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Liverpool Victoria Charity Challenge
Champions Sup
Invitation Events

Brief History - Charity Challenge            (click for Champions Cup)
This represented a new idea that players would be linked to a specific charity and   that charity and not the player would receive the prize money. In fact players were paid “expenses” in varying amounts according to performance which at least ensured that it was treated more seriously than an exhibition. The International Convention centre in Birmingham proved to be a superb venue.
 A field of sixteen of the top names took part and some £300,000 went to charity as a result of the first event which was played in early January. The format remained the same in 1996 but in 1997 the number of entrants was reduced to eight and that remained the size of the field.
In 1998, after three years in Birmingham, it moved to Derby Assembly Rooms, a venue which has staged many big snooker events in the past. It also moved to late February at the same time.
Apart from Dennis Taylor reaching the first final, the event was dominated by three players. Stephen Hendry won it twice, John Higgins, twice and runner up once and Ronnie O’Sullivan who won it once and was runner up on three occasions.
After five years the event was dropped in favour of the Champion’s Cup.

Roll Of Honour 

Season Venue Sponsor Winner
Runner Up Score
1994/5 ICC Birmingham Liverpool Victoria Stephen Hendry Dennis Taylor 9-1
1995/6 ICC Birmingham Liverpool Victoria Ronnie O'Sullivan John Higgins 9-6
1996/7 ICC Birmingham Liverpool Victoria Stephen Hendry Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-8
1997/8 Assembly Rooms, Derby Liverpool Victoria John Higgins Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-8
1998/9 Assembly Rooms, Derby Liverpool Victoria John Higgins Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-4

Maximum Breaks
Stephen Hendry 1996/7 Final v. Ronnie O'Sullivan

Champion’s Cup

After five years backing the Charity Challenge, Liverpool Victoria switched their backing to the Champion’s Cup which replaced it in the 1999/2000 season. This was designed to be a season opener featuring all those who had won major titles the previous season although it was sometimes necessary to draft in one or two players to make up the numbers.
The first one was held at The Fairfield Halls in Croydon when ten players were split into two round robin groups with the top two in each going into the semi finals. A novel aspect of this event was that there was a winner-take-all first prize of £175,000 with nothing for the others.
For the next two seasons it moved to Brighton with roughly the same format except that there were only eight players and this time a more normal prize money structure was adopted but the first prize of £100,000 was still nearly treble that earned by the runner-up. Liverpool Victoria no longer provided support and 110 Sport, then known as TSN, gave some backing but in 2001 the event had no sponsor at all and, with ITV dropping their snooker coverage, it was omitted from the calendar thereafter. Hendry, O’Sullivan and John Higgins won it once each with Mark Williams being the unlucky runner-up on each occasion.
Roll Of Honour             
Season Venue Sponsor Winner
Runner Up Score 1st Prize
1999/00 Fairfield Halls, Croydon Liverpool Victoria Stephen Hendry Mark J. Williams 7-5 £175,000*
2000/1 Brighton Centre TSN Ronnie O'Sullivan Mark J. Williams 7-5 £100,000
2001/2 Brighton Centre none John Higgins Mark J. Williams 7-4 £100,000
*"winner takes all"

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© Chris Turner 2008