The world snooker champion was mark Williams

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The 43-year-old, who had promised to strip off if he won, beat Scotland's John Higgins 18-16 in a dramatic final to become the event's oldest victor for 40 years. However, Williams pulled through and won 18-16 by the end of the match.

Mark Williams proved to be a man of his word, stripping off for the post final press conference, after the Welsh man landed his third world title.

Williams won seven consecutive frames from 7-7 to lead 14-7, and despite a rally from Higgins to 15-15 he closed out victory in the 34th frame, in the closest final since 2005. He said of his family, during this year's tournament: "I'm sure they've enjoyed it".

Having finished runner-up to Selby previous year, Higgins becomes the first player to lose back-to-back finals since Jimmy White lost five in a row from 1990-94.

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The 43-year-old didn't even appear at the World Championship last year and had contemplated retiring from snooker following a lack of form.

"Last year I watched this in a caravan having some beers".

"12 months ago I wasn't even here". Where has it come from?

"I was thinking, 'I'm not going to get over the line here.' I knew if I didn't get enough he was going to clear up again, but I'm over the moon". I've just done something I never thought I would.

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The title earned him a total of 425,000 pounds, bringing his total for the season to 885,400 pounds.

He's done it! @markwil147 wins the World Championship for a third time after a truly epic match with John Higgins... Higgins, who lost to Selby in last year's final, pocketed 180,000 pounds.

'If I won this again next year, I'd do this again - I'd cartwheel round here naked. Williams nearly quit the sport last summer after a decade of poor form, and failing even to qualify for the blue-riband tournament.

Having then lost eight of the previous nine frames, the world No 7 could have crumbled but instead he grittily made contributions of 41 and 33 to move back ahead at 16-15 before nervelessly edging within one of victory thanks to a break of 100.

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Williams went into the final on the back of a tardy finish to his tense semi-final win over Barry Hawkins on Saturday followed by a visit to a kebab house at 0130 GMT.