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Stephen Lee
Born 12 October 1974 (1974-10-12) (age 35),
Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Nationality England English
Professional 1992–
Highest ranking #5 (2000/2001, 2003/04)
2009/10 ranking #25
Career winnings GB£1,680,760
Highest break 145 (2008 Northern Ireland Trophy)
Tournament wins
Ranking 4

Stephen Lee (born 12 October 1974) is a professional snooker-player from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, noted for his smooth cue action that some pundits regard as the most natural in the game.[1] He has won four ranking titles, and spent 10 seasons in the Top 16 of the world rankings (including 6 in the top 8) before dropping out for the 2008/2009 Snooker Season. Lee has compiled over 100 competitive centuries during his career.

Contents

Career

Lee turned professional after winning the English Amateur Championship in 1992. During his first season as a professional he had a run of 33 successive frames won during qualifying matches, an all-time professional record[2]. He reached the Top 16 of the rankings five years later, despite never having reached the semi-finals of a ranking event at this point[3] which meant he no longer needed to play qualifying rounds for ranking events, and entered the Top 8 after winning his first ranking title during the 1998/1999 season.

Lee's ranking tournaments victories including the prestigious Grand Prix twice, in 1998 (defeating veteran Dave Harold 6-4 in a hard-fought semi-final that saw Lee come from 3-0 and 4-1 down, before beating newcomer Marco Fu convincingly in the final, 9-2) and 2001, with a World Championships best run to the semi-finals (in the 2003 event). His first ranking title and first two ranking semi-finals were all achieved without beating a top-16 player [3]. After a failed drugs test in 2000 briefly upset his momentum[4], he scored more ranking points than any other player in the 2001/2002 season (winning the Scottish Open as well as the Grand Prix), thus briefly making him the provisional world #1 early in the following season. Lee was favourite to win the 2001 Masters, but lost 5-6 in the first round to John Parrott. He was part of the England team which won the 2001 Nations Cup.

In the 2006 Welsh Open he came to the competition outside the provisional Top 16 after failing to win a ranking tournament for four years. He went on to win the tournament, beating the World Champion, Shaun Murphy 9-4 in the final.

For 2007-2008 he slipped to #13 in the rankings after reaching just one semi-final, partly due to missing the China Open for personal reasons,[5]. He nevertheless reached the final of the 2008 Masters, losing 10-3 to Mark Selby.[6] Following a heavy defeat by Joe Swail in the first round of the 2008 World Championship, confirming his drop out of the top 16 of the rankings, Lee considered retiring from the game.[7]

However, he did compete in the first ranking event of the 2008/2009 season, the 2008 Northern Ireland Trophy, and after convincing wins over Judd Trump and Stephen Hendry, he reached the last 16, where despite making three century breaks he lost 4-5 to eventual runner-up Dave Harold. He then failed to qualify for the Shanghai Masters, losing 4-5 to Tom Ford. He reached the 2009 World Championship by defeating Judd Trump in qualifying, but was beaten 10-4 in the first round by Ryan Day.

In 2009, Stephen Lee joined player management company On Q Promotions.

Personal life

He married long-term partner Laura in the summer of 2005 in Florida. He has four children - a daughter called Shana, son Connor and twin sons Ronnie and Alfie[1]. He is noted for his unusually high weight for a professional sportsman, although he has attempted to reduce this by not binge-drinking or eating late at night.[8] [9]

Tournament wins

Ranking wins

Team wins

Nations Cup with England team - 2000

References

  1. ^ a b "Stephen Lee". WorldSnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 2007–2010 [copyright date]. pp. "Player List" section. http://www.worldsnooker.com/player_list-8771.htm.   Official WPBSA player profile.
  2. ^ "Stephen Lee". www.snooker.org. http://www.snooker.org/plr/Bio/slee.shtml. Retrieved 2008-06-06.  
  3. ^ a b "Player Profile: Stephen Lee". Global Snooker Centre. http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Players/Global_Europe/Global_England/eng_stephen_lee.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-06.  
  4. ^ "Snooker: Legal twist in Lee drugs hearing". The Telegraph. 2000-11-18. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/snooker/2993125/Snooker-Legal-twist-in-Lee-drugs-hearing.html. Retrieved 2009-11-15.  
  5. ^ "Lee pulls out of China trip". worldsnooker.com. 2007-03-04. http://www.worldsnooker.com/news_latest-17765.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-06.  
  6. ^ "Mark Selby wins Masters and pockets a cheque for £150,000". Daily Mirror. 2008-01-21. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/sportsnews/topstories/2008/01/21/mark-selby-wins-masters-and-pockets-a-cheque-for-150-000-89520-20293487/. Retrieved 2008-06-06.  
  7. ^ "Beaten Lee considers retirement". BBC Sport. 2008-04-20. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/snooker/7357853.stm. Retrieved 2008-06-06.  
  8. ^ Clive Everton (2008-01-19). "Weight and expectation no problem for Lee". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/jan/19/snooker.sport. Retrieved 2009-10-04.  
  9. ^ "Lee weight loss right on cue". Sporting Life. http://www.sportinglife.com/snooker/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=snooker/08/01/19/SNOOKER_Wembley_Lee.html. Retrieved 2009-10-04.  

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