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"I had to wear the towel on the orders of [world snooker chairman] Barry Hearn otherwise I would just have walked in, just crying".

The only downside for Williams, other than getting to show off his tattoo sleeves and beach-bod, was it got all got a bit nippy in the media room.

Ray Reardon was 45 when he won in 1978, and his fellow Welshman Williams is the oldest man to get to grips with the trophy since.

Williams had led the match 14-7 at one point only to see Higgins roar back to level it at 15-15, he would eventually win it 18-16.

Williams was talked out of retirement previous year by his wife following a slump in form that was so profound that he didn't even qualify for the Crucible. I was thinking about chucking it in a year ago.

"It's like a drug this game and that atmosphere tonight, that one-table setup in the Crucible; if I never get there again, at least I can say I've been there a few times to sample it".

Williams failed to qualify for the 2017 tournament, and said he had watched it from his caravan.

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"The red he potted at the end was ridiculous, and it was one of the best breaks under pressure".

Speaking to the BBC after last night's win in Sheffield, Williams said: "It's unbelievable". But Williams, who won his last world title 15 years ago, held on to secure the victory, along with a cheque for £425,000.

Williams led 10-7 going into today's final two sessions and swiftly extended his advantage by winning four consecutive frames as he demonstrated his potting prowess.

The Welshman became the oldest victor at the Crucible for 40 years after a comeback victory against John Higgins in a remarkable turn of fortunes. "I've just done something I thought I'd never ever do". The last frame was just a joke there for him to play that well under that pressure.

Showing nerves of steel Higgins nicked the frame with a break of 82.

"It's unbelievable", said Williams, who, as promised, turned up for his post-final press conference naked. "I knew if I didn't get enough he was going to clear up again, but I'm over the moon". I didn't want to lose with a session to spare, and at 14-7 that looked possible.


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