Ronnie O’Sullivan survived a dramatic Judd Trump fightback to claim a fifth UK Championship title with an epic 10-9 victory.
O’Sullivan led 5-1 after the first session before Trump battled back by taking the next two frames.
Trump then fell 9-4 behind before making breaks of 120 and 127 to level the match, but fouled from a snooker in the last with O’Sullivan going on to take the decider.
“That is the hardest match I have ever played,” O’Sullivan told BBC Sport. “I was going through the motions and accepted I was going to get beaten.
“I didn’t know what day it was but I found something towards the end and was able to hold my position.”
O’Sullivan, who came to the tournament at York’s Barbican Centre with a broken ankle, has now won each of the UK, World and Masters titles five times.
His victory earns him £150,000, to go with the £44,000 he pocketed for Thursday’s 147 break against Matt Selt.
For the second major tournament in a row, after November’s Champion of Champions event in Coventry, O’Sullivan has beaten Trump to lift the trophy.
“I can’t believe I’ve won it. I don’t want to be playing him in every final. I feel like retiring,” said O’Sullivan, who first won this tournament days before his 18th birthday in 1993.
“He’s a tough opponent, he’s very dynamic and very explosive. He’s got so much cue power, he can pot like you wouldn’t believe. He’s fearless, and he’s in your face the whole time, and if you go off the boil he’s on you.
“I’m trying to make the most of however long this lasts. It gets harder as you get older but these are great moments. You’ve got to try to ride that ride as many times as you can.
“I’m going to enjoy this moment. I’ve won the Champion of Champions title and now the UK Championship. I’m delighted to have had a great few weeks and I can start to think about defending the Masters in January.”
Three years after beating Mark Allen in the same venue to win the tournament, Trump fell just short of what would have been one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the sport.
“I was giving in, but then I got to 9-5 and then I got a few chances and made a few breaks and felt good, and I made a really good clearance to reach 9-9,” said Trump.
“I’m a little bit annoyed I didn’t really have a chance in the last frame but I didn’t bottle it and gave it my best.
“I left it too late and fair play to Ronnie, he took them well in the last frame and overall he was more of a deserving winner.”