Indeed, many can't see past the present stars. Also World Billiards champion 4 times, so he gets my vote!
Without the Davis brothers, I doubt whether snooker be where it is today!
FWIW, one of his practice tables is (was) in Hendon Golf Club.
There's certainly 3 standout players currently, with quite a few not far below their level
Lindrum hardly potted a ball! Nursery cannons were his specialty. His nephew, Horace, favoured Snooker though and was rather good at it - even after having been declared technically blind! Kiwi Clark McConachy was pretty good at both too. It was likely only the relative remoteness of NZ that stopped him from 'featuring' more than he did. I had a couple of 'his' cues back in the day.
In the modern era (1970’s onwards) when snooker became more mainstream and gained a following from TV, O’Sullivan is clearly the best to have played. He has the most 147’s, the most century breaks, most ranking tournament wins and most Triple Crown wins. After last night he is also has the most World Championships (tied).
He is now the oldest player to have won the World Championship, the victory last night coming 21 years after his first World Championship. Hendry dominated the 90’s, Davis the 80’s and arguably Reardon (in terms of World Championship wins) the 70’s. O’Sullivan’s longevity sets him apart. Plus, he is also the most entertaining/best to watch, regardless of if you dislike his personality.
Indeed, colour TV and Snooker were great for each other! Pot Black was perfectly timed to provide benefit for both. Ray Reardon was my particular favourite from the entertainment pov - and a real gentleman too. He was on a tour with Eddie Charlton once many years ago and made a point of greeting a local Billiards star (Eric Simons) who had just recovered from a horrendous accident, that killed his wife, while on their way to NZ Champs.
That gaffe by Ted Lowe was classic btw!
Ronnie in my opinion the best ever. Hendry and Davis moved the game forward so much and they had the likes of White to provide the mercurial talent and flair but O'Sullivan has the skill and ball control of both Hendry and Davis but the showmanship of White and others as well.