Champion promises 'naked cartwheels' if he defends snooker world title

Mark Williams

Mark Williams proved he was a man of his word on Monday by turning up to a post-match press conference naked, after securing his third World Snooker Championship title.

It's the third time the Welshman has won the championship. "I had to wear the towel on the orders of [world snooker chairman] Barry Hearn otherwise I would just have walked in, just crying".

The Welshman became the oldest victor at the Crucible for 40 years and came good on his promise to hold his press conference naked if he won - although he wore a towel to protect his modesty.

The only downside for Williams, other than getting to show off his tattoo sleeves and beach-bod, was it got all got a bit nippy in the media room.

However, Williams found something deep within himself to grind out the three frames he needed to triumph 18-16 and, at 43 years old, become the oldest world champion since his fellow Welshman Ray Reardon in 1978.

Brand in the final opposed the 42-year-old Scot John Higgins, four times world champion, who was considered favorite for this match.

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People are saying it could be your last chance but I could come back and make a fist of it next year, you just never know what's going to happen.

"But for him to do that, I can only imagine what he went through, coming back every year and going again. I was seriously thinking of giving up, but my wife Joanne said I can't sleep in the house 24 hours a day".

"I thought days like this were absolutely gone, I mean I wasn't even here a year ago: I watched it in a caravan with some beers".

Another trademark clearance from Higgins, 82 from 47-0 down, got him within two frames. "I thought these days had all passed to be honest". Unbelievable 12 months. If I never win another tour or my form goes downhill I don't care.

"Although I had an unbelievable amount of respect for Jimmy White as a player, for him to come back six times, lose six finals and still be a class act on and off the table", he said.

Instead, the Welsh wizard forged further clear, taking his winning run of frames to seven and establishing a 14-7 lead helped by breaks of 61, 56, 69, 56 and 52.

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