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World Champions: Modern Era
Pre-1969
Rules, etc.
Tournaments
Players
Nicknames

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Snooker

Yes, snooker's a sport. See Darts.

World Champions: Modern Era

In snooker, "the modern era" usually means the period during which the World Championships have been contested annually on a knockout basis. This has been the case since 1969. The tournament was first sponsored by Embassy in 1976, and it's been held at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, since 1977.

John Spencer was the first world champion in the modern era, and he also won the first tournament to be held at the Crucible. But the real master of that era was Ray Reardon, with six wins between 1970 and 1978 inclusive. He also won the first series of Pot Black, in 1969. Steve Davis was the man to beat throughout the 1980s, and Stephen Hendry throughout the 1990s; since then, although Ronnie O'Sullivan has threatened to do so on occasions, no one player has dominated.

To date, there have been three world champions (in the modern era) who were not from the UK. They are:

Year Nationality Name
1980 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
1997 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
2010 Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

There was one overseas winner previous to the modern era; see below.

The following table lists every world champion in the modern era, in order of their most recent win. The left–hand column shows how many times they've won the title.

2017, 2016, 2014 Click to show or hide the answer
12015 Click to show or hide the answer
52013, 2012, 2008, 2004, 2001 Click to show or hide the answer
42011, 2009, 2007, 1998: the last non–English winner, up to and including 2017 Click to show or hide the answer
12010: first overseas winner since Cliff Thorburn in 1980 Click to show or hide the answer
12006 Click to show or hide the answer
12005 Click to show or hide the answer
22003, 2000: first left hander to win Click to show or hide the answer
12002 Click to show or hide the answer
71999, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1990: most wins in the modern era Click to show or hide the answer
11997: only the second non–UK champion of the modern era Click to show or hide the answer
11991: the last English champion of the 20th century Click to show or hide the answer
6 1989, 1988, 1987, 1984, 1983, 1981 Click to show or hide the answer
11986: "surprise winner" — second of two to beat Steve Davis in the final Click to show or hide the answer
11985: beat Steve Davis in the final, by potting the black in the final frame Click to show or hide the answer
21982, 1972 Click to show or hide the answer
11980: second from outside the British Isles (first of the modern era) Click to show or hide the answer
11979 Click to show or hide the answer
61978, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1973, 1970 Click to show or hide the answer
31977, 1971, 1969 – first to win in the modern era, and first to win at the Crucible Click to show or hide the answer

The 1971 and 1975 tournaments were held in (country) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer

Pre–1969

1927–40, 1946 (15 wins, undefeated) Click to show or hide the answer
1947, 1950 Click to show or hide the answer
1948, 1949, 1951 Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
1952 – first world champion from overseas Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
1953–63 No tournament
1964–68 (challenge matches) Click to show or hide the answer

Rules, etc.

The coloured balls

2 points 3 points 4 points 5 points 6 points 7 points
Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Dimensions of a full–sized tableLength Click to show or hide the answer
Width Click to show or hide the answer

Minimum penalty for a foul Click to show or hide the answer
Maximum penalty for a foul Click to show or hide the answer
Balls on the table at the beginning of a game Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Theoretical maximum break (includes a free ball followed by the black) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Pots for a 147 break Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Points scored on the black, in a 147 break Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Snooker and billiards cues are usually made from Click to show or hide the answer
Name given to a shot in which one red ball is played onto another, sending it (hopefully) into a pocket Click to show or hide the answer

Tournaments

The three annual tournaments that make up the so–called 'Triple Crown' are:

Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

Note that the last of these three is not a ranking tournament (as entry is by invitation only).

Venue of the World Championship, since 1977 Click to show or hide the answer
Venue of the UK Championship, 1978–97 Click to show or hide the answer
Venue of the UK Championship, 2001–6 and since 2011 Click to show or hide the answer
Venue of the Masters, 1979–2008 Click to show or hide the answer
Venue of the Masters, 2008–11 Click to show or hide the answer
Venue of the Masters, since 2012 Click to show or hide the answer

Players

The first official World Snooker Champion (1927); scored the first documented maximum break (in an exhibition match in 1955) Click to show or hide the answer
Number of world championships that Joe Davis won before retiring undefeated in 1946 Click to show or hide the answer
Reached the semi–finals of the world championship aged 64, 1978 Click to show or hide the answer
Won the world championship on its resumption 1964; held the title until 1969, holding off six challenges; did not defend in the first knockout tournament, 1969; lost the final to Reardon in 1970 Click to show or hide the answer
Winner of the first Pot Black series, 1969 Click to show or hide the answer
Won the world championship at the first attempt, in 1972; also won in 1982 Click to show or hide the answer
First televised maximum break (Lada Classic, 1982) Click to show or hide the answer
The first world champion from outside the UK (Australian, 1952) Click to show or hide the answer
Former postman, bus driver, miner and insurance salesman: won the world championship in his first professional season, 1978–9, aged 31; the last qualifier to win the world championship, before Shaun Murphy in 2005 Click to show or hide the answer
Youngest ever world champion (21, 1990); most 147s in competition (8) and most on TV (7) Click to show or hide the answer
Second televised maximum break, and first in the World Championship (1983) Click to show or hide the answer
First to score two 147s in the world championships (1997, 2003) Click to show or hide the answer
The only whitewash in the world championships (first round, 1992) Winner Click to show or hide the answer
Loser Click to show or hide the answer
Biggest ever margin of victory in the World final Year Click to show or hide the answer
Winner Click to show or hide the answer Frames Click to show or hide the answer
Loser Click to show or hide the answer Frames Click to show or hide the answer
Only player to win the world junior, amateur and professional championships; third player from outside the UK to win the world championship, and second at the Crucible Click to show or hide the answer
Popular Canadian player, claimed to drink 6 pints of lager before a game and one per frame during, to counteract "essential tremor". Later took propanolol, a beta blocker, for the same purpose, and gave up the game after it was banned; died in 2003 aged 56 Click to show or hide the answer
Played in six world championship finals – 1984, and five consecutive 1990–4 – losing all six; joked of Stephen Hendry, "He's beginning to annoy me now" when being interviewed live on TV, after losing to him for the fourth time in the 1994 final Click to show or hide the answer
"The Beckham of the Baize" – 3 times winner of the Masters – died of cancer, 2006, five days before his 28th birthday Click to show or hide the answer

John Street (d. 2009 aged 77), Len Ganley (d. 2011 aged 68), John Williams, Michaela Tabb and Jan Verhaas are famous as Click to show or hide the answer
Snooker's first high–profile woman referee – recruited in 2001, officiated at the World Championships final in 2009 Click to show or hide the answer

Nicknames

Steady Eddie Click to show or hide the answer
The Nugget, or The Ginger Magician Click to show or hide the answer
The Pocket Dynamo, or The Pocket Rocket Click to show or hide the answer
The Maltese Falcon Click to show or hide the answer
The Sheriff of Pottingham Click to show or hide the answer
The Wizard of Oz Click to show or hide the answer
The Wizard of Wishaw Click to show or hide the answer
The Beckham of the Baize Click to show or hide the answer
Angles Click to show or hide the answer
The Whiston Warrior, or The Magician Click to show or hide the answer
Dracula Click to show or hide the answer
The Thunder from Down Under Click to show or hide the answer
The Jester from Leicester Click to show or hide the answer
The Man in the White Suit Click to show or hide the answer
The Silver Fox Click to show or hide the answer
The Grinder Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017