1980 Champion of Champions

The 1980 Champion of Champions was a professional non-ranking snooker tournament held from 2–12 October 1980 at the New London Theatre in Drury Lane, London.

Champion of Champions
Tournament information
Dates2–12 October 1980
VenueNew London Theatre
FormatNon-ranking event
Winner's share£5,000 [1]
Highest breakEngland Steve Davis (128)
ChampionWales Doug Mountjoy
Runner-upEngland John Virgo


10 players contested the event, divided into two groups of 5. Within each group everyone played all the others in a round robin format. The winners of the groups played in the 19-frame final. In the round-robin stage matches were over 9 frames with all frames played, even after the match had been won.[1] The New London Theatre had hosted the Masters between 1976 and 1978.

Group B was completed first. Terry Griffiths needed to win his last two matches by good margins to finish ahead of Doug Mountjoy. He led Graham Miles 5–1 but eventually only won 6–3. This result left him having to beat Mountjoy by at least 6–3 to qualify. Mountjoy took a 4–3 lead and, although Griffiths won the match 5–4, Mountjoy qualified for the final.[2] In group A, John Virgo won all his matches 5–4 to qualify ahead of Steve Davis.[3] In the final Virgo took a 3–0 lead but Mountjoy fought back to be just 5–4 behind after the afternoon session. In the evening session the match was level at 8–8 before Mountjoy won the next two frames to win the match in front of a crowd of 700.[4]

The playing of "dead" frames was not popular with the players. In the first match of the tournament Steve Davis beat Dennis Taylor 5–0 but then lost the last 4 frames. He later complained that it was difficult to motivate himself after winning the match.[5]

The tournament was not broadcast. Later in October the same venue was used for the 1980 edition of the State Express World Challenge Cup which was covered on BBC television. With no TV coverage and no sponsor the Champion of Champions was dropped from the schedule.


The following 10 players competed in the tournament:[1]

Group A

Group B

Round-robin stageEdit

Group AEdit

John Virgo won all four of his matches 5–4 to qualify for the final.

Kirk Stevens did not turn up for his match against Dennis Taylor. Taylor played an exhibition match against Perrie Mans, who played with a borrowed cue.[3] In the table above a 9–0 result is used for this match.

Group BEdit

Doug Mountjoy lost his final match to Terry Griffiths 5–4 but qualified by winning more frames overall.


Final: Best of 19 frames. Referee: unknown.
New London Theatre, London, England, 12 November 1980.
Doug Mountjoy
10–8 John Virgo
Afternoon: 51–76; 49–81 (56); 26–108 (54); 77–15; 57–53; 60–9; 15–83 (51); 57–61 (50); 101 (101)–1
Evening: 69 (53)–47; 98 (53)–16; 31–89; 22–60 (60); 74 (53)–18; 40–35; 55–61; 65–5; 64–60
101 Highest break 60
1 Century breaks 0
4 50+ breaks 5

Century breaksEdit

The following century breaks were made during the tournament:[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Snooker – Thorburn faces Higgins again in the West End". The Times. 2 October 1980. p. 10.
  2. ^ a b c "Snooker – Mountjoy the loser ends up in the final". The Times. 9 October 1980. p. 13.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Snooker – Virgo will not go down as kamikaze pilot". The Times. 11 October 1980. p. 15.
  4. ^ "Snooker – Mountjoy fights back to take champion's title". The Times. 13 October 1980. p. 9.
  5. ^ a b c "Snooker – It's carry on playing at Drury Lane". The Times. 3 October 1980. p. 12.
  6. ^ a b c d "Snooker – Century breaks save Virgo". The Times. 4 October 1980. p. 5.
  7. ^ a b "Snooker – Artistic touch takes Virgo close to final". The Times. 10 October 1980. p. 11.
  8. ^ "Snooker – Griffiths let Higgins off the hook". The Times. 6 October 1980. p. 8.
  9. ^ a b c "Snooker – Higgins gives his supporters something to remember". The Times. 7 October 1980. p. 9.
  10. ^ a b "Snooker – Mountjoy's success put pressure on Griffiths". The Times. 8 October 1980. p. 13.
  11. ^ "Champion of champions". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. November 1980. pp. 6–11.