Club closures are a threat to the pipeline, says Stephen Hendry

Stephen Hendry celebrates winning one of his seven world snooker titles.
Stephen Hendry celebrates winning one of his seven world snooker titles.
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Stephen Hendry is widely regarded as the greatest snooker player of all time, but fears where the champions of tomorrow are coming from.

When Hendry turned professional at the raw age of 16, snooker clubs were “on every other street”.

But after a stunning career which saw him win a record seven world titles between 1990 and 1999, topping the rankings list for eight consecutive years, and banking nearly £9m in prize money, the snooker scene has vastly changed.

Clubs are closing, and opportunities for youngsters are dwindling.

“I am a bit worried about the amateur game, the youngsters coming through,” said Hendry, who won 36 ranking titles and scored 775 centuries before retiring in 2012.

“The people who are winning tournaments now are established players, people in their 30s and 40s.

“There was a guy last week in Germany from China who was 16, but where are the 16 and 17-year-olds in the UK? You can’t see them, so that’s a little but of a worry.

“You would be hard pressed to find a local snooker club these days, they used to be on every other street.

“Even if young people want to play snooker, where can they go?

“It’s something the powers-that-be might have to take a look at.”