White leads Hendry tributes
Whirlwind leads tributes to now retired snooker legend
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: May 2, 2012 1:11pm
Jimmy White has led the tributes to seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry after he announced his retirement from snooker.
The 43-year-old called it quits after a 13-2 quarter-final defeat by Stephen Maguire at the World Championship at the Crucible.
Hendry won four of his seven Crucible titles by defeating White in the showpiece final, and despite both men slipping down the rankings they remain two of the greatest draws in snooker.
White led the early tributes to Hendry as he took to Twitter soon after the news broke.
"He was and is an unbelievable snooker player & has nothing to prove. I hope he enjoys his retirement he really deserves it!" White wrote.
"He's always put snooker first, been a model professional, credit to the game and I'll see him in the legends tour this year for more battles.
"I thank him sincerely for some of the best matches and memories of my own career. I'm not sure his records will ever be equalled!"
Fellow Scot Maguire proved to be Hendry's final opponent at the Crucible, and he reacted with shock as he found out the news shortly after their match.
"I'm shocked. I totally wasn't expecting that there," Maguire said. "I don't know why (he is retiring). I'm speechless. He's left a great legacy.
"He's the best player to ever pick up a cue in my eyes. It's going to take someone to win a lot of tournaments to equal him."
2005 Crucible champion Shaun Murphy also offered his tribute on Twitter as he also revealed his surprise at the announcement.
"Most successful snooker player of all time, Stephen Hendry retires. Can't believe it" he wrote.
Former world number three Neal Foulds added: "Probably the greatest snooker player ever. I wish him well with whatever he does outside of playing professionally."