|Snooker Statistics and Facts|
Embassy World Championship Highest Breaks
World Records In Brief
3 MINS Tony Drago v Danny Fowler 1988 International (R3)
LONGEST FRAME (TV)
73 MINS AND 30 SECS Steve Davis v Dene O'Kane 1989 World Team Cup final
LONGEST FRAME (Ranking event, TV)
72 MINS Mick Price v Chris Small 1995 British Open
LONGEST FRAME (Ranking event, non-TV stage)
92 MINS 59 SECS Cliff Thorburn v Stephen O'Connor 1994 Regal Welsh (QRd9)
FASTEST NINE FRAME MATCH
34 MINS Tony Drago v Sean Lanigan 1993 Strachan Challenge Series 2 (5-0) (R5)
LONGEST NINE FRAME MATCH
434 MINS 12 SECS Ian Williamson v Robby Foldvari 1994 British Open (5-4) (QRd7)
FASTEST 11 FRAME MATCH
72 MINS 58 SECS Stephen Hendry v Jimmy White 1996 Benson and Hedges Masters (6-0) (QF)
LONGEST 11 FRAME MATCH
434 MINS Paul Tanner v Robby Foldvari 1991 UK Championship (6-5) (R2)
FASTEST 17 FRAME MATCH
81 MINS Tony Drago v Joe O'Boye 1990 UK Championship (9-0) (R3)
LONGEST 17 FRAME MATCH
548 MINS Jack Fitzmaurice v Mario Morra 1982 Embassy World Championship (9-7) (QRd)
FASTEST 19 FRAME MATCH
105 MINS 32 SECS Alan Burnett v Doug Mountjoy 1997 Embassy World Championship (10-1) (QRd7)
LONGEST 19 FRAME MATCH
660 MINS 56 SECS Chris Shade v Robby Foldvari 1996 Embassy World Championship (10-9) (QRd6)
FASTEST 25 FRAME MATCH
167 MINS 33 SECS Ronnie O'Sullivan v Tony Drago 1996 Embassy World Championship (13-4) (R2)
LONGEST 25 FRAME MATCH
799 MINS 40 SECS Dennis Taylor v Terry Griffiths 1993 Embassy World Championship (13-11) (R2)
LONGEST 35 FRAME MATCH
890 MINS Dennis Taylor v Steve Davis 1985 Embassy World Championship (18-17) (F)
0431 Joe Johnson v Peter Ebdon Sweater Shop International (5-4) (R1). Match started at 0008
0351 Cliff Thorburn v Terry Griffiths 1983 Embassy World Championship (13-12) (R2)
MOST NUMBER OF SUCCESSIVE SEASONS RANKED IN TOP 16
20 Steve Davis
18 Dennis Taylor
17 Terry Griffiths
MOST NUMBER OF CONSECUTIVE SEASONS AT NO 1 ON THE RANKINGS
8 Stephen Hendry (1990 to 1998)
7 Steve Davis (1983 to 1990)
5 Ray Reardon (1976 to 1981) also 1982-83
John Parrott bt Eddie Charlton 10-0 in 1992 (R1)
3 MINS 31 SECS Tony Drago v John Higgins 1996 UK Championship (R3)
YOUNGEST PLAYER TO WIN A RANKING TOURNAMENT
17 YEARS 11 MONTHS Ronnie O'Sullivan 1993 Royal Liver Assurance UK Championship
YOUNGEST WORLD CHAMPION
21 YEARS 4 MONTHS Stephen Hendry 1990 Embassy World Championship
LOWEST INDIVIDUAL POINTS AGGREGATE IN WORLD RANKING EVENT (best of nine)
8 Graham Bradley (Keighley). He was beaten 5-0 by Paul Smith in the preliminaries of the 1992 Regal Welsh at Aldershot
TV LOWEST INDIVIDUAL POINTS AGGREGATE IN WORLD RANKING EVENT (best of nine)
11 Mark King. He lost 5-0 to John Higgins (456 points) in last 16 of 1997 Grand Prix at Bournemouth
LOWEST POINTS TOTAL IN ONE FRAME OF A RANKING EVENT WHERE EVERY BALL UP TO AND INCLUDING THE PINK IS POTTED
50 Graham Horne (34) v Barry Mapstone (16) in the 1996 British Open at Blackpool (QRd)
RECORD POINTS AGGREGATE IN ONE FRAME
185 Sean Storey (93) v Graham Storey (92) in the 1992 Thai Sky Asian Open at Trentham Gardens, Stoke (R1)
RECORD NUMBER OF POINTS SCORED BY ONE PLAYER IN ONE FRAME
167 Dominic Dale v Nigel Bond in 1999 Embassy World Championship (R1) (Break 122 plus one red and 11 successive misses worth 44)
RECORD NUMBER OF POINTS SCORED IN A WORLD RANKING EVENT WITHOUT REPLY
463 by Joe Perry v Tony Meo in the 1997 Embassy World Championship at Blackpool (QRd5)
RECORD NUMBER OF POINTS SCORED IN NON-RANKING EVENT WITHOUT REPLY
487 Stephen Hendry v Jimmy White 1996 Benson and Hedges Masters (QF)
RECORD NUMBER OF SUCCESIVE MATCHES WON IN WORLD RANKING EVENTS
38 by Ronnie O'Sullivan (June to August 1992)
MOST CENTURY BREAKS IN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
80 Stephen Hendry
MOST CENTURY BREAKS IN ANY ONE TOURNAMENT
14 John Higgins 1998 Embassy World Championship
MOST CENTURY BREAKS IN A SEASON
53 Stephen Hendry (1994-95)
MAXIMUM BREAKS (Professional competition only)
1 Steve Davis (Lada Classic) January 1982 v John Spencer. Referee Jim Thorpe (score 5-2)
2 Cliff Thorburn (World Championship) April 1983 v Terry Griffiths. Referee John Williams (score 13-12)
3 Kirk Stevens (B & H Masters) January 1984 v Jimmy White. Referee John Smyth (score 4-6)
4 Willie Thorne (UK Championship) November 1987 v Tommy Murphy. Referee John Street (score 9-4)
5 Tony Meo (Matchroom League) February 1988 v Stephen Hendry. Referee Alan Chamberlain (score 2-6)
6 Alain Robidoux (European Open) September 1988 v Jim Meadowcroft. Referee John Smyth (score 5-0)
7 John Rea (Scottish Championship) February 1989 v Ian Black. Referee Bill McKerron (score 5-3)
8 Cliff Thorburn (Matchroom League) March 1989 v Jimmy White. Referee Martin Webb (score 7-1)
9 James Wattana (World Masters) January 1991 v Paul Dawkins. Referee Bruce Duncan (score 5-1)
10 Peter Edon (Strachan Professional) June 1991 v Wayne Martin. Referee Dave Church-West (score 5-0)
11 James Wattana (British Open) February 1992 v Tony Drago. Referee Bruce Duncan (score 5-1)
12 Jimmy White (World Championship) April 1992 v Tony Drago. Referee John Street (score 10-4)
13 John Parrott (Matchroom League) May 1992 v Tony Meo. Referee Roy Couch (score 5-3)
14 Stephen Hendry (Matchroom League) May 1992 v Willie Thorne. Referee Alan Shankland (score 4-4)
15 Peter Ebdon (UK Championship) November 1992 v Ken Doherty. Referee Colin Brinded (score 4-9)
16 David McDonnell (British Open) September 1994 v Nic Barrow. Referee Howard Spencer (score 5-3)
17 Stephen Hendry (World Championship) April 1995 v Jimmy White. Referee Len Ganley (score 16-12)
18 Stephen Hendry (UK Championship) November 1995 v Gary Wilkinson. Referee John Williams (score 9-2)
19 Stephen Hendry (Charity Challenge) January 1997 v Ronnie O’Sullivan. Referee Alan Chamberlain (score 9-8) 147 in final frame
20 Ronnie O’Sullivan (World Championship) April 1997 v Mick Price (Rd1). Referee Len Ganley (score 10-6)
21 James Wattana (Catch China International) August 1997 v Peng Wei Gou (QF). Referee Jiang Zhen Yuan (score 5-4)
22 Stephen Hendry (Dr Martens Premier League) May 1998 v Ken Doherty (SF). Referee Alan Chamberlain
23 Adrian Gunnell (Thailand Masters, Plymouth qualifying) August 1998 v Mario Wehrmann. Referee Dave Palmer (score 5-4)
24 Mehmet Husnu (China International, Plymouth qualifying) August 1998 v Eddie Barker. Referee Dave Baxter (score 5-4)
25 Jason Prince (British Open, Blackpool) January 1999 v Ian Brumby. Referee Peter Williamson (score 4-5)
26 Ronnie O’Sullivan (Regal Welsh, Cardiff) January 1999 v James Wattana. Referee John Newton (score 6-2)
27 Stuart Bingham (UK Tour 3, Swindon) February 1999 v Barry Hawkins. Referee Derek Budd (score 4-2)
28 Nick Dyson (UK Tour 4, Stockport) March 1999 v Adrian Gunnell. Referee Peter Williamson (score 3-4)
29 Graeme Dott (British Open, Plymouth) April 1999 v David Roe. Referee Haydn Parry (score 5-4)
30 Stephen Hendry (British Open final, Plymouth) September 1999 v Peter Ebdon. Referee John Newton (score 9-5)
31 Barry Pinches (Regal Welsh, Blackpool qualifying) September 1999 v Joe Johnson. Referee Peter Williamson (score 4-5)
32 Ronnie O’Sullivan (Grand Prix, Preston) October 1999 v Graeme Dott. Referee Colin Brinded (score 5-1)
33 Karl Burrows (B & H Championships, Malvern) November 1999 v Adrian Rosa. Referee Graham Harding (score 3-5)
34 Stephen Hendry (UK Championships, Bournemouth) November 1999 v Paul Wykes. Referee John Newton (score 9-3)
35 John Higgins (Nations Cup, Reading) January 2000 v Dennis Taylor. Referee Alan Chamberlain (score 6-4)
36 John Higgins (Benson and Hedges Irish Masters, Goffs) March 2000 v Jimmy White. Referee Colin Brinded (score 6-4)
37 Stephen Maguire (Regal Scottish, Aberdeen) March 2000 v Phaithoon Phonbun. Referee Stuart Bennett (score 4-5)
38 Ronnie O’Sullivan (Regal Scottish, Aberdeen) April 2000 v Quinten Hann. Referee Jan Verhaas (score 5-4)
39 Marco Fu (Regal Masters, Motherwell) October 2000 v Ken Doherty. Referee Peter Rinaldi (score 1-5)
40 David McLellan (Benson and Hedges Snooker Championship, Malvern) November 2000 v Steve Meakin. Referee Stuart Bennett (score 5-3)
41 Nick Dyson (Liverpool Victoria UK Championship, Bournemouth) November 2000 v Robert Milkins. Referee Alan Chamberlain (score 5-3)
42 Stephen Hendry (Malta Grand Prix, Valletta) February 2001 v Mark Williams. Referee Paul Galea (score 7-1)
147s Index or Top
1 Ronnie O’Sullivan (1997) 5 mins 20 secs
2 Ronnie O’Sullivan (1998) 6 mins 51 secs
3 James Wattana (1992) 7 mins 09 secs
147s Index or Top
1 Ronnie O’Sullivan (21-04-97) 5 mins 20 secs
2 Stephen Hendry (27-04-95) 11 mins 09 secs
3 Jimmy White (22-04-92) 9 mins 00 secs
4 Cliff Thorburn (23-04-83) 15 mins 30 secs
147s Index or Top
The following maximum breaks are not ratified as official 147s due to (a) pocket size irregularities or (b) non-verification by a WPBSA template
1 John Spencer (Holsten Lager) January 1979 v Cliff Thorburn. Referee Nobby Clark (score 3-3, agg 467-296)
2 Paul Davies (DDO Masters) April 1992 v Olly King. Referee Paul Harrison (score 5-2)
3 Terry Murphy (B & H Championship) November 1993 v Rob Thallon. Referee Alan Chamberlain (score 5-2)
4 Pat Kenny (Strachan Challenge, Series 1) February 1994 v Andy Clark. Referee Keith Pask (score 5-1)
5 Andy Hicks (WPBSA Tour Event, Gorseinon SC, nr Swansea, Wales) 1994
6 Stefan Mazrocis (WPBSA Tour Event, Munich) February 1995 v Jeff Cundy (score 3-1)
147s Index or Top
TV MAXIMUM BREAKS
1 Steve Davis (1982)
2 Cliff Thorburn (1983)
3 Kirk Stevens (1984)
4 James Wattana (1992),
6 Stephen Hendry (1995)
7 Stephen Hendry (1995)
8 Stephen Hendry (1997)
9 Ronnie O’Sullivan (1997)
10 Stephen Hendry (1998)
11 Ronnie O’Sullivan (1999)
12 Graeme Dott (1999)*
13 Stephen Hendry (1999)
14 Ronnie O’Sullivan (1999)
15 Stephen Hendry (1999)
16 John Higgins (2000)
*Officially compiled during TV stages though only latter part of break recorded.
147s Index or Top
OFFICIAL MAXIMUM BREAKS IN EXHIBITION
1 Joe Davis (v Willie Smith) Leicester Square Hall 22-01-55
2 Rex Williams (v Mannie Francisco) Cape Town, South Africa 22-12-65
147s Index or Top
YOUNGEST PLAYER TO COMPILE A MAXIMUM BREAK
Ronnie O’Sullivan 15 years, 97 days (1991 English amateur championship, Southern area quarter-finals)
147s Index or Top
JOE SWAIL compiled the first competitive maximum break to be made on the Continent, during a Belgian ranking tournament in Brussels in December 1993. He was playing R Melkenbeek, a local amateur
WARREN KING recorded a maximum during the New South Wales Open against Robby Foldvari in June 1994
PETER EBDON compiled two maximum breaks during an 11-frame exhibition match at Eastbourne Police Club on April 15, 1996
JIMMY WHITE compiled two maximum breaks during a 6-1 victory over John Virgo in an exhibition at the de Montford Hall, Leicester, on November 7, 1995. Some 12 years earlier, White recorded two 147s in a 27-frame challenge match against Jim Peck at Peterborough
JOHN PARROTT compiled two successive maximum breaks during a practice session with his manager Phil Miller
SEAN STOREY recorded a maximum break in his quarter final (v Steve Judd) and semi-final (v Karl Burrows) in the South Yorkshire Times Invitation tournament at the Corner Pocket SC in Mexborough in April, 1997
IAN McCULLOCH compiled a maximum in an exhibition match against Tony Knowles at the St Gregory’s Club in Preston in January, 1998
147s Index or Top
World Championship Roll of Honour
The first World Snooker Championship was held at Camkin’s Hall in Birmingham in 1927 while, since 1977, the event has been staged at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. In between, the tournament has taken place at a number of venues. Two tournaments were held in 1952 after a disagreement between the Billiards Association and Control Council and the professional players.
The BA&CC event lasted just one year while the World Matchplay took place from 1952-1957.
From 1964, the World
title was decided on a challenge basis which meant that, sometimes, there was
more than one event each year. The World Championship reverted to a knock-out
competition in 1969.
|1927||Joe Davis (England) bt Tom Dennis (England)||20-11|
|1928||Joe Davis (England) bt Fred Lawrence (England)||16-13|
|1929||Joe Davis (England) bt Tom Dennis (England)||19-14|
|1930||Joe Davis (England) bt Tom Dennis (England)||25-12|
|1931||Joe Davis (England) bt Tom Dennis (England)||25-21|
|1932||Joe Davis (England) bt Clark McConachy (N.Z.)||30-19|
|1933||Joe Davis (England) bt Willie Smith (England)||25-18|
|1934||Joe Davis (England) bt Tom Newman (England)||25-23|
|1935||Joe Davis (England) bt Willie Smith (England)||25-20|
|1936||Joe Davis (England) bt Horace Lindrum (Australia)||34-27|
|1937||Joe Davis (England) bt Horace Lindrum (Australia)||32-29|
|1938||Joe Davis (England) bt Sidney Smith (England)||37-24|
|1939||Joe Davis (England) bt Sidney Smith (England)||43-30|
|1940||Joe Davis (England) bt Fred Davis (England)||37-36|
|1946||Joe Davis (England) bt Horace Lindrum (Australia)||78-67|
|1947||Walter Donaldson (Scotland) bt Fred Davis (England)||82-63|
|1948||Fred Davis (England) bt Walter Donaldson (Scotland)||84-61|
|1949||Fred Davis (England) bt Walter Donaldson (Scotland)||80-65|
|1950||Walter Donaldson (Scotland) bt Fred Davis (England)||51-46|
|1951||Fred Davis (England) bt Walter Donaldson (Scotland)||58-39|
|1952||Horace Lindrum (Australia) bt Clark McConachy (N.Z.)||94-49|
|1952||Fred Davis (England) bt Walter Donaldson (Scotland)||38-35|
|1953||Fred Davis (England) bt Walter Donaldson (Scotland)||37-34|
|1954||Fred Davis (England) bt Walter Donaldson (Scotland)||39-21|
|1955||Fred Davis (England) bt John Pulman (England)||37-34|
|1956||Fred Davis (England) bt John Pulman (England)||38-35|
|1957||John Pulman (England) bt John Rea (Northern Ireland)||39-34|
|1964||John Pulman (England) bt Fred Davis (England)||19-16|
|John Pulman (England) bt Rex Williams (England)||40-33|
|1965||John Pulman (England) bt Fred Davis (England)||37-36|
|John Pulman (England) bt Rex Williams (England)||25-22|
|John Pulman (England) bt Fred Van Rensburg (S.A.)||39-12|
|1966||John Pulman (England) bt Fred Davis (England)||5 - 2|
|1968||John Pulman (England) bt Eddie Charlton (Australia)||39-34|
|1969||John Spencer (England) bt Gary Owen (Wales)||37-24|
|1970||Ray Reardon (Wales) bt John Pulman (England)||37-33|
|1971||John Spencer (England) bt Warren Simpson (Australia)||37-29|
|1972||Alex Higgins (Northern Ireland) bt John Spencer (England)||37-32|
|1973||Ray Reardon (Wales) bt Eddie Charlton (Australia)||38-32|
|1974||Ray Reardon (Wales) bt Graham Miles (England)||22-12|
|1975||Ray Reardon (Wales) bt Eddie Charlton (Australia)||31-30|
|1976||Ray Reardon (Wales) bt Alex Higgins (Northern Ireland)||27-16|
|1977||John Spencer (England) bt Cliff Thorburn (Canada)||25-12|
|1978||Ray Reardon (Wales) bt Perrie Mans (South Africa)||25-18|
|1979||Terry Griffiths (Wales) bt Dennis Taylor (Northern Ireland)||24-16|
|1980||Cliff Thorburn (Canada) bt Alex Higgins (Northern Ireland)||18-16|
|1981||Steve Davis (England) bt Doug Mountjoy (Wales)||18-12|
|1982||Alex Higgins (Northern Ireland) bt Ray Reardon (Wales)||18-15|
|1983||Steve Davis (England) bt Cliff Thorburn (Canada)||18- 6|
|1984||Steve Davis (England) bt Jimmy White (England)||18-16|
|1985||Dennis Taylor (Northern Ireland) bt Steve Davis (England)||18-17|
|1986||Joe Johnson (England) bt Steve Davis (England)||18-12|
|1987||Steve Davis (England) bt Joe Johnson (England)||18-14|
|1988||Steve Davis (England) bt Terry Griffiths (Wales)||18-11|
|1989||Steve Davis (England) bt John Parrott (England)||18- 3|
|1990||Stephen Hendry (Scotland) bt Jimmy White (England)||18-12|
|1991||John Parrott (England) bt Jimmy White (England)||18-11|
|1992||Stephen Hendry (Scotland) bt Jimmy White (England)||18-14|
|1993||Stephen Hendry (Scotland) bt Jimmy White (England)||18- 5|
|1994||Stephen Hendry (Scotland) bt Jimmy White (England)||18-17|
|1995||Stephen Hendry (Scotland) bt Nigel Bond (England)||18- 9|
|1996||Stephen Hendry (Scotland) bt Peter Ebdon (England)||18-12|
|1997||Ken Doherty (Rep of Ireland) bt Stephen Hendry (Scotland)||18-12|
|1998||John Higgins (Scotland) bt Ken Doherty (Rep of Ireland)||18-12|
|1999||Stephen Hendry (Scotland) bt Mark Williams (Wales)||18-11|
|2000||Mark Williams (Wales) bt Matthew Steven (Wales)||18-16|
Embassy World Snooker Trivia
The floor of The
Crucible has to be lowered by approximately three feet to install the set for
the Embassy World Championship, turning the viewing area into a ‘pit’.
The Crucible holds 954
Embassy first sponsored
the World Championship in 1976. The total prize fund then was £11,000. In
2001, prize money will total £1,532,000 with a record £250,000 going to the
In 1979, Terry
Griffiths won the title at his first attempt – the only time this has been
done at The Crucible.
Before turning professional, Griffiths had been a bus conductor, a postman and an insurance salesman.
Joe Johnson was the
longest priced winner of the title, odds of 150-1 being available before the
start of the 1986 Championship.
The two 1.5 ton snooker tables at The Crucible are support by 16 acrow-props – one under each leg.
At 16 years and nine
months, Ronnie O’Sullivan became the youngest player to qualify for the
televised stage of the Championship in 1993.
O’Sullivan also went
into the history books at the 1997 Championship when he compiled a 147 break –
the fourth compiled at the Crucible – in just five minutes and 20 seconds. It
was the fastest maximum on record.
Ronnie’s ‘rocket’ break
was worth £165,000 – a £147,000 special bonus plus £18,000 for the highest
break. That’s £515 a second!
In 1980, Cliff Thorburn
became the first overseas player to win the Embassy World Championship.
Stephen Hendry and
Steve Davis are the only players to successfully defend their titles at the
Tony Knowles caused
arguably the biggest upset in modern snooker history when he defeated
defending champion Steve Davis 10-1 in the first round in 1982.
At 21 years and four
months, Stephen Hendry became the youngest winner in the history of the event
Cliff Thorburn was the first player to compile a maximum break in world championship history. His 147 which started with a fluke, took 15mins 10secs to complete
|Joe Johnson||Stephen Hendry|
Mark Williams, in 2000,
became the first left hander to win the championship following his 18-16
victory over Matthew Stevens.
Gary Wilkinson and
Jason Ferguson made history at the Embassy World Championship when they took
11 hours 38 minutes and 38 seconds to complete their best-of-19 frames
qualifying match at Newport Leisure Centre.
Tai Pichit, a qualifier
in 1995, is the competitor with the longest name. A former novice Buddhist
monk, his real name is Chuchart Trirattanapradit!
The 1985 final between
Denis Taylor and Steve Davis produced the highest TV audience in snooker
history with 18.5 million viewers watching. This remains a record for any
programme on BBC2 – and any TV broadcast, after midnight.
John Higgins, in 1998, compiled 14 centuries on his way to winning his first Embassy world championship. It is the most number of 100 breaks by any player in a ranking tournament.
The Greatest Match
DENNIS Taylor’s 18-17
win over Steve Davis in the final of the 1985 Embassy World Championship at
Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre was, without any doubt, the greatest snooker
match of all time. The match had everything. There was fantastic snooker, a
magnificent comeback and a dramatic finale that left everybody – players,
officials, fans, the media and the BBC TV crew – totally drained.
The match had gripped
the nation and millions were tuned into what was becoming one of the
greatest sporting encounters of all-time. Taylor took an early lead but, by
the time all the reds had been sunk, Davis was 59-44 in front.
The title, a £60,000
cheque and the accolade of Embassy world champion all rested on which player
could keep his nerve for just one more telling shot.
It was 23 minutes past midnight, the crowd went absolutely mad, Taylor couldn’t believe he was champion of the world and Davis looked totally bemused.
The final viewing figures summed up perfectly the hold that the match had had on the nation. The TV audience was a staggering 18.5 million which, at the time, set three new records. It was the highest figure for televised sport in Britain; the largest BBC2 audience and the largest British television audience after midnight. And, to this day, it is still ranked in the top five viewing figures for British sport and the second highest viewing figure, behind ice dance duo Torville and Dean, for any sport apart from football. So, 13 years later, does Dennis Taylor get fed up with being asked about snooker’s Match of the Century?
He says: "Everybody still wants to talk about the match and I still get a buzz every time I recall the final black. How can I get fed up with talking about a match that changed my entire life?"
The Greatest Player
So, who is the GREATEST?
"It just has to be Joe Davis" - says BBC's Ted Lowe
STEPHEN Hendry, a winner seven times, Steve Davis and Ray Reardon with six victories apiece, have been icons of the Embassy world championship over the past 30 years but Ted Lowe, the sport’s most famous commentator, still says that the legendary Joe Davis is the greatest player he’s seen.
"Whispering" Ted retired from his BBC commentary duties in 1996 after an incredible 50 year involvement with the world championship that kicked off in March 1946 with the final between Joe Davis and Horace Lindrum.
The "Who is the Greatest?" debate has raged for many years but Ted is in no doubt about which player receives his award as the all time No. 1.
Ted, awarded the MBE by her Majesty the Queen, says: " Joe Davis was, without doubt, the No. 1. player of all-time. He won the world championship at Camkin’s Hall in Birmingham in 1927 and claimed the world tile another 14 times until he retired from the event unbeaten in 1946.
THE GREATEST - Joe Davis
"Joe was the complete artist and I am sure he would have been able to deal with the fantastic potters that we have in the game today. He had the perfect all-round game and made every shot look so easy even though they played with much heavier snooker balls in those days," says Ted.
"I used to have Steve Davis as my all time No. 2 but that place now goes to Stephen Hendry with Steve at No. 3. Steve was virtually unbeatable in the 1980’s but now Stephen, an incredible player who can clear the table from just one half chance, has taken the modern game that one step further.
"But nothing I have seen in recent years will change my mind about Joe Davis, snooker would not have become one of the most popular sports in the world as we approach the new Millennium."
So, with Joe Davis at No. 1, Stephen Hendry at No.2 and Steve Davis at No. 3, which other player have given Ted that extra "buzz" when he knew he was commentating on their matches?
Ted added: "I always enjoyed watching Ray Reardon at his peak in the 1970’s. He had a lot of natural ability and that all-important gift of being able to communicate with the audience.
"One of my favourite players in recent years has been Jimmy White who, in the nicest way possible, I would liken to a snooker urchin. He is mischievous, flamboyant and very generous – sometimes he has been too generous to his opponents when he is at the table. Jimmy, at his peak, had all the shots and when he was at his best, his arm worked like a piston, manoeuvring the cue ball in just the right place.
"It would have been wonderful for Jimmy’s millions of fans if he could have won the Embassy world title instead of finishing runner-up six times."
But while other snooker experts may have put Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, Ray Reardon, John Spencer or Alex "Hurricane" Higgins at the top of their all-time list, nothing will sway the mind of Ted Lowe.
Ted, enjoying his richly-earned retirement in Sussex, concluded: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion but nothing will persuade me to change my mind. Joe Davis, without doubt, was the greatest player to pick up a snooker cue."
Snooker is second only to football in terms of television popularity with viewers in the UK.
There were more than 250 snooker programmes shown throughout the 1999-2000 season, which means snooker is on television more often than Eastenders or Coronation Street.
Televised tournaments generated a cumulative viewing audience of 350 million in the UK alone.
Around 32 million people - more than 50% of the UK population - tuned in to watch snooker during the course of the season.
Seven events, six of which were terrestrial and one satellite, commanded coverage totalling 356 hours and 27 minutes.
There were 86,573 seconds of clear sponsor exposure from television and the national press generated 1,525 brand mentions.
Seven tournaments produced a total media value of £7,579,226. Television achieved £6,510,724 (85.9%) and press £1,068,502 (14.1%).
John Virgo's Trick Shots
JOHN Virgo, one of snooker’s most charming and amusing characters, has gained national fame as the co-host, along with top comedian Jim Davidson, of BBC TV’s top-rated "Big Break" game show.
A former Chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, John is also a regular commentator and expert on all of the BBC’s top snooker broadcasts including, of course, the Embassy World Championship.
The UK champion in 1979, John never really enjoyed the success on the pro circuit that his undoubted talents deserved. But, since retiring as a full-time player, John has emerged as a truly outstanding TV personality.
One of the highlights of "Big Break" is when John, with Jim Davidson looking on, invites a contestant to try out a special trick shot.
So when you are down at your local snooker club, why don’t you try out these two trick shots from the excellent "John Virgo’s Snooker Trick Shots" book (Published by Boxtree).
Jim Davidson and John Virgo take a break during the Embassy Big Break Shows in Bournemouth
Guaranteed to impress. Inform your audience that you can pot all six coloured balls in one shot. Whilst your friends are puzzling over how you are going to accomplish this, you can add that they will go down in order – yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black.
Let them have a try. When they’ve failed, line up the balls as shown, then produce the triangle and lay it down with the point touching the black ball. You then hit the cue ball hard at the triangle and knock all the balls into the pocket.
"In the Pink"
Put the pink on the blue spot with the black in front, touching.
The cue ball is played from somewhere between the brown and yellow spots.
Strike it in the centre to hit the pink on the right-hand side and the pink will run into the middle left pocket.
We're potting the pink with this one because it's a situation that could arise in snooker. With the pink down, who's to say that the black won't have rolled over a pocket for an easy pot to win a frame?
This Web Page was last updated on Wednesday July 10, 2002
Home Page Main About Jimmy Jimmy's Titles Jimmy's Gallery History Rules World Rankings Guest Book Contact Me
© 2001 Designed by Colin K McCord