On this Week: First world title for Reardon
Snooker historian Chris Turner looks back on this week in history, a week in which 40 years ago the great Ray Reardon won his first world title.
April 11, 1970 – REARDON WINS HIS FIRST WORLD TITLE
At London’s Victoria Hall, Ray Reardon (pictured) won the Players No. 6 World Championship fro the first time. In the final he defeated the eight times former champion, John Pulman, 37-33.
April 11, 1985 – DENNIS REGAINS IRISH TITLE
Former three times champion, Dennis Taylor, regained the Strongbow Irish Professional Championship at the Ulster Hall in Belfast. He beat defending champion, Alex Higgins, 10-5.
April 11, 1993 – HENDRY WINS INTERNATIONAL OPEN
Missing for the previous two seasons, the International Open returned to the calendar with sponsorship from Sky Sports. In the final at Plymouth Pavilions, Stephen Hendry defeated Steve Davis, who had won the title six times in the past, 10-6.
April 11, 1999 – FIRST RANKING TITLE FOR FERGAL
Fergal O’Brien clinched his first world ranking title when he defeated Anthony Hamilton 9-7 in the final of the British Open at Plymouth Pavilions. Both players were appearing in their first ranking final.
April 11, 2004 – JIMMY FIRST RANKING TITLE FOR 11½ YEARS
Jimmy White won his first world ranking title since November 1992. He beat Paul Hunter 9-7 to win the Daily Record Players Championship at the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre in Glasgow.
April 11, 2004 – RONNIE TOPS ORDER OF MERIT.
The £50,000 prize for winning the LG Electronics Order of Merit was won by Ronnie O’Sullivan. The Order of Merit was based on points awarded in all the ranking events other than the World Championship and was held once only.
April 12, 1998 – HIGGINS REGAINS BRITISH OPEN
At Plymouth Pavilions, John Higgins regained the British Open title beating Stephen Hendry 9-8 in the final, leaving Stephen as runner up for the second year running.
April 13, 1980 – CLARK McCONACHY DIES
Clark McConachy, the 1951 World Professional Billiards champion, died just five days short of his 85th birthday. In 1952 he lost to Horace Lindrum in the 'official' World Snooker championship in which they were the only two competitors after the other leading players set up a rival event.
April 13, 1986 – JIMMY RETAINS IRISH MASTERS
Defending champion, Jimmy White, retained the Benson & Hedges Irish Masters title at Goff’s beating Willie Thorne 9-5 in the final.
April 13, 2003 – RANKING TITLE FOR DAVID GRAY
At the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, David Gray beat Mark Selby 9-7 to win the last Regal Scottish Open, his first ranking title.
April 14, 1937 – FIRST TELEVISED SNOOKER MATCH
The very first snooker match to be televised was a match between Willie Smith and Horace Lindrum.
April 14, 1984 – CLIFF RECEIVES HIS AWARD
Cliff Thorburn was invested with the Order of Canada, the award of which had been announced some four months earlier.
April 14, 1990 – FIRST 16-RED CLEARANCE IN THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
After being awarded a free ball, Steve James completed the first ever ‘16-red’ clearance seen in the world championship. His break of 135 came in his round one match against Alex Higgins.
April 14, 2002 – LEE WINS SEMI FINAL AND FINAL ON THE SAME DAY!
It was just 1:00 am when Stephen Lee finally defeated Nigel Bond 6-5 in the Regal Scottish Open semi finals after being 1-5 down. Then, less than 20 hours later, he completed a 9-2 victory over David Gray to win the final at Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre.
April 15, 1901 – BABY BOY FOR MRS. DAVIS!
In the small town of Whitwell in Derbyshire, Joe Davis was born. Even though competition was less in those days, to win the World Championship fifteen times in succession in still a fantastic achievement. He was never beaten, on level terms, by anyone other than his brother Fred. Joe was also World Billiards champion four times. He was awarded the OBE in 1963 and died in July 1978.
April 15, 2001 – EBDON PREVENTS A DOHERTY HAT TRICK
Ken Doherty had won the two previous ranking events and reached the final of the Regal Scottish Open in Aberdeen looking for the hat trick. However Peter Ebdon had other ideas and won 9-7 for his fourth ranking title.
April 16, 1998 – FRED DAVIS DIES
Fred Davis, younger brother of Joe and eight times world snooker champion, died aged 84. In a remarkable career Fred reached the semi finals at the Crucible in 1978 at the age of 64 and played his last match there in 1984 at the age of 70. He won the world billiards title in 1980 when he was 67 and continued to play on the snooker tour until he was 78 and was the oldest active professional sportsman in the world.