STUART BINGHAM admits having his wife and children there to enjoy his English Open win made it “priceless” after a testing year for his family.
Ballrun gave a tearful winner’s speech after claiming the title and £70,000 top prize with a 9-7 win over good pal Mark Davis in Crawley on Sunday evening.
It was the Essex star’s first ranking title since the 2017 Welsh Open and first since returning from a three-month ban for breaching betting rules.
Bingham and his wife Michelle, along with daughter Tegan, 15, son Shae, seven, and baby Marnie, 22 months, all posed with the Steve Davis Trophy for the cameras on another memorable night for the family from Bowers Gifford.
Marnie stole the show by playing with the shiny confetti as she sat on the snooker table, and Shae took his place sitting on the sofa between his dad and star Ronnie O’Sullivan for the live post match TV interview.
Bingham’s manager Gary Purkiss was also the butt on an inside joke as he took his seat on the sofa when host Andy Goldstein referred to him as Bingham’s dad!
Bingham said: “It might not have happened like that as Michelle was going to leave Marnie with a friend. But I said I wanted them all up there in case I got my hands on that trophy. I said, ‘I want that picture’.
“And last night when we were trying to get to sleep Michelle said she was so happy that she did bring all of them because we could never get that back. So it was priceless and another occasion we will never forget.”
The victory meant Bingham is now one of only 18 players to have won five or more ranking titles, and saw him jump from 15th to 11th in the world rankings.
It also earned him a place in the Champion of Champions tournament in Coventry next month, a spot at February’s World Grand Prix, and a likely berth at March’s Players Championship.
Bingham beat Duane Jones, Hossein Vafaei, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Ricky Walden and Stephen Maguire on route to the final with Davis.
But Sunday’s win was slightly bitter-sweet as it came against a close friend in Davis, who had reached his first ranking final in 27 years as a professional.
Bingham, 42, and Davis, 46, have been friends for over 20 years, they practice together, regularly play golf together and their families often socialise together.
Bingham said: “I’ve played Mark a number of times and always find him hard to beat.
“He gets through all his qualifiers but had never really produced it out on the main stage.
“But over the last week he produced it by beating John Higgins and Ronnie O’Sullivan really well, so he will take a lot from that.”
Next up for Bingham is a match with Scotland’s Eden Sharav on Sunday, October 28, at the International Championship in China.
Bingham said: “I think that will be a tough match. He had a good run in the English Open before Ronnie beat him.
“So it will be a tough game as I am sure he will want to topple my form after my good week in Crawley.”