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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 23:01 GMT 00:01 UK
MBE joy for Williams
Mark Williams celebrates winning the 2003 World Championships
Date of birth: 21/3/75
Born: Cwm
Ranking tournament victories 14: Regal Welsh 1996, 1999; Grand Prix 1996, 2000; British Open 1997; Irish Open 1998; Thailand Masters 1999, 2000, 2002; UK Championship 1999, 2002; Embassy World Championship 2000, 2003; China Open 2002.
Career prize money (up to start of 2003/04 season): £3,014,132
Mark Williams' award of a MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list caps a tremendous year for the snooker player from Cwm in south Wales.

The 29-year-old began the 2003/04 season by winning the LG Cup, becoming the first player in more than a decade to hold all four major titles.

"I never expected anything like this, so to be awarded that is a fantastic feeling really," Williams said.

"There was a bit of disbelief even to be nominated, so it's brilliant news."

The 2000 and 2003 World Champion may have since lost his UK, Masters and World titles, but the left-hander is a proud new father.

Fiancée Jo Dent gave birth to the couple's first child, Connor, in April.

"It's great for me and my family," Williams added. "A young lad from a little village called Cwm to get an award like this is an excellent achievement.

"It is a tremendous honour for me, for Wales and for the game of snooker.

"It's a great privilege and I find myself in the same company as Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, Jimmy White and John Parrott who have all received honours previously."

The new season has been less than satisfactory for Williams, losing in the second round of the UK Championships and seeing Paul Hunter take his Masters crown and Ronnie O'Sullivan the World title.

But his dip should not take away from Williams' historic achievements of 2003.


After winning the LG Cup in October, the Welshman became the first player since Stephen Hendry in 1990 to hold all four major titles - the UK, World, Masters and LG Cup - at once.

After 26 months waiting for a tournament win on British soil, Williams claimed the UK Championship in December 2002.

It needed a thrilling last-frame victory over Ken Doherty in a tense final at the Barbican to take the winner's cheque for £84,000.

Stephen Hendry denied him a victory on home soil in the final of the Regal Welsh Open in Cardiff, but the game's most prolific potter had his revenge in the very next event.

Williams romped to a 10-4 over one of his fiercest rivals to take the last ever B&H Masters at Wembley in February.

Then in May came Williams' finest achievement, winning the World Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield, after another monumental tussle with Doherty that ended 18-16.

Williams become only the third player to complete the treble of the UK Championships, B&H Masters and Embassy World Championships in a single season.

He also became only the second player since compatriot Ray Reardon to regain the position of world number one.

A new season brought another title and another place in the history books as John Higgins was brushed aside in the LG Cup final.

Hughes awarded OBE
11 Jun 04  |  Wales

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