Mark Selby celebrates winning the Betfred Snooker World Championship. Photo by Steven Paston/PA Wire

Gateshead potter John Astley, 28, calls Mark Selby “unstoppable” after claiming the 2017 World Championship in Sheffield.

The world no. 1 overcame John Higgins 18-15 in the final to pick up his fifth ranking title of the season and Astley feels that Selby is in the form of his career.

“I think when he’s like that he’s unstoppable. He’s at the peak of powers at the minute,” he said before crediting the player’s mentality.

“But the main part of his game is that he’s mentally stronger than everyone else.”

“I think that’s one of the keys to winning at the Crucible because it’s such a long tournament.”

Having played Selby twice this season, Astley knows first hand just how tough he is to beat.

“It’s like what Higgins’ said after the final that he [Selby] is ‘like granite on the table’ in that he is so difficult to play against.”

Selby’s World Championship was his third in four years and he joins an elite club with Steve Davies, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan as the players to retain their title.

Astley now feels that the ‘Jester from Leicester’ is ‘dominating’ the sport and has rightly earned his place in history books.

“He’s pushing the game and he’s one of the time greats now really,” he said.

“Rewriting all these little bits of history he’s just a bit of dominating force at the minute.”