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As he contemplated retirement last summer, Mark Williams admits he never imagined sitting stark naked in a post-match press conference having just become world champion for the third time but snooker is a amusing sport. "I had to wear the towel on the orders of Barry Hearn (World Snooker chairman) otherwise I would just have walked in, just crying".

To mark his remarkable achievement Williams pledged to "party" in a post-victory press conference which the 43-year-old delivered in just a towel.

The 43-year-old is the oldest victor since Ray Reardon took the crown in 1978 at the age of 45.

Higgins lost 18-16 to Williams on Monday despite mounting a sensational fightback, finishing as runner-up for the second year in a row - Mark Selby the victor last time around.

Williams held his nerve and landed a title that he himself saw as a massive ask only previous year, when he told reporters that he would strip off in the press conference should he win the trophy.

"If I won this again next year, I'd do this again - I'd cartwheel round here naked".

"I would like to say a word about my long-time sponsor Ron Skinner who passed away recently, he did so much for me even in the bad times".

Last time he won Williams said he "had half a pint of milk and went to bed". "I've been playing some unbelievable stuff this season and I felt I could have a good run here".

Higgins steamrollered the next 91-0 to leave the final tantalisingly poised at 15-14 as the players took a 10 minute time out.

He led 10-7 overnight and soon stretched that to 14-7, Higgins potting just 31 points over the four frames.

"Last year I wasn't even here, but in the caravan having a beer having failed to qualify".

Showing nerves of steel Higgins nicked the frame with a break of 82. I was still upbeat about my game and then luckily it changed round and Mark missed a few times at 50 or 60 in front and I managed to clear up and that got me back in the game. I've done something I never thought I'd do again'. "Here I am winning the 2018 World Championships. bollock naked", said Williams. Higgins responded by compiling a breathtaking break of 62 to win the frame by two points for 17-16.