Shaun Murphy (born August 10, 1982) is an English professional snooker player and the 2005 world snooker champion.
Murphy was born in Northampton, but lives in Rotherham with his wife Clare, whom he met on an online Christian chatroom. He has told the BBC Snooker that he found faith as a teenager, and sees it as the biggest influence on his life, praying before each match.
As one of the Young Players of Distinction in 2000, he was long expected to become a star, but his progress was gradual until this achievement. His previous best performance was reaching the semi-finals of the British Open in 2004. He reached the Crucible in 2002 and 2003, losing 10-9 to Ken Doherty in the latter.
Shaun also loves the United States and has visited New York three times. He is also a keen piano player and single-figure handicap golfer.
During the 2005 championships, he beat former world champions John Higgins (13-8), Steve Davis (13-4), Peter Ebdon (17-12), and finalist Matthew Stevens (18-16) to win the World Championship. His run echoed the first championship win of his childhood idol Davis, who also beat 3 world champions (Alex Higgins, Cliff Thorburn and Terry Griffiths) to reach the final.
The World tournament doubled his previous career prize money and his run to the final earned him the nickname Magician. He purchased a Mercedes Benz E-Class with the proceeds of his world championship win.
At the age of 22, Murphy became the second youngest player ever to win the World Championships, following Stephen Hendry who first lifted the title when he was 21. He also became only the second-ever qualifier to win the World Championships, the other being Terry Griffiths in 1979.
Murphy began the 2005 World Championships ranked number 48 on the world ranking and with the odds of 125-1. He had to play two qualifying matches to reach the final stages. Never before had a World Champion played that many matches (7 in total) to lift the title.