THERE could only be one winner in the World Snooker Championship final – but for Accrington snooker coach Chris Henry, he had a foot in both camps.

Mark Selby lifted his fourth World Championship title when holding off the challenge of Shaun Murphy after four epic sessions of snooker to win 18-15.

Henry is the coach of both players, so was guaranteed to be in the winning corner, but also having to console the runner-up, in this case 2005 winner Murphy.

Both players discussed the role of their coach during the post-match presentation, with a proud Henry watching on after seeing both of his charges do battle.

Selby moved back to world number two with the victory, his fourth World title but first since 2017. And the Leicester man credits Henry with turning around his game and also his mental approach.

“A few years ago I had some really dark days and times were tough, all the family and everyone close to me understood what I was going through, so this is a special one,” he said.

“Shaun was the first player to go on board with Chris and now he’s got lots of players under his wing.

“We’ve only been together a year, since the World Championships in 2020, and coming here then I wasn’t too confident and he got me to one frame away from the final.

“Working with him this year I’ve seen massive differences in my self-belief, I was a bit fragile before I got with Chris and he’s worked wonders. A big thank you.”

Murphy made back-to-back century breaks to cut the deficit to 17-15 before a miss late in frame 33 allowed ‘super granite’ Selby to clinch the title.

Asked of Henry’s impact on a turnaround in his form, Murphy joked: “None today!

“Chris and I have worked together since 2013 and he’s be been an integral part of the team and what I’ve done over the last eight years. We’ve had a great run, won many tournaments all around the world.

“For Team Henry, to have two players in the final, I’m thrilled for Mark, gutted myself, but thrilled to be part of what has been a great final.”

Henry was a former pupil at St Oswald’s and Mount Carmel and after a year as a professional on the circuit, he moved into combining coaching with a number of business ventures.

He now has several of the game’s top players under his tutelage and watched on with pride from the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. He was joined by a sold-out crowd, and runner-up Murphy was keen to pay thanks to the 2,500 fans who came out and showed their support for the players, but also the game.

“Sport is nothing without fans and we were so thrilled to have everyone back. With a full house, on a personal note it’s been a tough year for me on tour with the travel restrictions but you have brought me back,” Murphy said.