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Thread: Hendry V O’Sullivan

  1. #1

    Hendry V O’Sullivan

    Apologise for the boring thread….this will not interest some!!

    I’ve had a look back and cant see this being discussed in the past, apologies if I'm wrong.

    Im a life long snooker fan and started watching from when i was very young and all through the 90s i had a massive dislike for Stephen Hendry as he denied Jimmy several world titles. Watching him play however i always had great respect for the way he played the game - when he was on song he simply never missed.
    Shortly afterwards Ronnie came in to the limelight and over the past few years its really been about these 2 guys. Yes i know there are other outstanding players but Henrdy and O’Sullivan have been the cream. If you’ve held a cue like i have over the years you soon realise how talented these pair really are and so the question is……. Given that both of them are totally on top of their game, who has been the best player over the past 30 years?

    Head to head puts in favour of O'Sullivan but i don't think that tells the whole story.
    Camp hendry?
    Camp O’Sullivan?
    The nugget?

    FFF
    Last edited by Franky Four Fingers; 2nd November 2022 at 21:22.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    Apologise for the boring thread….this will not interest some!!

    I’ve had a look back and cant see this being discussed in the past, apologies if I'm wrong.

    Im a life long snooker fan and started watching from when i was very young and all through the 90s i had a massive dislike for Stephen Hendry as he denied Jimmy several world titles. Watching him play however i always had great respect for the way he played the game - when he was on song he simply never missed.
    Shortly afterwards Ronnie came in to the limelight and over the past few years its really been about these 2 guys. Yes i know there are other outstanding players but Henrdy and O’Sullivan have been the cream. If you’ve held a cue like i have over the years you soon realise how talented these pair really are and so the question is……. Given that both of them are totally on top of their game, who has been the best player over the past 30 years?

    Head to head puts in favour of O'Sullivan but i don't think that tells the whole story.
    Camp hendry?
    Camp O’Sullivan?

    FFF
    We never really saw peak Hendry v O'Sullivan
    You would probably need to throw Steve Davis in the mix too.
    I can't split peak Ronnie v Hendry.
    Hendry had the most bottle though
    Never missed important shots in his pomp.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Hood View Post
    We never really saw peak Hendry v O'Sullivan
    You would probably need to throw Steve Davis in the mix too.
    I can't split peak Ronnie v Hendry.
    Hendry had the most bottle though
    Never missed important shots in his pomp.
    Agreed…nugget added.

  4. #4
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    I think Alex Higgins was the best talent in the history of the game, but if I had to put my mortgage on a player to win a match under pressure it would be Hendry all day long.

    O'Sullivan is a hybrid of the two.

  5. #5
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    For me, R o' S has been the most naturally gifted player, left or right handed, he's a genius at the table.
    I would put Hendry and David close on equal terms next. Mustn't forget the genius of Alex Higgins too.

  6. #6
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    O’Sullivan all day long for me- When he was really ‘on it’ he was/is untouchable, only person that could beat him was Ronnie himself- Hendry is an absolute Legend, great ambassador to the sport but ROS is and will be the greatest cue professional ever.

    Most entertaining players, most defintely watching Jimmy and Alex absolutely smashed and still playing unbelievably well in a club in Ireland.

  7. #7
    I have been watching Snooker for about 30 years and i feel modern players are far stronger overall now.

    And the strength in depth is considerably greater now, even someone ranked 50 or whatever can really play.

    Hendry was the best break builder of his era so was a winning machine at the time but i think even some of these Chinese kids would give him all sorts of headache and head scratching.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    I have been watching Snooker for about 30 years and i feel modern players are far stronger overall now.

    And the strength in depth is considerably greater now, even someone ranked 50 or whatever can really play.

    Hendry was the best break builder of his era so was a winning machine at the time but i think even some of these Chinese kids would give him all sorts of headache and head scratching.
    You’re 100% right, modern day consistent players are just the next level, I’ve got mates that are ex-pros, even they said they wouldn’t be able to live with modern players, they are very good players ( both have a few max breaks, one with back to back 147’s etc…) but the word is consistency and the Chinese have that in abundance.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hood View Post
    Hendry had the most bottle though
    Never missed important shots in his pomp.
    Erm... https://youtu.be/JVKy4xsQ_jI

    But despite that, I agree, for relentless consistency, Hendry.

    For ridiculous, balls-out, "how the f**k is he doing this?", it's Ronnie.

    When all is said and done though, snooker is an entertainment business. Doesn't matter how good someone is at their given sport, if it isn't entertaining then it'll die out. It's the likes of O'Sullivan that people turn up to see. Of course, people appreciate players like Hendry and Davis, but Ronnie makes the sport compelling.

  10. #10
    It's too easy to forget how good Hendry was. He wiped the floor with everyone until he got the yips.

    Without that Ronnie would never get near Henry's records.

    While Ronnie has his demons, when he's on it he's great. I know that he gets called a "natural talent" but that diminishes the hours and years he put in to get to where he is. He never practiced less than any other player or was given any freebie by anyone - he grafted. What he had was a speed and clarity of thought that made his game look effortless - like it came easily to him. That just shows how much effort he put in.

    Ronnie will win the numbers game, but Hendry was the more ruthless consistent player.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by xellos99 View Post
    I have been watching Snooker for about 30 years and i feel modern players are far stronger overall now.

    And the strength in depth is considerably greater now, even someone ranked 50 or whatever can really play.

    Hendry was the best break builder of his era so was a winning machine at the time but i think even some of these Chinese kids would give him all sorts of headache and head scratching.
    I've been watching snooker for over 40 yrs and Steve Davis and Steven Hendry would be more than a match for most of todays players.
    Hendry was unbeatable in the early/mid 90s and Davis not far off in the eighties.
    Best way to describe Hendry was ruthless.

  12. #12
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    Hendry was the best, by quite a way. His sense of kill was obvious and it never let him down. We lived round the corner from him when he was a kid and it was always snooker. Even think he had a table in the garage?!?! Lovely Family and ever so dedicated to him being successful.

    He didn’t ‘deny’ White any championships. White just wasn’t at it and simply not good enough at crucial times, in effect a wasted great talent like many good sports folk. He couldn’t stand the pace.

    It’s funny how I can roll off the names from yesteryear but haven’t a clue about the players of today.

    Jim

  13. #13
    I played a lot when younger. Ronnie is the most gifted player, just a natural. Henry believe it or not only picked up his cue at age 13 on a 6x3. He turned pro at 16, so he was a natural. His long potting in his pomp was insane, his head remains totally still and his concentration on point. Both ok their pomp, I think Henry beats him because of his concentration levels and consistency, I remember one final I think Hendry was down 8-0 at the Benson and Hedges, may have been against Tony Drago but cannot remember. Hendry won 9-8, he was truly a machine.

  14. #14
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    Ronnie all day long. Most centuries, 147 in less than 6 minutes, left and right handed etc. He's either on form and unbeatable or disinterested and my gran could beat him. But overall, the GOAT.

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    As someone who used to watch Pot Black from a very young age, whenever I stayed at my nan’s, I’ve always had a soft spot for snooker. Her favourite player (and mine) was Ray Reardon - who is still about and living in Devon!

    Ronnie has always been a marmite player for me. Extremely talented yes, but I’ve never been that keen on his attitude. Too much of ‘I’m just not enjoying my snooker’ type comments and generally not always been as positive towards the game as maybe someone in his position should be.

    That said I was never that keen on Hendry either, as I was a Jimmy fan.

    In my view though Hendry mentally would have had the edge over O’Sullivan all things being equal, so he’d be my choice. . . . . Though as said for a period in the 80’s Davis was incredible.

  16. #16
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    But, when all's said and done, I think we can agree that Bill Werbeniuk stands above them all (even after 20 pints).

  17. #17
    For me hendry changed the game in the late 80s early 90s, he was really the first person that looked to attack the pack at the earliest opportunity and to win in one visit, even in Davis’s era it was still very much of a pick off what you can from the easy reds and then back up in to balk type of game.
    Hendry takes it based purely on his consistency and absolutely ruthlessness on the table. I remember one tournament, possibly the world champs he scored 6 centuries in 8 frames and was, i think nearly 500 points without reply. His potting ability in to the centre pockets was also incredible. Whilst obvioulsy Ronnie is amazing, for me, Hendry sneaks it.

  18. #18
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    I’m not sure that I can add anything in terms of the question in the OP but I’m loving the fact that it’s got me thinking about those amazing players. I loved the game back then - my dad was a solid player (regular centuries) and got me into it from a relatively young age and I’m still proud of my highest ever break of 43!

    I have to admit that I don’t really follow the modern game… it’s all a bit bland in comparison these days.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    I’m not sure that I can add anything in terms of the question in the OP but I’m loving the fact that it’s got me thinking about those amazing players. I loved the game back then - my dad was a solid player (regular centuries) and got me into it from a relatively young age and I’m still proud of my highest ever break of 43!

    I have to admit that I don’t really follow the modern game… it’s all a bit bland in comparison these days.
    43 is a bloody good break, it more than shows you have/had a decent capability and know what to do with the cue a ball.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    For me hendry changed the game in the late 80s early 90s, he was really the first person that looked to attack the pack at the earliest opportunity and to win in one visit, even in Davis’s era it was still very much of a pick off what you can from the easy reds and then back up in to balk type of game.
    Hendry takes it based purely on his consistency and absolutely ruthlessness on the table. I remember one tournament, possibly the world champs he scored 6 centuries in 8 frames and was, i think nearly 500 points without reply. His potting ability in to the centre pockets was also incredible. Whilst obvioulsy Ronnie is amazing, for me, Hendry sneaks it.
    That's a good point about Hendry and the middle pockets.
    In his prime he used to hammer them into the middle.

  21. #21
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    43 is a bloody good break, it more than shows you have/had a decent capability and know what to do with the cue a ball.
    Thanks, but it’s very much a case of had, sadly.

    Edited to add: I still have my 2 ash cues and various tools for changing tips. I can't bring myself to get rid of them
    Last edited by learningtofly; 4th November 2022 at 07:25.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    Thanks, but it’s very much a case of had, sadly.
    And me, its not a pastime you can reasonably expect to pick up where you left off without some form of practice.

  23. #23
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    Such a tough one to answer!!

    For me personally, I'd say Hendry just shades it (Splitting hairs).
    There is a good podcast with Hendry (High Performance) and the way he talks and what he sacrificed to get to the top.
    He basically put everything else second in his life.
    Used to love a late Sunday night watching the world final at the crucible.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by learningtofly View Post
    Thanks, but it’s very much a case of had, sadly.

    Edited to add: I still have my 2 ash cues and various tools for changing tips. I can't bring myself to get rid of them
    43 is a good break, people that have never played the game think it’s easy, as we know Snooker is a bloody frustrating game at times, same as Golf all down to consistency… on another note I’d check what make your ash cues are, anything from one of of the top cue makers have rocketed over the past few years.

  25. #25
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    We have a club here in Darlington that's been here for decades. To put the skill required to score a century, only one amateur member has ever done it that I'm aware of.
    Compare that with the top players, knocking in centuries many times in a season it's amazing.
    My highest break was in the 20's😁
    It was a laugh playing there, if it was raining many of the 10 tables were covered in buckets and sheets but the owner has real ales to compensate😁
    Rough and ready but fun (Jimmy White liked visiting, probably because of the beer)

  26. #26
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    I used to play a lot in my youth, often when I should have been in school...

    Never got better than mediocre though!

    If you haven't watched this, it is an absolute must. "Gods of Snooker" - Simply brilliant. The story of when snooker really was the Number One TV sport in the UK - amazing footage of Higgins and all the names you will remember. Incredible stuff.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod...ods-of-snooker
    So clever my foot fell off.

  27. #27
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    Both at their best over 35 frames?
    Hendry.

    Best natural talent?
    Ronnie.
    The 5min 8sec 147, avg 8.8 seconds per shot is probably the greatest achievement in any sport.
    Genius.

  28. #28
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    I think it’s one of the never ending discussions, both are exceptional players in their own right. Sheer entertainment, edge of the seat stuff then it’s always going ROS, cannot knock Stephen for what he’s put into the game and achieved.

    I loved/love the sport, love playing, watching it, used to collect cues/cases etc… unfortunately in the U.K. it’s a dying sport, clubs dwindling, just not enough decent places to play, in my area I know of at least 3 clubs that have shut their doors, just not viable businesses with the amount of footfall through the doors.

  29. #29
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    I think it’s one of the never ending discussions, both are exceptional players in their own right. Sheer entertainment, edge of the seat stuff then it’s always going ROS, cannot knock Stephen for what he’s put into the game and achieved.

    I loved/love the sport, love playing, watching it, used to collect cues/cases etc… unfortunately in the U.K. it’s a dying sport, clubs dwindling, just not enough decent places to play, in my area I know of at least 3 clubs that have shut their doors, just not viable businesses with the amount of footfall through the doors.

    Agreed. If you have the space you can pretty much get a full size table for free these days from a club closing down. Sad really.

    I think it is down to kids wanting to spend so much of their time gaming online now.

    When I was a teenager, an evening at the snooker club was a highlight of the week.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  30. #30
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    Ditto, as a teenager spent many a night in smoky snooker halls, absolutely loved it :-)

    Yes 100%, people don’t realise the manpower needed to shift the bloody things, as a kid I used to visit Karnehm and Hillman factory to watch tables being made, it was literally two minutes from house, club I play in still has a couple of their tables.

    Like you said kids are just not interested anymore, lure of Xboxes, playstations, sitting on the backside has more appeal, good mate of mine runs coaching sessions for juniors and if he gets a handful of kids it’s a bonus, sad times……


    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    Agreed. If you have the space you can pretty much get a full size table for free these days from a club closing down. Sad really.

    I think it is down to kids wanting to spend so much of their time gaming online now.

    When I was a teenager, an evening at the snooker club was a highlight of the week.

  31. #31
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    I've been playing for 45 years, started in those old school smoky halls, and have yet to compile a break of 50. I'm lucky enough to have my own table and although I'm a hopeless player I still love the game.
    Ronnie looks a good bet to win Champion of Champions competition currently on TV.

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  32. #32
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    There was definitely something about playing in those halls, you could hardly see with the smog, place smelt of fags and stale beer, but loved it none the less. I used to live in my local one, I was pretty good as a teenager, had some decent breaks( one ton) I’m still on high break board in my current club (87) albeit that was 5 years ago, quite funny when I play the odd comp in there, players I’ve never played see my name and think I’m pretty decent, then see me play……. eyesight has got that bad I couldn’t hit a ‘cows arse with a banjo’ I still enjoy it to an extent, play mostly pool nowadays though which is a bit easier on the eyes!


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael27 View Post
    I've been playing for 45 years, started in those old school smoky halls, and have yet to compile a break of 50. I'm lucky enough to have my own table and although I'm a hopeless player I still love the game.
    Ronnie looks a good bet to win Champion of Champions competition currently on TV.

    Sent from my SM-F936B using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Rob153; 4th November 2022 at 13:41.

  33. #33
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob153 View Post
    43 is a good break, people that have never played the game think it’s easy, as we know Snooker is a bloody frustrating game at times, same as Golf all down to consistency… on another note I’d check what make your ash cues are, anything from one of of the top cue makers have rocketed over the past few years.
    Yes, the number of times I must have muttered "f*ck sake" after a shot will be in the thousands. I'll dig the cues out and have a look, but I've hung onto them for sentimental reasons so will likely continue to do so.

    As a matter of interest, does anyone know if the National Liberal Club at 1 Whitehall Place still has the snooker/billiards room on the lower ground floor? I played there every Friday for years, and it was always comical to sit in the bar afterwards watching the old duffers shuffling at snail's pace across the room.

    Edit: Yes, it seems that it does, albeit in a smaller room than the original (which was actually the venue for the first series of Pot Black)!
    Last edited by learningtofly; 4th November 2022 at 13:18.

  34. #34
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    This is what Hendry thinks of R o' S's talent
    https://www.eurosport.com/snooker/ch...87/story.shtml

  35. #35
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    Hendry dominated more during a less competitive era. Ronnie's prime has lasted nearly 3 times as long and counting.

    This makes Ronnie the greatest, and I say that as a Scot and a huge Hendry fan. With 25 years at the top, I'd also put Higgins above Hendry. For both Ronnie and Higgins to be making guys like Trump, Robertson and Selby struggle is a testament to their talent and graft.

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    Hendry dominated more during a less competitive era. Ronnie's prime has lasted nearly 3 times as long and counting.

    This makes Ronnie the greatest, and I say that as a Scot and a huge Hendry fan. With 25 years at the top, I'd also put Higgins above Hendry. For both Ronnie and Higgins to be making guys like Trump, Robertson and Selby struggle is a testament to their talent and graft.

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    You could look at it another way and if today's era is so strong why are Higgin's and Mark Williams still able to be successful outside of their peak ?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hood View Post
    You could look at it another way and if today's era is so strong why are Higgin's and Mark Williams still able to be successful outside of their peak ?
    Because these guys have a combination of huge talent, psychological strength and are dedicated at preparing.

    You only have to look at the stats of any ranking tournament from the current era to see how superior the standards are to days of yore. The break building today is off the charts. The level of professionalism has been honed. Plus the influx of very talented Asian players (and the odd European) over the past 15 years has further levelled up the competition.

    The standard would be even higher if the game was as popular at the grass roots as it was 40 years ago, when every town had 1 or more clubs.

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  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    Because these guys have a combination of huge talent, psychological strength and are dedicated at preparing.

    You only have to look at the stats of any ranking tournament from the current era to see how superior the standards are to days of yore. The break building today is off the charts. The level of professionalism has been honed. Plus the influx of very talented Asian players (and the odd European) over the past 15 years has further levelled up the competition.

    The standard would be even higher if the game was as popular at the grass roots as it was 40 years ago, when every town had 1 or more clubs.

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    The Asian players although very talented don't seem to be able to sustain success that long though. Ding has been up and down for years and although obviously hugely talented as always been chasing form and his next win. They also only have 2 players in the top 20 ranking…the Asian players are hardly prolific.
    For me great players are thoughts who can sustain the wins and consistency year after year, as for Higgins……PFTTTT he shouldn’t even be playing in my book.

  39. #39
    I love watching the game and the thing that fascinates me most is the positioning of the white ball, fantastic.

    I played a lots in my younger days, 23 was my highest break, I think when your a poor player like me it makes you appreciate the top guys even more.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    The Asian players although very talented don't seem to be able to sustain success that long though. Ding has been up and down for years and although obviously hugely talented as always been chasing form and his next win. They also only have 2 players in the top 20 ranking…the Asian players are hardly prolific.
    For me great players are thoughts who can sustain the wins and consistency year after year, as for Higgins……PFTTTT he shouldn’t even be playing in my book.
    The no. 5 ranked player in the world shouldn't be playing?!

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  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    The no. 5 ranked player in the world shouldn't be playing?!

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    No, his ranking has nothing to do with it

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    No, his ranking has nothing to do with it
    I'm not a big fan of Higgins but he was found not guilty. Anyway, the point about the longevity of his career is nothing to do with any allegations. Him and Williams have managed to keep going past their supposed physical peaks and sustain play at the top level due to a dedication and level of professionalism that few can come close to.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    No, his ranking has nothing to do with it
    Oh aye, right enough, lol.

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  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    Oh aye, right enough, lol.

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    He flew to Kiev with his manager, a place not known for its Snooker and shook hands on match fixing…he knew what he was doing. The fact he basically got away with it apart from a slap on the wrists and a 75k is irrelevant. He shouldn’t be playing and should have been banned for at least as long as Lee.

  45. #45
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    I remember playing Jack Fitzmaurice in a competition at the Tyseley working men’s club in Birmingham in 1974. He was runner-up in the English amateur championship and….. he kicked my arse!
    Last edited by KavKav; 7th November 2022 at 23:02.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franky Four Fingers View Post
    He flew to Kiev with his manager, a place not known for its Snooker and shook hands on match fixing…he knew what he was doing. The fact he basically got away with it apart from a slap on the wrists and a 75k is irrelevant. He shouldn’t be playing and should have been banned for at least as long as Lee.
    Yes, it was not his finest moment and definitely casts a cloud on his rep.

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