Gary Wilson (snooker player)

Gary Wilson (born 11 August 1985) is an English professional snooker player from Wallsend in North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear.

Gary Wilson
Paul Hunter Classic 2016
Born (1985-08-11) 11 August 1985 (age 35)
Wallsend, England
Sport country England
NicknameThe Tyneside Terror
Professional2004–2006, 2013–
Highest ranking17 (December 2019–February 2020, October 2020)
Current ranking 33 (as of 4 May 2021)
Career winnings£451,172
Highest break147 (3 times)
Century breaks165
Best ranking finishRunner-up (2015 China Open)
Tournament wins


Early career

Wilson started playing snooker aged three and soon started showing promise.[1] At the age of 8 he had already been put into a team performing in the local league, despite some clubs refusing to allow a child to play. Aged 9, he made his first century, and appeared for the first time at the BBC1's snooker game show series Junior Big Break: Stars of the Future (he would make two more appearances at the show). He played exhibition matches with John Parrott and Willie Thorne and defeated Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan in level matches. Wilson went on to win a number of national titles, including the UK Under-18 championship twice, and was widely regarded as one of the most promising junior players in the country.[2]

In 2003, Wilson made his international debut at the European U-19's Championship in Latvia. The same year he started his professional career by playing Challenge Tour, the second-level professional tour at the time, and won the fourth event in 2004 to finish fourth in the rankings and secure his place on the main tour for 2004–05 season.[3] Wilson's biggest achievement that year however was the victory at the World Under-21 Snooker Championship in Ireland. Having won all seven of his round robin matches, dropping just two frames along the way, he then went all the way to the final, defeating the likes of Pankaj Advani, Aditya Mehta and Liang Wenbo. In the final Wilson saw off Kobkit Palajin with top breaks of 142 and 135 to win 11–5.

In his debut season Wilson reached the last 48 of the Irish Masters and last 64 of the China Open.[4] These results were just enough to ensure that he would remain on tour for another year. The next season, Wilson twice reached the last 64 stage of the tournaments, however the rest of his performances was unsuccessful and following defeat to James Tatton in the World Championship qualifying he fell off the tour.[5] In 2013 Wilson commented: "At the end of it, when you looked at the rankings it was only by one match and I was gutted. The thing is, at the time, and this is not an excuse, the game was nowhere near as popular as now. It was going through a really bad patch and there were only six tournaments in all compared to now when there are 20–25 tournaments per season. It meant if you had two bad tournaments and you were not doing too well you did not have much time to recover. It is so different now."[1]

Amateur years and return to main tour

Wilson was to spend the next four years attempting to regain his tour place via the PIOS tour, having come close to finishing inside the top 8 on several occasions. He was forced to start working as a taxi driver at the time to make a living.[1]

Following the introduction of the Q School Wilson again came close to winning a tour card, twice reaching the fourth round in 2011 and once in 2012. He also took part in the 2012 IBSF World Championship in Bulgaria, having finished top of the English amateur rankings. He reached the final but lost 8–10 to Muhammad Asif. During the 2011–12 season Wilson entered a number of PTC events, defeating the likes of Peter Ebdon and Marco Fu and reaching the last 32 twice. The next season was even better, as he performed consistently and reached the last 16 of Scottish Open; as a result he finished third among the amateur players on the Order of Merit and finally regained his tour place after seven years.[6] Wilson said, "I knew if I went quite far in that last event I would be able to turn professional off that, so losing the world amateur final did not end my dreams".[1]


Wilson had one of the strongest starts to the season among the new players on tour. In the first tournament, the Wuxi Classic, he defeated James Wattana to qualify for his second ever venue appearance; there he would lose in a deciding frame to David Morris.[7] After failing to qualify for both the Australian Open and Shanghai Masters, Wilson had his best result to date at the inaugural Indian Open, defeating Jimmy White, Dominic Dale and Marco Fu on the way to last 16, where he again lost in the deciding frame, this time to Michael White.[8] Following his first round defeat at the International Championship to Wattana, Wilson went on to reach last 32 of both the UK Championship and German Masters. During the qualifying match for the latter tournament against Ricky Walden in December, Wilson made his first maximum break in professional competition.[9] He also performed successfully at the European Tour events, winning his first round matches at every tournament. The highlight was his first ever semi-final at the Rotterdam Open where he was leading eventual tournament winner Mark Williams 3–1 but lost 4–3.[10] Thanks to these performances Wilson finished 24th on the Order of Merit to qualify for the Finals, where he was whitewashed 4–0 by Fu. Wilson's season came to a disappointing end as he was beaten 10–4 by James Cahill in the opening round of World Championship qualifying.[7] However, he had made enough money during the year to give up his taxi driver job and concentrate on playing snooker full-time in the future.[11]


Wilson qualified for the 2014 Wuxi Classic, the opening ranking event of the season, where he lost 5–3 to Alan McManus in the first round. He couldn't regain his momentum from last year as he failed to progress beyond the last 64 stage of any tournament in the first half of the season.[12] Wilson's breakthrough came in February at the Welsh Open, as he defeated Zhang Anda, John Astley and Joe Perry. He then knocked out Neil Robertson 4–2 to reach his first major quarter-final, stating afterwards that he had proven that he could handle the big occasions.[11] Wilson took an early 2–1 lead against Ben Woollaston, but lost four frames in a row to be beaten 5–2.[13] In the opening round of the Indian Open, Wilson was edged out 4–3 by Adam Duffy.[12]

At the China Open, Wilson eliminated Liang Wenbo 5–3, Ricky Walden 5–2 and Dechawat Poomjaeng 5–1 to play in his second ranking event quarter-final in under two months.[12] Despite defeating Barry Hawkins 5–3, Wilson said that he was struggling with his game but hoped to find his form in the semi-finals against home favourite and reigning champion Ding Junhui.[14] He fell 3–1 down, but moved 5–3 ahead with four breaks of 50 or above. Ding took the match into a deciding frame in which Wilson made a 72 to set up a meeting with reigning world champion Mark Selby in the final, in which Wilson was heavily beaten 10–2.[15] Wilson said later that he didn't feel the occasion got to him, but simply missed the majority of chances that came his way and cued across the ball many times.[16] His last match of the season was a 10–7 loss to Li Hang in the second round of World Championship qualifying.[12] Wilson's successful year resulted in him increasing his ranking by 34 places in 12 months to end the season 34th in the world.[17]


Wilson could not build on last year's exploits during the 2015–16 season. He lost in the qualifiers for the first three ranking events. He beat Martin O'Donnell 6–3 at the UK Championship, before being defeated 6–4 by Martin Gould in the second round. Wilson reached the same stage of the Welsh Open, but lost 4–1 to Liang Wenbo. He qualified for the China Open and was knocked out 5–3 by Stephen Maguire in the opening round.[18]


At the Indian Open, Wilson overcame Zhao Xintong 4–1 and Anthony Hamilton 4–2, before losing 4–2 to Akani Songsermsawad. His only last 16 appearance of the season so far came at the Northern Ireland Open courtesy of knocking out Peter Lines 4–0, Andrew Higginson 4–3 and Sam Baird 4–3. Wilson was defeated 4–3 by Mark Allen. Wilson qualified for the China Open and beat Graeme Dott 5–3, before losing 5–1 to Shaun Murphy.[19]

Wilson had a successful qualifying for the 2017 World Championship. Making a 147 in the fourth frame against Josh Boileau, he edged through 10–9. In the second qualifying round he defeated Peter Lines 10–7 and then Michael White 10–3. In his three matches he made eight centuries, more than double that of any other player. He rated the achievement of qualifying bigger than reaching the final of the China Open.[20] On his debut in the event he played Ronnie O'Sullivan and rallied from 5–1 to only be 5–4 down after the first session. He fell 9–5 behind, before winning two frames in a row, but O'Sullivan then got the frame he needed to progress 10–7. Wilson made two century breaks during the match.[21]


At the 2019 Snooker World Championship Wilson defeated Luca Brecel, Mark Selby and Ali Carter before losing 17–11 to eventual winner Judd Trump in the semi-finals.


At the WST Pro Series, Wilson made his third career maximum break when he was playing against Liam Highfield in the group stage. This was the first maximum break in the history of the event and 166th maximum in snooker history.[22]

Performance and rankings timeline

Tournament 2003/
Ranking[23][nb 1] [nb 2] [nb 3] 79 [nb 2] [nb 2] [nb 3] 68 34 42 57 40 20 18 33
Ranking tournaments
European Masters[nb 4] A LQ LQ Tournament Not Held LQ LQ 2R SF WD
English Open Tournament Not Held 1R 2R 1R 4R 4R
Championship League Non-Ranking Event RR
Northern Ireland Open Tournament Not Held 4R 4R 3R 1R 1R
UK Championship A LQ LQ A A 3R 1R 2R 1R 1R 3R 4R 1R
Scottish Open[nb 5] A Tournament Not Held MR Tournament Not Held 2R 2R 1R 2R 1R
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held NR DNQ DNQ DNQ 1R QF DNQ
German Masters Tournament Not Held A A 2R LQ A LQ 2R LQ 2R LQ
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 1R 2R 3R 1R 1R
Welsh Open A LQ LQ A A 1R QF 2R 1R SF 2R 2R 2R
Players Championship[nb 6] Tournament Not Held DNQ DNQ 1R DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
Gibraltar Open Tournament Not Held MR 2R 2R 4R 1R 1R
WST Pro Series Tournament Not Held RR
Tour Championship Tournament Not Held DNQ DNQ DNQ
World Championship LQ LQ LQ A A LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ SF LQ 1R
Non-ranking tournaments
The Masters LQ A LQ A A A A A A A A A 1R
Championship League Tournament Not Held A A A A A A A A 2R 2R RR
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship Tournament Not Held A 2R A A A A A SF NH
Former ranking tournaments
British Open A LQ Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters A LQ Tournament Not Held
Wuxi Classic Tournament Not Held NR A 1R 1R Tournament Not Held
Australian Goldfields Open Tournament Not Held A A LQ LQ LQ Tournament Not Held
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held A A LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R Non-Ranking NH
Paul Hunter Classic NH Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event 2R QF 2R NR NH
Indian Open Tournament Not Held 3R 1R NH 3R 2R 1R Not Held
China Open NH LQ LQ A A 1R F 1R 2R 3R 1R Not Held
Riga Masters[nb 7] Tournament Not Held Minor-Ranking 1R 1R LQ 3R NH
International Championship Tournament Not Held A 1R LQ LQ 1R 1R LQ QF NH
China Championship Tournament Not Held NR LQ 2R LQ NH
World Open[nb 8] A LQ 1R A A LQ Not Held 1R 1R QF LQ NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held A A A 1R 3R Ranking Event
Paul Hunter Classic NH Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event Ranking Event 1R NH
Haining Open Tournament Not Held Minor-Ranking A 1R QF A NH
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi–finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Heldmeans an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Eventmeans an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Eventmeans an event is/was a ranking event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Eventmeans an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
PA / Pro-am Eventmeans an event is/was a pro-am event.
  1. From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. He was an amateur.
  3. New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  4. The event was called the European Open (2003/2004) and the Malta Cup (2004/2005–2005/2006)
  5. The event was called the Players Championship (2003/2004)
  6. The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2011/2012–2012/2013)
  7. The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
  8. The event was called the LG Cup (2003/2004), the Grand Prix (2004/2005–2009/2010), the World Open (2010/2011) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014)

Career finals

Ranking finals: 1 (1 runner-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2015 China Open Mark Selby 2–10

Non-ranking finals: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2003 Challenge Tour – Event 2 Hugh Abernethy 0–6
Winner 1. 2004 Challenge Tour – Event 4 Jin Long 6–4

Team finals: 1 (1 runner-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Team/partner Opponent(s) in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2007 World Mixed Doubles Championship Pam Wood Joe Perry
Leah Willett

Amateur finals: 4 (3 titles, 1 runner-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2004 IBSF World Under-21 Championship Kobkit Palajin 11–5
Winner 2. 2012 English Amateur Championship Martin O'Donnell 10–9
Winner 3. 2012 EBSA Qualifying Tour – Belgium Elliot Slessor 3–0
Runner–up 1. 2012 IBSF World Snooker Championship Mohammad Asif 8–10


  1. "Wilson is hoping for a big break second time around". Chronicle Live. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  2. "Snooker: Cue king Gary has world at his feet". The Journal. 31 August 2004. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  3. "Gary Wilson – Season 2003/2004". Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  4. "Gary Wilson – Season 2004/2005". Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  5. "Gary Wilson – Season 2005/2006". Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  6. "Order of Merit". WWW Snooker. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  7. "Gary Wilson 2013/2014". Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  8. "Indian Open 2013: Results". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  9. "Gary Wilson: Snooker player shoots maximum 147 break". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  10. "Selby to meet Williams in Rotterdam Open final". Eurosport. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  11. "Robertson Joins Cardiff Casualties". World Snooker. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  12. "Gary Wilson 2014/2015". Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  13. "Welsh Open: Luca Brecel and Ben Woollaston reach semi-finals in Cardiff". Sky Sports. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  14. "Ding To Face Wilson in Beijing". World Snooker. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  15. "Wilson Stuns Ding To Earn Selby Final". World Snooker. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  16. "Selby Storms To China Title". World Snooker. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  17. "World Rankings After 2015 World Championship". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  18. "Gary Wilson 2015/2016". Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  19. "Gary Wilson 2016/2017". Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  20. "Yan Secures Crucible Debut". World Snooker. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  21. "Rocket Battles Past Wilson". World Snooker. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  22. "Gary Wilson Makes 147". World Snooker. 20 January 2021. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  23. "Ranking History". Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  24. "Reanne Evans defends World Snooker Championship". Retrieved 19 August 2018.