We say happy birthday today to a bona fide snooker legend as Stephen Hendry turns 45.

The Scot holds the record for most Masters titles with six. He first played in the tournament in 1989 and promptly won it.

After five straight victories in 1993 the then sponsors gave Hendry the old gold trophy to keep.

He remained unbeaten until 1994 when Alan McManus ended his remarkable 23-match winning run with a 9-8 defeat in the final.

Hendry won his sixth Masters title in 1996. In 1998 he lost 10-9 on a re-spotted black to Mark Williams, who also beat him in his ninth and last Masters final in 2003.

Hendry is now retired from the professional circuit but is at Alexandra Palace for the BBC, where he has impressed as a shrewd, knowledgeable pundit.

After all, who is going to argue with what the most successful player in modern snooker has to say?


Photographs by Monique Limbos.