Name: Doug Mountjoy
Nationality: Welsh (Born in Tir-y-Berth, Glamorgan)
Age: 67 (DOB: 08/06/1942)
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Highest Ranking: 5 (1990/91)
Career highlights: World Amateur champion 1976, Masters champion 1977, Pot Black champion 1978, UK Championship winner 1978, 1988, World Championship finalist 1981.
Welshman Doug Mountjoy only became a professional at the age of 34 after winning the Welsh Amateur title for the second time and also the World Amateur crown. Up to that point he had been a miner who played snooker only in the evenings.
However, he soon established himself as one of the top players on tour, winning the 1977 Masters title - his very first tournament as a professional.
He also then went on to win the UK Championship in 1978 but suffered a blow to his career when he had an attack of Bell's palsy which paralysed one side of his face and hampered his blinking.
His form dipped but only for a while, and he roared back at the 1981 World Championship where he lost in the final to Steve Davis. In the semi-finals against Ray Reardon he produced a break of 145, which was a record high break at the Crucible until Cliff Thorburn's 147 two years later.
Mountjoy went on to spend 11 consecutive years in the world's top 16 but by 1988 he looked completely washed up as a significant threat. At 46 he had slipping down the rankings and there looked to be no way back, until....
Best Moment: Mountjoy went into the 1988 UK Championships in Preston as a 100-1 rank outsider, but he had been seeing coach Frank Callan to sort out his technique and started to find his form quickly in the tournament. He beat Neal Foulds, Joe Johnson, John Virgo and Terry Griffiths and from nowhere found himself in the final. It was a fairytale story but few expected him to complete the job in the decider against young buck Stephen Hendry. However, he stunned everyone once more by winning 16-12 and even had a run of three consecutive centuries. As he said afterwards: "Reaching the final was like swimming the Channel, but winning it is like swimming the Atlantic." What's more, he then went on to win the next ranking event on the calendar - the Mercantile Credit Classic.
Worst Moment: The high of winning that UK Championship could not have come without the devastating lows of the preceding years and a 13-1 defeat to Foulds in the second round of the 1988 World Championship seemed to have confirmed his status as a spent force in the game until his triumph at Preston later that year.
Mounjoy still plays cue sports, mainly billiards and pool around working men's clubs in Wales, and is said to be doing well despite some tough times since retiring.
His last two big titles - the UK Championship and the Classic - came during snooker's boom years. For the UK Championships he was awarded £80,000 which is just £20,000 less than Shaun Murphy earned for winning the event last year. That should have set him up financially, but he was badly ripped off by his manager when he retired.
A smoker for years, Mountjoy also developed lung cancer in the later stages of his career and had to have a lung removed. But he showed the fighting qualities he exhibited as a player to beat the disease.
His last season on the tour was 1996/1997 and he then went on to coach in the Middle East for two years before coaching back in Wales. He has also been involved in the Temple Bar Inn at Ewyas Harold in Herefordshire.
Another interesting side note is that his daughter once appeared on the cover of Mayfair magazine. "WORLD EXCLUSIVE: What a break - It's Doug Mountjoy's nudest daughter", screamed the headline.
Snooker - UK Championship Telford:
Saturday 1pm LIVE on British Eurosport 2 (Sky 411 / Virgin Media 525) & Eurosport Player
Saturday 4.45pm & 8.45pm LIVE on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin Media 521) & Eurosport Player
Sunday 1pm LIVE on British Eurosport 2 (Sky 411 / Virgin Media 525) & Eurosport Player
Sunday 7.30pm LIVE on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin Media 521) & Eurosport Player
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