At the age of 43, Hendry is giving up snooker in favour of a lucrative contract to promote pool in China, reaching the verdict he could not juggle business commitments with a sporting career and a family life.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn admitted the growing number of tournaments on tour had forced Hendry to quit, saying: “In many ways I suppose I’ve retired Stephen Hendry, which I don’t feel proud of. But this sport is much more important than an individual.”
Hearn added: “Steve Davis should have had a knighthood 10 years ago, and I think Stephen Hendry for his contribution to the game is right up there as well.
“In my opinion those two feature far above many previous recipients.”
Davis said: “When you look at how snooker has been entertaining millions abroad, let alone this country, you can make an argument for the fact he could be more decorated than he is.
“There’s other people in the world of sport who have won less and got more.”