STUART BINGHAM became the oldest Masters champion in history.
The 43-year-old beat Essex rival Ali Carter 10-8 at Alexandra Palace for his biggest success since winning the World Championship in 2015.
A beaming world No14 Bingham lifted the Paul Hunter Trophy and pocketed the £250,000 first prize in front of a raucous and sold-out arena.
And he is four months younger than Ray Reardon, also 43, when he beat Graham Miles 44 years ago.
Bingham, who was banned for three months for betting breaches in 2017, said: “It is unbelievable, and I am almost speechless. From 7-5 down at the interval I was thinking about what to say in my losing speech.
“It is impossible to put into words what this means. That is seven major tournaments and my target is 10 – and I would love to win the UK Championship now. It has been superb here.”
Carter enjoyed a superb ‘lucky loser’ run after being handed a place because of Ronnie O’Sullivan’s decision to snub the event.
He said: “I have turned up and done better than what I expected. I am gutted, very disappointed not to win but Stuart has finished it really well. I was 7-5 up at the interval, that swung the match.”
The match will also be remembered for a bizarre incident when play was stopped for what sounded like a farting noise in the auditorium.
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The audience started to laugh but the players and referee Brendan Moore were not amused and security were sent to inspect the area from which the noises were coming.
However on further inspection, a small joke device was discovered under a seat, believed to have been placed there by a fan sitting elsewhere in the sold-out arena.
This meant that the device was being operated remotely, with the perpetrator remaining at large after its discovery.