Mark Williams held off a stunning comeback from a resurgent John Higgins to clinch a third World Snooker Championship title in Sheffield.
The Welshman ended his 15-year wait to reclaim the sport's biggest prize with an 18-16 victory after a thrilling final at the Crucible Theatre in the English city.
Williams claimed seven straight frames to lead 14-7 before Higgins won eight of the next nine to level the pulsating contest, described as one of the all-time great finals, at 15-15.
But the 43-year-old held his nerve and rediscovered his form to secure his first world title since 2003.
It marked a remarkable reversal of fortune for Williams, whose other triumph came in 2000, as he considered retirement after failing to qualify for last year's tournament.
The result saw Williams crowned the oldest world champion in 40 years and earned him a record £425,000 ($576,000/€483,000) in prize money.
Defeat for Scotland's Higgins denied him a fifth World Championship success but he earned plaudits for his superb fightback which kept him in contention.
"Last year I wasn't even here," said Williams.
"Last year I watched this in a caravan having some beers.
"I just can't believe it.
"You have to expect a comeback from John Higgins, when you are 50-60 in front he is the best at coming back.
"I knew at the end if I didn't get enough in front he would clear up again but I'm over the moon.
"Last year I was seriously thinking of giving up, she [wife Joanne] said I can't sleep in the house 24 hours a day.
"I made a really good break under pressure and my game is now in pretty good shape now."
Williams led 10-7 going into today's final two sessions and swiftly extended his advantage by winning four consecutive frames as he demonstrated his potting prowess.
Higgins looked down and out at 14-7 but rallied, summoning all his experience to give himself every chance of an unlikely turnaround.
The match was anyone's game and was tantalisingly poised at 15-15 before Williams nudged 17-15 ahead.
A clearance of 65 from Higgins in the 33rd frame brought the deficit back to one but Williams kept cool to seal victory.