There’s nothing snooker fans love more than a maximum break. Even as the game has evolved and 147 breaks have become more commonplace, there is still something very special about seeing one. There is perhaps no greater example of perfection in sport than a maximum — it requires pinpoint precision for 36 shots and a cool head as the pressure builds towards the break’s crescendo.
With the UK Championship currently in full flow, and as fans of the sport peruse the UK Snooker Championship odds, we’ve already been lucky enough to witness a 147 from Gary Wilson in round one. It’s the 19th maximum we’ve seen in the history of the prestigious ranking event, with Wilson joining an elite list of players who have scored a perfect break at the tournament previously.
There isn’t enough time to go through every maximum, so let’s take a look at the most recent six examples, starting with arguably the most impressive of all…
Neil Robertson (2015, Final)
Any maximum break at the UK Championship is a special achievement, but to do so in the final is something else. Neil Robertson made history in 2015 by becoming the first player to make a 147 in the final of the UK Championship, with the break helping him on his way to a 10-5 win over Liang Wenbo to seal the title.
It started with a long red into the green pocket, which nestled in beautifully and allowed the Australian to craft his break from there. It was clear early on that Robertson fancied the maximum, and despite having to play a tricky plant at one point, along with a difficult red to the right middle, he held his nerve to send the York crowd into raptures.
Mark Allen (2016, Last 64)
The following year, Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen was the man to make a 147 at the UK Championship — his first in competitive competition. Facing Rod Lawler in the second round, the balls opened up beautifully for Allen, and he duly kept his composure to dispatch the lot.
Barry Hawkins (2019, Last 128)
We were made to wait three years to see another maximum break at the UK Championship, with Barry Hawkins ending the drought with a sensational effort against Gerard Greene in the first round. An audacious three-ball plant to the left middle pocket got Hawkins up and running, and from there he continued the break in his usual laid-back style. A tricky pink was duly potted, leaving an easy black to seal the maximum.
Kyren Wilson (2020, Last 128)
In the covid-enforced setting of Milton Keynes, Kyren Wilson added his name to the list of players to make a 147 at the UK Championship. Up against Ashley Hugill, a mid-range red got Wilson in with a chance, the balls positioned nicely for a 147 attempt. A couple of nice cannons kept things going, but a poor positional shot on the pink forced him to take the cueball round the angles for the black. It was a brilliant shot, and Wilson pinged in the black to secure his second professional maximum.
Stuart Bingham (2020, Last 128)
Wilson wouldn’t be the only man to notch a 147 at the 2020 edition of the UK Championship, as Stuart Bingham emulated the feat less than 24 hours later in his first-round match against Zak Surety. A lovely brush cannon got the balls opened up early on, and from there Bingham cut a cool figure as he cleared up the lot.
Only Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Stephen Hendry have made more maximum breaks in the history of the game than Bingham, and this was another example of the 2015 world champion’s sensational scoring power.
Gary Wilson (2021, Last 128)
Turning our attention back to this year’s tournament, and although Gary Wilson might not be the first player who springs to mind when making UK Championship snooker predictions, he can score as well as anyone on his day. The Gateshead man proved that in this first-round clash with Ian Burns, knocking in a sensational maximum to help him on his way to a 6-1 victory. Unfortunately for Gary, his joy was short-lived as he was duly dumped out of the tournament by Liam Highfield in the following round.