By Andrew Atkinson
Seven-time world snooker champion Stephen Hendry is to come out of retirement after receiving an invitational tour card to play on the World Snooker Tour for the next two seasons.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to enter some tournaments over the coming two seasons,” said Hendry, 51, who retired in 2012.
Hendry, winner of 36 ranking titles during his 27-year career, has received an invitational tour card alongside Jimmy White, Ken Doherty and James Wattana.
Hendry’s total of seven World Championship titles during 1990-1999, is unmatched in snooker’s modern era.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is the only player to have won more ranking titles in the wake of winning his 37th at the World Championship at the Crucible in August.
“I am thrilled that Stephen has decided to return to the tour,” said World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn.
“He is a giant of the sport and I know that all eyes will be on him every time he takes to the table in the coming months.
“It’s great to know that Stephen’s competitive fires are still burning and given his extraordinary achievements, it was a no-brainer to offer him the opportunity to come back.”
Hendry, eligible to play on the World Snooker Tour at the European Masters, scheduled for September 21-27, said: “I’ve always missed the buzz of competing.
“Although I have no expectations in terms of performance, this felt like a good time to explore getting back to the table.”