‘I can’t believe that… you’re winding me up’: Stephen Hendry reacts with shock to news that he will take on old rival Jimmy White in World Championship snooker qualifying as veterans with a combined age of 110 draw each other in first round
- Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White are both veterans of the snooker tour
- With a combined age of 110, they have been drawn to face each other again
- Rather than in finals, it is in the first round of qualifying for the World Champs
- Hendry couldn’t believe the draw when he was told live on ITV on Wednesday
Stephen Hendry reacted with shock after being told live on ITV that he will be taking on his old rival Jimmy White in the first round of qualifying for the Betfred World Championship.
Hendry, who made an eagerly-anticipated comeback to the professional tour at the Gibraltar Open earlier this month after nearly nine years in retirement, had a famous rivalry with White in the early 1990s.
The duo memorably contested four World Championship finals in the space of five years in Sheffield and Hendry prevailed on each occasion in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1994 en route to becoming a record seven-time winner.
Stephen Hendry couldn’t believe it when he was told he would face Jimmy White in qualifying
The pair have faced each other in various finals down the years but will now play in qualifying
Now, though, times have changed and the pair will incredibly face off at the very start of their World Championship journey in the first round of qualifying.
After being told live on ITV, Hendry couldn’t believe the news.
‘No, stop it,’ he said. ‘I can’t believe that. You’re winding me up – that’s unbelievable.
‘All those finals we played and now we’re starting off at rock bottom playing each other in the very first round. It’s incredible.
‘We’ve been practising together as well, so that’s ended!’
In order to gain entry to the first round of the World Championship, which gets under way on April 17, Hendry and White – who have a combined age of 110 – face four matches in a qualification event that starts on April 5.
The pair’s last meeting in the professional ranks went in Hendry’s favour as he won 9-8 in the last-32 of the 2010 UK Championship, but White, 58, defeated his old nemesis 4-2 en route to going all the way in the World Senior Championship last August.
White has never been able to get his hands on the grandest prize, despite featuring in six finals, while the ‘Whirlwind’ last reached the main draw in 2006 – and has been a losing qualifier in every year since then.
Hendry beat White in the World Championship final in 1990, 1992, 1993 (pictured) and 1994
White watches on from his chair during the 1994 final, which Hendry went on to win 18-17