As parties erupted in the following Leicester City’s Premier League triumph, another was about to begin 70 miles up the M1 as Foxes fan Selby powered to an 18-14 triumph.
Selby pointed at smiling wife Vikki in the crowd as he crossed the winning line, joy and satisfaction detailed across his face. She and daughter Sofia joined him amid ticker-tape trophy celebrations.
“It’s fantastic. I’m just really happy to win,” Selby said. “I saved my best performance for the final.”
The 6-0 lead that Selby established on Sunday was whittled down by determined Ding, who was determined not to squander his big chance, but ultimately he could not overhaul the world number one.
China’s first finalist in snooker’s premier tournament clawed his way back to 10-9 and 11-10 during Monday afternoon, but going level proved beyond him each time.
Selby led from start to finish and was a worthy champion, collecting snooker’s biggest ever prize cheque of £330,000 to go with the silverware.
“It was a tough final and with the amount of pressure Ding is under, from China alone but to play like that. I can’t imagine how he could do that,” Selby said.
“In the first to 18, a 6-0 lead is not a huge one, especially against someone like Ding. He played fantastically earlier today and I had to just hang on to him. I’m just over the moon. I saved my best performance for the final and I only had two good sessions in the tournament. Luckily my ‘B’ game is pretty good.”
With his win just minutes after Leicester won the Premier League, he payed tribute to the team: “To be Premier League champions is a fantastic achievement and I want to say well done to Claudio (Ranieri) and the boys,” Selby added.
Ding Junhui said after the final. “I had a very bad start, 6-0 down, I couldn’t win a frame. I was a bit nervous as I hadn’t been in a final before.”
Meanwhile, Snooker’s World Championship will be played in Sheffield for the next 10 years, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has announced.
A new deal has been struck with Sheffield City Council and Hearn said it represented “such good news for everyone”.
China has been eager to take away the World Championship but must wait a decade before the chance comes up.