Jimmy ‘Whirlwind’ White will have to wait another year to earn his fourth World Seniors snooker title after losing 5-4 to Lee Walker in a nail-biting final on Sunday night.

The six-time Crucible runner-up started with a break of 64 to lead 1-0 in Sheffield before battling his way to a 4-2 lead despite unable to replicate his high-scoring style that got him to the climax earlier in the day.

After rolling in breaks of 138, 74, 71, and 53 in a 4-1 win over Rory McLeod on Saturday, White added a 62 to his 132 in a semi-final thrashing of UK Seniors holder Peter Lines, who had beaten 1995 world finalist Nigel Bond 4-1 to advance.

Yet, White was held to only six points in the final three frames as Walker – the coach and close friend of three-time world champion Mark Williams – followed up an earlier 72 with match-winning breaks of 79 and 83 to secure a well-deserved victory that he hailed as a “career highlight.”

Walker didn’t make things easy for himself though, during the competition, winning the seniors title after a series of stunning comebacks.

He had to come back from 2-0 down against Ken Doherty in the quarter-finals before dethroning defending champion David Lilley in a similar way, coming back from 3-0 down to win 4-3,

In the finals, against Jimmy White, a three-time winner of this competition and a six-time world championship runner-up, Walker turned back the years with breaks of 138 and 132.

White then got off to a fast start in the final, winning the first frame with a 64 break. The Londoner maintained his momentum, taking a 3-1 lead into the mid-session break.

Walker answered with a promising break of 72 upon resuming. However, White regained his lead and pulled within one frame of the title with a 4-2 victory.

Walker didn’t appear frightened by the task, despite having already produced a number of spectacular comebacks. In reality, he rapidly got his stride and set about closing the gap.

The Welshman sensationally levelled the score before clinching the title with an 83 clearance in the last frame.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “There is a lot of pressure out there. I wanted to win, Jimmy wanted to win. It is a title playing at the Crucible.

“Everybody thinks it is easy when they see Ronnie (O’Sullivan), John Higgins and Mark Williams playing. They don’t miss anything, but this game is not that easy.

“I’m absolutely over the moon,” added Walker, who enjoyed victories over defending champion David Lilley, Ken Doherty, Stephen Hendry and Tony Knowles during his run to the title that sees him qualify for the Champion of Champions tournament next season.