World Snooker Championship: Bingham beats Murphy 18-15
Stuart Bingham beat Shaun Murphy 18-15 in a gripping final at the Crucible to win his first World Championship.
Bingham began the final session with a 14-11 lead and won an epic 64-minute frame at 15-15 to close in on victory.
The 38-year-old made a break of 65 to go 17-15 in front and clinched the title with a brilliant 88.
Bingham, from Basildon, becomes the oldest snooker world champion since Welshman Ray Reardon won the title aged 45 in 1978.
He collected a winner's cheque for £300,000 and will rise from 10th to second in the world rankings.
"At one stage at 15-15 I thought I was going to do Shaun's [runner-up] speech," Bingham told BBC Sport. "It was a 64-minute frame to go 16-15 and that really calmed me down.
|Steve Davis, six-time world champion|
|"It gives everybody hope that it can turn around. We don't know if he truly believed he could win this two weeks ago but he played like he did. When he needed to be focused, by the end he was calmer than anyone in the room. It shows that nice guys can be winners."|
"To beat Shaun in the final tops everything off. Twenty years as professional - blood, sweat and tears on the road. Qualifying in places like Prestatyn and Malvern.
"So many family and friends have backed me. It is unbelievable."
And Bingham, a 50-1 long-shot at the start of the tournament, held his nerve to become the oldest first-time winner at the Crucible.
Thirty years on from Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis's iconic final - which was won on the last black - both Bingham and Murphy played their part in another memorable title decider.
A breathtaking first day saw Murphy, from Nottingham, edge one frame ahead as the pair produced four centuries and 13 half-centuries.
Bingham did the damage in the third session on Monday, winning six of the eight frames to go in front at 14-11 and missing the last red when on for a maximum 147 break in the 20th frame.
He had the upper hand going into the final session but Murphy pulled a frame back, before Bingham's brilliant 102 under pressure put him three away from victory at 15-12.
|John Parrott, 1991 champion|
|"It has been the tournament of his life. He has played the best he has played at the most important time in his life. And it is no fluke, he deserves everything he gets in this event."|
Murphy, nicknamed 'The Magician', made breaks of 75 and 64 to level the contest at 15-15, but a missed yellow then proved decisive in a tense 31st frame.
Bingham crucially edged in front again after an hour-long battle and that spurred him on to make 55 in the next, before a missed red from Murphy opened up the table for his opponent to seal a famous victory.
Murphy said: "It's been a great fortnight for me. It's not finished the way I wanted it to.
"I came here well prepared and gave it my best as I always do and to come up against an inspired Stuart Bingham... sometimes your name is just on the trophy."