away, a brilliant comeback from Williams, high class snooker and plenty of misses and drama in the final frame. Who would have thought Hendry was going to miss that black to the middle? Brilliant stuff!!
Guto Edwards, Wales

Williams takes title

Masters history

Sport Academy

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31 Jan 03 | Snooker
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