1976 World Snooker Championship

The 1976 World Snooker Championship (also known as the 1976 Embassy World Snooker Championship for sponsorship purposes) was a professional ranking snooker tournament that took place at two venues.[2] This was the first world championship to be sponsored by Embassy; their sponsorship lasted for the next 30 years.[1] Ray Reardon won in the final 27–16 against Alex Higgins.

Embassy World Snooker Championship
Tournament information
Dates7–23 April 1976 (1976-04-07 – 1976-04-23)
VenueMiddlesbrough Town Hall
Wythenshaw Forum
FormatRanking event
Total prize fund£15,300
Winner's share£6,000[1]
Highest break John Spencer (ENG) (138)
Champion Ray Reardon (WAL)
Runner-up Alex Higgins (NIR)

There were seven century breaks in the championship.


The World Snooker Championship is an annual professional snooker tournament organised by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).[3] Founded in the late 19th century by British Army soldiers stationed in India,[4] the cue sport was popular in the British Isles.[3] However, in the modern era, which started in 1969 when the World Championship reverted to a knockout format,[5] it has become increasingly popular worldwide, especially in East and Southeast Asian nations such as China, Hong Kong and Thailand.[6][7][8]

Joe Davis won the first World Championship in 1927, hosted by the Billiards Association and Control Council, the final match being held at Camkin's Hall in Birmingham, England.[9]: 23 [10] The 1976 championship featured sixteen professional players competing in one-on-one snooker matches in a single-elimination format, each match played over several frames. These competitors in the main tournament were selected using a combination of the top players based on results from the three previous years,[citation needed] and the winners of a pre-tournament qualification stage.[11][12]

Tournament detailEdit

The leading 14 players in the Order of Merit received automatic entry to the final stages and were joined by two winners from the qualifying competition. The leading 8 in the Order of Merit were seeded.

The Middlesbrough Town Hall in Middlesbrough staged the top half of the draw and the Wythenshawe Forum, Manchester, staged the bottom half and the final. The final was held over 4 days from 20 to 23 April.

Champion Ray Reardon won 15–7 against John Dunning including breaks of 106, 81 and 71; Dennis Taylor 15–2 with a break of 115 in the last frame and then his semifinal against Perrie Mans by 20–10 with a top break of 133 plus runs of 85 and 70.

The final, where Reardon had travelled to where Higgins had been playing, was a fractious affair with complaints from Reardon over the quality of the table and the TV lighting. Eventually, the referee was replaced after further complaints from the champion. Higgins had the better of the earlier exchanges, leading 4-2 and 10-9 before Reardon started to dictate both the pace and tactics. The Welshman eventually won, very comfortably, 27–16 to secure his fifth title.

The highest break of the tournament was 138 made by John Spencer in his match against David Taylor.[13] Earlier in the week Eddie Charlton had compiled a break of 137; however, it did not count as a record because the table was not up to standard.[14]

Main drawEdit

Numbers in (parentheses) indicate seeding.


Last 16
Best of 29 frames
Best of 29 frames
Best of 39 frames
Best of 53 frames
  Ray Reardon (1)15
  John Dunning7
  Ray Reardon (1)15
  Dennis Taylor2
  Gary Owen (8)9
  Dennis Taylor15
  Ray Reardon (1)20
  Perrie Mans10
  Graham Miles (5)10
  Perrie Mans15
  Perrie Mans15
  Jim Meadowcroft8
  Rex Williams (4)7
  Jim Meadowcroft15
  Ray Reardon (1)27
  Alex Higgins (3)16
  Alex Higgins (3)15
  Cliff Thorburn14
  Alex Higgins (3)15
  John Spencer (6)14
  John Spencer (6)15
  David Taylor5
  Alex Higgins (3)20
  Eddie Charlton (2)18
  Fred Davis (7)15
  Bill Werbeniuk12
  Fred Davis (7)13
  Eddie Charlton (2)15
  Eddie Charlton (2)15
  John Pulman9




  1. ^ a b Turner, Chris. "World Professional Championship". cajt.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "World Championship 1976". Global Snooker. Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b Harris, Luke J. (3 January 2020). "21. Snooker and billiards". In Nauright, John; Zipp, Sarah (eds.). Routledge Handbook of Global Sport. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis. pp. 227–237. ISBN 9781138887237. Archived from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  4. ^ Williams, Victoria R. (28 April 2015). Weird Sports and Wacky Games around the World: From Buzkashi to Zorbing. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. p. 286. ISBN 9781610696395. Archived from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "The Rise Of China". wst.tv. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 26 February 2018. Archived from the original on 19 April 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  7. ^ Wilson, Bill (24 April 2015). "Snooker looks to cue up more big breaks in China". BBC News. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Snooker world champion, Hongkonger Ng On-yee aims to change image of male-dominated game". Hong Kong Free Press. Agence France-Presse. 17 March 2018. Archived from the original on 16 August 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  9. ^ Everton, Clive (2012). Black Farce and Cue Ball Wizards: The Inside Story of the Snooker World. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 9781780575681.
  10. ^ "History of Snooker – a Timeline". wpbsa. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 18 April 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  11. ^ "World championship prospects...". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. April 1979. p. 3.
  12. ^ "Crucible Draw And Format". wst.tv. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 9 April 2018. Archived from the original on 17 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  13. ^ Eric, Hayton (2004). The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker: The Complete Record & History. London: Rose Villa Publications. p. 11. ISBN 0-9548549-0-X.
  14. ^ "Snooker record". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 April 1976. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  15. ^ "1976 World Championships Results". Snooker Database. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Embassy World Championship". Snooker Scene. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  17. ^ "1976 World Championships Results". Snooker Database. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  18. ^ Snooker Scene, May 1976, page 5