1970 World Snooker Championship

The 1970 World Snooker Championship was a professional snooker tournament that took place from 15 October 1969 to 11 April 1970, as an edition of the World Snooker Championship. The final was held at Victoria Hall in London from 6 to 11 April 1970. The championship was sponsored by Player's No.6 for the second and last time.

1970 World Snooker Championship
Tournament information
Dates15 October 1969 – 11 April 1970 (1969-10-15 – 1970-04-11)
Final venueVictoria Hall
Final cityLondon
OrganisationBilliards Association and Control Council
Total prize fundUnknown
Winner's share£1,225
Highest break Ray Reardon (WAL) (118)
Champion Ray Reardon (WAL)
Runner-up John Pulman (ENG)

There were nine participants in the tournament, one more than in the previous year. The defending champion was John Spencer, who had defeated Gary Owen 37–24 in the final of the 1969 World Snooker Championship. Spencer was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 1970 event with a 33–37 loss to Ray Reardon, who claimed the title with a 37–33 final victory over John Pulman. Reardon also made the highest break of the tournament, a 118, and received a total prize money of £1,225. He held the world title for only seven months, until the next championship in Australia which concluded in November 1970. Reardon eventually won a total of six world titles, the last of these in 1978.

Background edit

The World Snooker Championship trophy was first used in 1927.

The World Snooker Championship is a professional tournament and the official world championship of the game of snooker.[1] The sport was developed in the late 19th century by British Army soldiers stationed in India.[2] Professional English billiards player and billiard hall manager Joe Davis noticed the increasing popularity of snooker compared to billiards in the 1920s, and with Birmingham-based billiards equipment manager Bill Camkin, persuaded the Billiards Association and Control Council (BACC) to recognise an official professional snooker championship in the 1926–27 season.[3] The annual competition was not titled the World Championship until 1935,[4] but the 1927 tournament is now referred to as the first World Snooker Championship.[5][6]

In 1952, the, following a dispute between the Professional Billiards Players' Association (PBPA) and the BACC about the distribution of income from the world championship, the PBPA members established an alternative competition known as the World Professional Match-play Championship, the editions of which are now recognised as world championships, whilst only Horace Lindrum and Clark McConachy entered for the BACC's 1952 World Snooker Championship.[7][8] The World Professional Match-play Championship continued until 1957, after which there were no world championship matches until it was revived on a challenge basis in 1964.[8][9][10] John Pulman retained the title in several challenges from 1964 to 1968.[8] Tobacco brand John Player sponsored his 1968 match against Eddie Charlton. The good attendances for the championship match led to John Player deciding to sponsor the 1969 World Snooker Championship as a knock-out format tournament,[11] using their "Players No. 6" brand.[12] The 1969 championship is regarded as the first of the modern snooker era, and was won by John Spencer, who defeated Gary Owen 37–24 in the final.[13][14]

The 1970 Championship was sponsored by tobacco company John Player, using their Player's No.6 brand, the second and last time that they were the world championship sponsors.[15] The tournament was played between 15 October 1969 and 11 April 1970.[16] The winner of the event received cumulative prize money of £1,225.[17] The eight players who participated in the 1969 championship all entered again, joined by David Taylor, who had turned professional after winning the 1968 World Amateur Snooker Championship.[18]

Prize fund edit

Prize money was awarded as follows:[17][19]

  • Quarter-final losers £125; quarter-final winners £175
  • Semi-final losers £250; semi-final winners £300
  • Runner-up £500
  • Winner £750

Tournament summary edit

There was one first round match, which was played as the best of 21 frames between Taylor and Bernard Bennett at the Yew Tree Labour Club, West Bromwich, from 15 to 17 October 1969.[16] Bennett won the first two frames, and the players were level at 3–3 before the first day finished with Bennett 4–3 up. He added the eighth frame, with Taylor then taking four consecutive frames. After Bennett won the 13th frame, Taylor made a break of 52 and led 8–6. Taylor ensured qualification for the next round by securing a winning margin at 11–8, with the score 12–9 after dead frames.[20]

Victoria House in London was the venue for the final

The quarter-finals were played as the best of 61 frames. Owen met Williams at West Bromwich Community Centre from 1 to 6 December,[16] and won all six frames in their first session. He won the seventh frame too, before Williams registered his first frame win. With Williams missing many attempts to pot balls, Owen took a winning lead at 31–11, and finished 46–15 ahead.[21] Spencer played Jackie Rea at the Co-Op Hall, Bolton, from 8 to 12 December, and won 31–15.[22] Reardon and Fred Davis contested their semi-final from 15 to 19 December at Longport W.M.C., Bolton, with Reardon prevailing 31–26.[22] The last quarter-final, between Pulman and Taylor, was held from 12 to 16 January 1970, at Grimsby and Cleethorpes Transport Recreation Club.[22] After the first two days of play, the pair were tied at 12 frames each, before Pulman went on to win 31–20, and 39–22 after dead frames.[23]

The semi-finals were both contested over 73 frames.[24] Spencer and Reardon played their semi-final from 16 to 21 February at the Co-Op Hall, Bolton.[24] In his 1982 autobiography, Reardon recalled that the pockets of the billiard table were "far too tight for a championship" and that "You could not pot the black off the spot at speed with much confidence. The ball was drifting and skidding everywhere and side was uncontrollable."[25]: 79  Reardon built an 8–5 lead on the first day, and led 13–6 after day two.[26][17] Writing for Billiards and Snooker magazine, Norman Haseldine thought that Reardon started to manage the "peculiar running" of the balls on the table better than Spencer did, although "both players were guilty of innumerable misses ... and the match never attained the high standard expected".[17] Reardon went on to defeat Spencer 37–33.[24] The second semi-final took place at Priory Social Club, Middlesbrough from 23 to 28 February, between Pulman and Owen.[24][27][28] Pulman led 9–3 after the first day, and extended this to 19–5 on the next day, then to 27–9 after day three. He won 37–13, and the match finished 48–25 after dead frames.[27][29]

The final was held at the Victoria Hall in Bloomsbury Square, London, from 6 to 11 April, as the best of 73 frames.[24][18] Reardon led 4–2 after the first session, and 8–4 after the second. On the next day, Reardon won four of the six afternoon session frames, and Pulman took four of the six evening frames, including the last three of the session, leaving Reardon 14–10 ahead.[30][31] Reardon later extended his lead to 27–14, but Pulman narrowed the deficit to a single frame at 33–34. Reardon eventually won 37–33.[32] Reardon received prize money of £1,125 (£750 for winning the final, £300 for winning the semi-final and £175 for winning the quarter-final) and Pulman took £975 (£500 as runner up, and the same amounts as Reardon for the semi-final and quarter-finals).[17][32] Pulman said after the match that Reardon had deserved to win, and acclaimed Reardon's long potting. Pulman also stated that he felt that his own consistency in matches had been diminished due to a lack of match practice, leading to lapses in concentration.[32] Reardon later wrote that "nothing will ever surpass the wonder of winning the world crown for the first time",[25]: 81  and that the win made him financially secure for the first time since becoming a professional player: "I knew that the gamble had succeeded, that I could settle my debts and that the lean years were over. They had been well worthwhile."[25]: 81 

Reardon held the title for only seven months until the next championship in Australia during November 1970.[18] He went on to win a total of six world championships, the last of them in 1978.[33]

Main draw edit

The draw and results for the tournament are shown below. Match winners are denoted in bold.[27][29][18][a]

First round (Best of 21 frames)
Player Score Player
  David Taylor (ENG) 11–8   Bernard Bennett (ENG)
Best of 61 frames
Best of 73 frames
Best of 73 frames
  John Spencer (ENG)31
  Jackie Rea (NIR)15
  John Spencer (ENG)33
  Ray Reardon (WAL)37
  Ray Reardon (WAL)31
  Fred Davis (ENG)26
  Ray Reardon (WAL) 37
  John Pulman (ENG)33
  Gary Owen (WAL)31
  Rex Williams (ENG)11
  Gary Owen (WAL)13
  John Pulman (ENG)37
  John Pulman (ENG)31
  David Taylor (ENG)20

Century breaks edit

Two century breaks were made at the tournament.[b]

Notes edit

  1. ^ Some sources give the score in the semi-final as Pulman 37–12 Owen.
  2. ^ There were no century breaks by Bennett, Davis, Pulman, Rea, Spencer, Taylor or Williams[34]: 12, 46, 200, 201, 236, 264 

References edit

  1. ^ "Snooker championship". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 11 May 1927. p. 20. Retrieved 12 March 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  2. ^ Hayton, Eric; Dee, John (2004). The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker: The Complete Record & History. Rose Villa Publications. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-9548549-0-4.
  3. ^ Everton, Clive (23 September 2004). "Davis, Joseph [Joe]". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31013. Archived from the original on 3 September 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2020. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ "Billiards – Professional title". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 3 November 1934. p. 7. Retrieved 24 November 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ Everton, Clive (1993). The Embassy Book of World Snooker. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 11–13. ISBN 978-0-7475-1610-1.
  6. ^ "History of snooker – a timeline". World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 7 January 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  7. ^ Williams, Luke; Gadsby, Paul (2005). Masters of the Baize. Edinburgh: Mainstream. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-84018-872-1.
  8. ^ a b c Turner, Chris. "World Professional Championship". cajt.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  9. ^ Morrison, Ian (1989). Snooker: records, facts and champions. Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-85112-364-6.
  10. ^ Hale, Janice (1991). Rothmans Snooker Yearbook 1991–92. Aylesbury: Queen Anne Press. pp. 294–295. ISBN 978-0-356-19747-0.
  11. ^ Everton, Clive (2012). Black farce and cue ball wizards. Edinburgh: Mainstream. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-78057-568-1.
  12. ^ "Players No. 6 sponsor world championship". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. November 1968. p. 13.
  13. ^ "John Higgins eyes more crucible titles". The Daily Telegraph. London. 5 May 2009. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2020. the modern era, which began in 1969 when the World Championship became a knockout event.
    Pitt, Nick (20 April 2014). "Snooker: Pocket man O'Sullivan eager to chalk up another title: The champion is in irresistible form as he starts his defence at the Crucible". The Sunday Times. p. 13. in the modern era since 1969
    Hayton, Eric; Dee, John (2004). The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker: The Complete Record & History. Lowestoft: Rose Villa Publications. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-9548549-0-4. the world championship ... took on the modern day look during the 1968–69 season
  14. ^ "Snooker". The Times. 24 March 1969. p. 12.
  15. ^ Everton, Clive (1986). The History of Snooker and Billiards. Haywards Heath: Partridge Press. pp. 97–99. ISBN 978-1-85225-013-3.
  16. ^ a b c "December quarter-finals". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. October 1969. p. 7.
  17. ^ a b c d e Haseldine, Norman (March 1970). "Reardon downs Spencer in world snooker semi-final". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. pp. 10–11.
  18. ^ a b c d Everton, Clive (1985). Snooker: The Records. Enfield: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-85112-448-3.
  19. ^ "Owen is in the last four". The Birmingham Post. 5 December 1969. p. 38.
  20. ^ "Taylor struggles past Bennett". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. December 1969. p. 24.
  21. ^ "Gary Owen 46 Rex Williams 15". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. January 1970. p. 8.
  22. ^ a b c "Dates and places". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. December 1969. p. 23.
  23. ^ "Pulman too solid for Taylor". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. February 1970. pp. 6–7.
  24. ^ a b c d e "Dates and places". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. January 1970. p. 15.
  25. ^ a b c Reardon, Ray; Buxton, Peter (1982). Ray Reardon. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. ISBN 0715382624.
  26. ^ "Reardon leads Spencer 8–5". Birmingham Daily Post. 17 February 1970. p. 26.
  27. ^ a b c Everton, Clive (April 1970). "Pulman within one match of regaining world title". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. p. 3.
  28. ^ "Owen thrashed". Birmingham Daily Post. 27 February 1970. p. 27.
  29. ^ a b "Sports in brief: Pulman wins semi-final". The Times. 28 February 1970. p. 9.
  30. ^ Lian, Andrew; Little, Frank; Robinson, Keith (May 1970). "Blow by blow". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. pp. 5–8.
  31. ^ "Snooker: Pulman hits back". Birmingham Daily Post. 8 April 1970. p. 31.
  32. ^ a b c Everton, Clive (May 1970). "Ray Reardon wins world professional snooker title". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. pp. 3–5.
  33. ^ "Ray Reardon". World Snooker Tour. Archived from the original on 14 January 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  34. ^ a b c Kobylecky, John (2019). The Complete International Directory of Snooker Players – 1927 to 2018. Kobyhadrian Books. ISBN 978-0-9931433-1-1.