Mark Williams MBE (born 21 March 1975, Ebbw Vale, Wales) is a Welsh professional snooker player.
Life & Career
Williams has won 16 ranking tournaments, including two World Championships, and is the first left-handed player to win the World Championship.
Williams, a late developer compared with his rivals (including John Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan), demonstrated his intentions to dominate the game when he won his first Masters title in 1998. The 1999/2000 season proved to be his defining moment, and he won both the UK Championship and the World Championship. These results, along with another ranking title and three runner-up positions, allowed him to capture the number one position.
Williams is believed by some to be the greatest ever potter in the game. His break-building is supreme, but relaxed positional play means that he does not often convert his frame-winning breaks of around 60 points to breaks over 100. Still he has compiled 204 competitive centuries during his career. One of his greatest qualities is his laid-back character, which helps in high-pressure situations.
Another important run of form came in the 2002/2003 season when he won the UK, Masters and World titles. This made him the only the fourth player after Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis and Higgins to hold these titles simultaneously. The season proved once again that Williams will go down in history as one of the game's greatest players.
In April 2004 Williams' fiancee Jo gave birth to the couple's first child, a boy named Connor. This, and the fact that he has achieved every ambition in the game, has meant that he often loses focus in matches and, as a result, he has slipped down the rankings. After losing in the first round of the 2003 UK Championship to Fergal O'Brien, he entered a run of relatively poor form which saw him slide to 9th in the world rankings for 2005/2006, having been only the 22nd-highest points scorer in the previous season, meaning that he would need an improvement of form to simply remain in the top 16.
Williams was awarded an MBE in June of 2004.
On April 20, 2005 he became the first Welshman, and the fifth player in history, to score the maximum 147 break at the Crucible Theatre during the World Championship. He did this in the final frame of a 10-1 first round victory over Robert Milkins.
On March 27, 2006, Williams won his first ranking event in two and a half years, the China Open in Beijing, beating John Higgins 9-8 in a fantastic final. This helped him return to the top 8 in the world rankings after a dramatic fall in the provisional rankings which saw him facing a possible drop out of the top 32.
It was revealed during the World Snooker Championships in April 2006 that Williams had split with coach Terry Griffiths. The two remain very close friends, but Terry would no longer be coaching him.
On September 2, 2006, Williams lifted the Pot Black trophy after racking up a 119 century break in the final against John Higgins.
Williams was originally an amateur boxer.
Due to an eyesight problem he is unable to distinguish between the red and brown balls, which has occasionally required him to request clarification from referees.
Williams is often referred to as Mark J. Williams, to distinguish him from another Mark Williams, an English player from the 1990s. After his 1998 Masters win, the prize money was sent to the wrong Mark Williams by accident.
- World Championship - 2000, 2003
- Grand Prix - 1996, 2000
- Regal Welsh Open - 1996, 1999
- British Open - 1997
- Irish Open - 1998
- Thailand Masters - 1999, 2000, 2002
- UK Championship - 1999, 2002
- China Open - 2001, 2006
- LG Cup - 2003
- Benson & Hedges Masters - 1998, 2003
- Pot Black Trophy - 2006