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The 1984 World Snooker Championship (also referred to as the 1984 Embassy World Snooker Championship for the purpose of sponsorship) was a professional ranking snooker tournament that took place between 21 April and 7 May 1984 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England.[1]

Embassy World Snooker Championship
Tournament information
Dates21 April – 7 May 1984
VenueCrucible Theatre
CitySheffield
CountryEngland
Organisation(s)WPBSA
FormatRanking event
Total prize fund£200,000
Winner's share£44,000
Highest breakEngland Rex Williams (138)
Final
ChampionEngland Steve Davis
Runner-upEngland Jimmy White
Score18–16
1983
1985

The tournament started with a pool of 94 players. A qualifying competition was held to produce 16 players to meet the top 16 seeds in the first round at the Crucible Theatre.[2][3]

Steve Davis won his third world title by defeating Jimmy White 18–16 in the final. Davis became the first player to retain the title at the Crucible.[4]

The tournament was sponsored by cigarette manufacturer Embassy.

Tournament summaryEdit

  • Roy Andrewartha,[5] Neal Foulds,[6] Marcel Gauvreau,[7] Joe Johnson,[8] Warren King,[9] Paul Mifsud,[10] Mario Morra,[11] John Parrott,[12] and Eddie Sinclair[13] made their World Championship debuts. All the debutants except Foulds, Johnson, King, and Parrott appeared at the Crucible for the first and only time. Foulds and Parrott were the only two debutants to win their first round matches.[14]
  • Eight-time winner Fred Davis made his last World Championship appearance, losing 4–10 to Bill Werbeniuk in the first round. Davis had first played in the World Championship in 1937. Aged 70 years and 253 days, he became the tournament's oldest-ever player.[15][16]
  • Jimmy White played in his first World Championship final and lost to Steve Davis 16–18. It was to be the first of six World Championship final defeats for White,[17] and although the youngest finalist,[3] by losing the match he missed his chance to supersede Alex Higgins as the youngest-ever winner.[18]
  • The tournament was televised on BBC and ITV. In the first week, the event attracted at least a million viewers for each televised programme, with around 5.5 million viewers for the evening programmes. In the second week there were at least two million viewers, and around 6.1 million for the evenings. During the last session of the final, the number of viewers varied from 6.3 million (when popular soap opera Coronation Street was on another channel) to a peak of 13.1 million in the last 15 minutes of the match.[19] Alex Higgins provided commentary on some matches.[20]

Prize fundEdit

The breakdown of prize money for this year is shown below:[1][21]

QualifyingEdit

The qualifying competition was held at Redwood Lodge,[22] Bristol,[23] from 1 April[24] to 13 April 1984.[25]

The players were divided into 16 groups, with matches played on a knockout basis to produce 16 qualifiers. All qualifying matches were the best-of-19 frames. John Parrott won through three rounds, beating Dennis Hughes 10–3, Clive Everton 10–2 and 1978 finalist Perrie Mans 10–0 to set up his first Crucible appearance.[2] Neal Foulds, aged 20[26] also won three matches to make his Crucible debut, beating Doug French 10–5, Les Dodd 10–4 and Jim Meadowcroft 10–2.[2] Former eight-time world champion Fred Davis won his match against Jim Donnelly 10–5 to become the oldest player in the main competition, at the age of 70.[2][27] One player, Canadian Jim Bear, was scheduled to play but did not, and Roy Andrewartha received a walkover for the match.[2]

Qualifying round losers each received £450.[22]

First roundEdit

Matches in the first round (last 32) took place from 21 to 26 April. They were best-of-19 frames, and were each scheduled to be played over two sessions.

David Taylor, 3–5 down to Marcel Gauvreau after their first session, won seven frames in a row to win 10–5 and gain his first ranking points of the season. Roy Andrewartha, a time and motion analyst who played snooker part-time,[28] lost 4–10 to Eddie Charlton.

Many of the matches had emphatic scorelines. Dennis Taylor and Kirk Stevens both won 10–1; Terry Griffiths won 10–2; Steve Davis, John Spencer and Cliff Thorburn won 10–3; and Bill Werbeniuk, Doug Mountjoy and Eddie Charlton won 10–4.

Four of the top 16 seeded players lost in the first round: Tony Knowles (seeded 4), Alex Higgins (5), John Virgo (14) and Tony Meo (15).

Knowles, who had been the only player to beat Steve Davis in the World Championship in the previous three years, with a 10–1 surprise defeat of Davis in the first round in 1982, lost 7–10 to John Parrott. Knowles had recently featured in a three-part series in tabloid newspaper The Sun, where he boasted of his sexual adventures and was dismissive of most other competitors in the tournament.[29] The articles led to Knowles having a fine of £5,000 imposed by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association for bringing the sport into disrepute.[2]

Neal Foulds took the last three frames of their first session to lead former world champion Alex Higgins 5–3, and having the more consistent long potting in the match, won 10–9 after the scores had been level at 7–7.[30]

Silvino Francisco beat Tony Meo, who to that point had been the fourth-highest earner on the snooker circuit that season, 10–5.[31] John Virgo lost 9–10 to Willie Thorne, who had also beaten him in the tournament the previous year.[32] Virgo's defeat came at the end of a season in which he failed to win any ranking points, and he dropped out of the elite top 16, to 18th.[33]

In the other matches, second seed Ray Reardon beat Jim Wych 10–7, and Jimmy White beat Rex Williams 10–6. Williams made the first century break of the tournament in the 12th frame, a total clearance of 138,[34] which turned out to be the highest break of the tournament.

In the first round, 233 frames were played out of a possible 304, with an average frame time of 22.5 minutes. The longest frame, between Cliff Thorburn and Mario Morra, took 51 minutes, whilst the shortest was 9 minutes, in the Jimmy White and Rex Williams match.[35]

Second roundEdit

Matches in the second round (last 16) were best-of-19 frames, and scheduled to each be played over three sessions. Second round matches took place from 26 to 30 April.

Steve Davis compiled breaks of 100, 95 and 92 against John Spencer, winning 13–5 after leading 6–4.[36]

Jimmy White had an impressive run of frames after being 3–5 down to Eddie Charlton at the end of the first session. White made it 10–6 in his favour with breaks of 80, 79, 44, 61, 34, and 82, and went on to win 13–7. Terry Griffiths beat Bill Werbeniuk 13–5.[37]

Dennis Taylor led John Parrott 11–7, then Parrott won four frames in a row to level at 11–11. Taylor, who was the more consistent potter during the match, took the next two to win 13–11. Cliff Thorburn and Willie Thorne contested a tight match that Thorburn won 13–11.[38]

Ray Reardon, having his least successful season in 17 years as a snooker professional, made a 109 break in the eighth frame to lead 5–3 at the end of the first session against Silvino Francisco. The score was tied at 8–8 after the second session. In the last session, Francicso was ahead, but under-hit when trying to pot the blue. This left Reardon needing one snooker rather than three; Francisco fouled, giving Reardon the additional points required. Reardon went on to win the frame on a re-spotted black after Francisco failed the pot and left the black ball over the jaws of a pocket. From 9–8, Reardon won four frames in a row to win the match 13–8.[39]

From 9–9 against David Taylor, Kirk Stevens scored three breaks in the fifties to win the match 13–10. Neal Foulds led Doug Mountjoy 3–1[40] but ended up losing 6–13.

Quarter-finalsEdit

The quarter-finals were scheduled to each be played over three sessions, on 1 and 2 May, as best-of-25-frames matches.

Steve Davis won the first three frames of his match against Terry Griffiths, but found himself 3–5 down at the end of the first session. Griffiths then won the first frame of the second session to lead 6–3. Davis pulled back to level the match at 6–6, and the second session ended at 8–8.[41] Davis won 13–10, with the match taking 10 hours and 10 minutes of playing time.[42]

Kirk Stevens beat Ray Reardon convincingly, 13–2, to set up a semi-final with Jimmy White, who beat Cliff Thorburn 13–8. Dennis Taylor defeated Doug Mountjoy 13–8, to move into the other semi-final, against Davis.[42]

Semi-finalsEdit

The semi-finals were scheduled to each be played over four sessions, on 3, 4 and 5 May, as best-of-31-frames matches.

Steve Davis led Dennis Taylor 4–3 at the end of their first session, whilst in the other match, Jimmy White took a 5–3 lead over Kirk Stevens despite being unwell. White attributed his illness to some cheese and tomato sandwiches he had eaten, and had to leave the playing area during a break of 85 in the fifth frame.[43] Stevens, meanwhile, was suffering from a throat infection.[44]

Davis opened up a 9–5 lead over Taylor at the end of their second session, and increased his advantage to 13–8 at the end of the third, whilst Stevens led White by just one frame, 8–7 after their second session.[44] Davis won three frames to Taylor's one in their last session to win 16–9, and White beat Stevens 16–14[45] to become the youngest player to reach a professional snooker World Championship final.[3]

FinalEdit

The final was played over four sessions, on 6 and 7 May, as a best-of-35-frames match.

Steve Davis dominated the first session to lead 6–1 against Jimmy White, and led 12–4 at the end of the second session.[45]

On the second day, White fought back to 11–13 by winning seven of the eight frames in the third session, the first by making a break of 119 that turned out to be the second-highest of the tournament. Davis started the last session by winning three of the first four frames to lead 16–12. White then won the next three to put himself just one behind at 15–16. Davis won a close frame by clearing the colours to lead 17–15, then White took the next with a break of 65 to reduce his deficit to 16–17. Davis took the last frame 77–40 to become the first player to retain the title at the Crucible.[46][47][48]

This was Davis' third World Championship win. His first victory came in 1981, when he defeated Doug Mountjoy 18–12 in the final. In 1982, he experienced the "Crucible curse"—which recognises that no first-time snooker world champion has successfully defended the title the following year, since the tournament moved to the Crucible Theatre in 1977—when he was heavily defeated 1–10 by Tony Knowles in the first round. He took the 1983 title with an 18–6 defeat of Cliff Thorburn in the final, and would go on to win a total of six world titles.

Main drawEdit

Shown below are the results for each round. The numbers in parentheses beside some of the players are their seeding ranks (each championship has 16 seeds and 16 qualifiers).[1][49][50]

First round Second round Quarter-finals Semi-finals
Best of 19 frames Best of 25 frames Best of 25 frames Best of 31 frames
                           
21 April            
   Steve Davis (1)  10
26 & 27 April
   Warren King  3  
   Steve Davis (1)  13
21 & 22 April
     John Spencer (16)  5  
   John Spencer (16)  10
1 & 2 May
   Graham Miles  3  
   Steve Davis (1)  13
22 & 23 April
     Terry Griffiths (9)  10  
   Terry Griffiths (9)  10
27 & 28 April
   Paul Mifsud  2  
   Terry Griffiths (9)  13
22 & 23 April
     Bill Werbeniuk (8)  5  
   Bill Werbeniuk (8)  10
3, 4 & 5 May
   Fred Davis  4  
   Steve Davis (1)  16
23 & 24 April
     Dennis Taylor (13)  9
   Alex Higgins (5)  9
28, 29 & 30 April
   Neal Foulds  10  
   Neal Foulds  6
24 & 25 April
     Doug Mountjoy (12)  13  
   Doug Mountjoy (12)  10
1 & 2 May
   Mike Hallett  4  
   Doug Mountjoy (12)  8
24 & 25 April
     Dennis Taylor (13)  13  
   Dennis Taylor (13)  10
29 & 30 April
   Joe Johnson  1  
   Dennis Taylor (13)  13
25 & 26 April
     John Parrott  11  
   Tony Knowles (4)  7
   John Parrott  10  
25 & 26 April            
   Cliff Thorburn (3)  10
29 & 30 April
   Mario Morra  3  
   Cliff Thorburn (3)  13
25 April
     Willie Thorne  11  
   John Virgo (14)  9
1 & 2 May
   Willie Thorne  10  
   Cliff Thorburn (3)  8
24 April
     Jimmy White (11)  13  
   Jimmy White (11)  10
28, 29 & 30 April
   Rex Williams  6  
   Jimmy White (11)  13
23 & 24 April
     Eddie Charlton (6)  7  
   Eddie Charlton (6)  10
3, 4 & 5 May
   Roy Andrewartha  4  
   Jimmy White (11)  16
22 & 23 April
     Kirk Stevens (7)  14
   Kirk Stevens (7)  10
27 & 28 April
   Eddie Sinclair  1  
   Kirk Stevens (7)  13
22 & 23 April
     David Taylor (10)  10  
   David Taylor (10)  10
1 & 2 May
   Marcel Gauvreau  5  
   Kirk Stevens (7)  13
21 & 22 April
     Ray Reardon (2)  2  
   Tony Meo (15)  5
26, 27 & 28 April
   Silvino Francisco  10  
   Silvino Francisco  8
21 April
     Ray Reardon (2)  13  
   Ray Reardon (2)  10
   Jim Wych  7  
Final (Best of 35 frames) Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 6 & 7 May 1984. Referee: Jim Thorpe[51]
Steve Davis (1)
  England
18–16 Jimmy White (11)
  England
73–14, 84–24, 70–65, 51–73, 69–39, 110–15, 77–38, 68–25, 81–0, 0–137, 57–40, 8–104, 120–0, 43–67, 65–61, 73–22, 6–127, 29–62, 1–76, 68–56, 42–65, 29–68, 4–80, 43–67, 64–15, 82–43, 19–91, 73–40, 6–84, 22–72, 40–74, 59–55, 60–65, 77–40 Century breaks: 1 (White 1)

Highest break by Davis: 84
Highest break by White: 119

73–14, 84–24, 70–65, 51–73, 69–39, 110–15, 77–38, 68–25, 81–0, 0–137, 57–40, 8–104, 120–0, 43–67, 65–61, 73–22, 6–127, 29–62, 1–76, 68–56, 42–65, 29–68, 4–80, 43–67, 64–15, 82–43, 19–91, 73–40, 6–84, 22–72, 40–74, 59–55, 60–65, 77–40
  Steve Davis wins the 1984 Embassy World Snooker Championship

Century breaksEdit

There were eight centuries in the championship, the fewest since 1978. The highest break of the televised stages was 138 made by Rex Williams,[52][53][54] and for the pre-televised stages was 112 made by Jim Donnelly.[1]

ReferencesEdit

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  3. ^ a b c Hale, Janice (6 May 1984). "White wakes up the Crucible". The Observer. p. 35 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Guardian and The Observer. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Boos as Davis retains crown". Glasgow Herald. 8 May 1984. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Roy Andrewartha at the World Championship". Snooker Database. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Neil Foulds at the World Championship". Snooker Database. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
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  13. ^ "Eddie Sinclair at the World Championship". Snooker Database. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  14. ^ "Joe Johnson at the World Championship". Snooker Database. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
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  16. ^ Downer, Chris (2012). Crucible Almanac. p. 132.
  17. ^ Turner, Chris. "World Professional Championship". cajt.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
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  25. ^ {{cite news |author= |title=For the record |url= |work=The Times |page=31 |date=14 April 1984 |access-date=|via=The Times Digital Archive
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  31. ^ Everton, Clive (23 April 1984). "Francisco sets up Reardon rematch: Snooker". The Guardian. p. 15 – via ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Guardian and The Observer. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
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  51. ^ Downer, Chris (2012). Crucible Almanac. p. 143.
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