1985 British Open

The 1985 British Open (also known as the 1985 Dulux British Open due to sponsorship) was a professional ranking snooker tournament, that was held from 17 February to 3 March 1985 with television coverage beginning on 22 February from the Assembly Rooms in Derby, England. It was the first edition of the British Open, having been rebranded from the International Open the previous year. It was the fifth ranking event of the 1984–85 snooker season, preceding the 1985 World Snooker Championship.

1985 Dulux British Open
Tournament information
Dates17 February – 3 March 1985
VenueAssembly Rooms
FormatRanking event
Total prize fund£250,000
Winner's share£50,000
Highest break Alex Higgins (NIR) (142)
Champion Silvino Francisco (RSA)
Runner-up Kirk Stevens (CAN)

In the best-of-23-frames final, South African player Silvino Francisco defeated Canadian Kirk Stevens 12–9. It was the first major professional snooker tournament without a British player in the final. The event featured a total prize fund of £250,000 with the winner receiving £50,000. The highest break of the event was made by Alex Higgins, who compiled a 142 in his last-16 match against Cliff Thorburn.


The 1985 British Open was held between 17 February and 3 March 1985.[1] The qualifying competition took place across venues in London, Bristol and Stockport. The first round took place in Chesterfield, whilst the remaining rounds took place at the Assembly Rooms, Derby.[2] The qualifying and first rounds were played as best-of-11 frames. The following rounds, from last 32 to quarter-finals, were played as shorter best-of-9-frames matches because of television scheduling.[2] Broadcaster ITV were concerned about the prospect of large overtime payments for their staff if matches overran, and also requested that the afternoon matches started at 2:00 pm rather than the originally scheduled 1:00 pm, to avoid higher payments to lighting technicians that would have been due if the lighting was switched on before that time.[3] The decision by snooker governing body the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) to cut the length of matches in response to ITV's request was publicly criticised by WPBSA board member Barry Hearn, who was also the manager of prominent player Steve Davis.[3]

The event was sponsored by ICI Paints Division and was known for sponsorship purposes as the 1985 Dulux British Open. It took the place of the non-ranking 1984 International Masters tournament on the professional snooker calendar.[4]

Prize fundEdit

The prize fund for the event was £250,000, with the winner receiving £50,000.[5]

  • Winner: £50,000
  • Runner-up: £30,000
  • Semi-finals: £17,500
  • Quarter-finals: £9,000
  • Last 16: £4,625
  • Last 32: £2,000
  • Last 64: £750
  • Highest break (televised stages): £5,000 Alex Higgins (142)
  • Highest break (pre-televised stages): £5,000 Steve Davis (129)
  • Total: £250,000

Tournament summaryEdit

In the first round, Bill Werbeniuk, 14th in the world rankings, was beaten 1–6 by Bob Chaperon. Malcolm Bradley, in his first season as a professional player, beat David Taylor 6–3.[6] Bob Harris, who to that point had made little impact as a player, beat world number six Eddie Charlton 6–3 after being 1–3 behind.[7] Jimmy White was 3–1 ahead of Tony Jones but the match went to the deciding frame before White won, 6–5.[7] Another first-year professional,[8] Danny Fowler, beat Rex Williams, the former world billiards champion, 6–3.[7] A third new professional, Tony Chappel, led reigning world champion Steve Davis 5–4, before Davis prevailed 6–5.[9]

The television stages of the event began in the second round.[2] Steve Newbury, in his first season as a professional player, recorded a 5–3 win over former world champion Terry Griffiths in the last 32.[10] Other players unexpectedly losing in the second round were Willie Thorne, who lost 0–5 to Murdo MacLeod; Ray Reardon, who was wearing spectacles for the first time in a match and who was beaten 4–5 by Dave Martin after leading 4–1; and Jimmy White, who lost 4–5 to Silvino Francisco.[11] Only seven of the top sixteen seeded players progressed into the last 16 of the competition.[12] In the last 16, Alex Higgins was level at 2–2 with Cliff Thorburn, then made a total clearance of 142, the highest break of the tournament, and went on to win 5–2.[5] In the match between Eugene Hughes and Murdo MacLeod, neither player made a break of 30 or over as Hughes won 5–2.[5][13]

Kirk Stevens won his quarter-final against Dennis Taylor by winning five straight frames after trailing 0–2,[14] and went on to beat Davis 9–7 in the semi-final to reach his first ranking tournament final.[15] In the other semi-final, Francisco was never behind Higgins in frames, and won 9–7.[16] With the South African Francisco and the Canadian Stevens contesting the final, it was the first snooker ranking tournament where there was no British player in the final.[17] The next time there was a ranking final with no British players was the 2009 Grand Prix.[17]

Francisco beat Stevens 12–9 in the final to win the title.[5] The final was played across three sessions, with an afternoon and evening session on Saturday 2 March followed by a session on Sunday 3 March. Francisco took a 5–0 lead in the final, before Stevens won the last two frames of the first session to make it 5–2. In the second session, Francisco increased his lead to 6–2 with a fluked on the pink ball in the eighth frame. A few frames later, he made his lead 9–4 due to another fluked pink ball. In the frame following this, Stevens compiled the highest break of the final, 108, which left Francisco 9–5 ahead at the end of the first day.[5] The following day, Stevens took the first three frames of the third session of the final to trail by just one frame.[18] However, Francisco won the next two frames to lead 11–8. Stevens won frame 20 from 47 points behind, but Francisco took the next to gain victory. The winner's prize money of £50,000 was a new record amount for snooker tournaments.[5][18] It was Francisco's only ranking tournament win.[19]

Main drawEdit

The main draw for the tournament was held with a total of 64 participants. Players listed in bold denote match winners.[1][20][4]

First round (Last 64)
Best of 11 frames
Second round (Last 32)
Best of 9 frames
Third Round (Last 16)
Best of 9 frames
Best of 9 frames
Best of 17 frames
Best of 23 frames
  Steve Davis (ENG) 6
  Tony Chappel (WAL) 5
  Steve Davis 5
  John Virgo 2
  John Virgo (ENG) 6
  Peter Francisco (RSA) 2
  Steve Davis 5
  Malcolm Bradley 2
  Rex Williams (ENG) 4
  Danny Fowler (ENG) 6
  Danny Fowler 4
  Malcolm Bradley 5
  David Taylor (ENG) 3
  Malcolm Bradley (ENG) 6
  Steve Davis 5
  Dene O'Kane 1
  John Campbell (AUS) 4
  Dene O'Kane (NZL) 6
  Dene O'Kane 5
  Vic Harris 3
  Doug Mountjoy (WAL) 5
  Vic Harris (ENG) 6
  Dene O'Kane 5
  Dave Martin 4
  Ray Reardon (WAL) 6
  Warren King (AUS) 5
  Ray Reardon 4
  Dave Martin 5
  Dave Martin (ENG) 6
  Bernard Bennett (ENG) 0
  Steve Davis 7
  Kirk Stevens 9
  Dennis Taylor (NIR) 6
  George Scott (ENG) 2
  Dennis Taylor 5
  John Parrott 2
  John Parrott (ENG) 6
  John Rea (SCO) 4
  Dennis Taylor 5
  Steve Newbury 3
  Terry Griffiths (WAL) 6
  Dave Chalmers (ENG) 0
  Terry Griffiths 3
  Steve Newbury 5
  Steve Newbury (WAL) 6
  Eddie Sinclair (SCO) 3
  Dennis Taylor 2
  Kirk Stevens 5
  Kirk Stevens (CAN) 6
  Marcel Gauvreau (CAN) 3
  Kirk Stevens 5
  Mark Wildman 2
  Mark Wildman (ENG) 6
  Matt Gibson (SCO) 1
  Kirk Stevens 5
  Graham Miles 2
  John Spencer (ENG) 6
  Frank Jonik (CAN) 0
  John Spencer 3
  Graham Miles 5
  Graham Miles (ENG) 6
  Ray Edmonds (ENG) 1
  Kirk Stevens 9
  Silvino Francisco 12
  Tony Meo (ENG) 6
  Robby Foldvari (AUS) 0
  Tony Meo 5
  Mike Hallett 4
  Mike Hallett (ENG) w/o
  Bernie Mikkelsen (CAN) w/d
  Tony Meo 5
  Tony Knowles 2
  Tony Knowles (ENG) 6
  Doug French (ENG) 2
  Tony Knowles 5
  Steve Longworth 2
  Cliff Wilson (WAL) 3
  Steve Longworth (ENG) 6
  Tony Meo 4
  Silvino Francisco 5
  Jimmy White (ENG) 6
  Tony Jones (ENG) 5
  Jimmy White 4
  Silvino Francisco 5
  Silvino Francisco (RSA) 6
  Tony Kearney (IRE) 4
  Silvino Francisco 5
  Bob Chaperon 2
  Bill Werbeniuk (CAN) 1
  Bob Chaperon (CAN) 6
  Bob Chaperon 5
  Wayne Jones 2
  Joe Johnson (ENG) 5
  Wayne Jones (WAL) 6
  Silvino Francisco 9
  Alex Higgins 6
  Eugene Hughes (IRE) 6
  Paul Watchorn (IRE) 4
  Eugene Hughes 5
  Bob Harris 4
  Eddie Charlton (AUS) 3
  Bob Harris (ENG) 6
  Eugene Hughes 5
  Murdo MacLeod 2
  Willie Thorne (ENG) 6
  Bill Oliver (ENG) 3
  Willie Thorne 0
  Murdo MacLeod 5
  Murdo MacLeod (SCO) 6
  Tommy Murphy (NIR) 5
  Eugene Hughes 2
  Alex Higgins 5
  Cliff Thorburn (CAN) 6
  Gino Rigitano (CAN) 3
  Cliff Thorburn 5
  Dean Reynolds 3
  Dean Reynolds (ENG) 6
  James Giannaros (AUS) 3
  Cliff Thorburn 2
  Alex Higgins 5
  Neal Foulds (ENG) 6
  John Hargreaves (ENG) 1
  Neal Foulds 1
  Alex Higgins 5
  Alex Higgins (NIR) 6
  Roger Bales (ENG) 3


Final: Best of 23 frames. Referee: Vic Bartlam
Assembly Rooms, Derby, England. 2 and 3 March 1985.
Silvino Francisco
  South Africa
12–9 Kirk Stevens
Afternoon: 73–51, 88–6 (65), 58–46, 63–2 (57), 74–29 (52), 52–71 (60), 23–76,
Evening: 61–50, 13–73, 81–4, 64–43, 12–80, 64–52, 5–108 (108)
Afternoon: 18–79, 31–77 (62), 54–63, 58–11, 79–40, 54–74, 64–14
65 Highest break 108
0 Century breaks 1
3 50+ breaks 3


Qualifying matches were played as best-of-11-frames matches. Players in bold denote match winners.[4]

Player 1 Score Player 2
  Tony Chappel 6–5   Ian Williamson
  Dave Chalmers 6–5   Pascal Burke
  John Rea 6–0   Mick Fisher
  Warren King 6–4   Paul Medati
  Danny Fowler 6–1   Clive Everton
  Tommy Murphy 6–3   Dessie Sheehan
  Robby Foldvari 6–4   Steve Duggan
  Vic Harris 6–1   Les Dodd
  Tony Jones 6–0   Geoff Foulds
  Peter Francisco 6–3   Billy Kelly
  Dene O'Kane 6–4   Graham Cripsey
  Steve Newbury 6–0   Paddy Browne
  Malcolm Bradley 6–2   Mario Morra
  Tony Kearney 6–4   Mike Watterson
  Doug French 6–0   Eddie McLaughlin
  Bob Chaperon 6–5   Patsy Fagan
  Bob Harris 6–1   Jim Meadowcroft
  Steve Longworth 6–1   Fred Davis
  Bernie Mikkelsen 6–0   Dennis Hughes
  George Scott 6–3   Mike Darrington
  James Giannaros 6–1   Colin Roscoe
  Frank Jonik 6–2   Jack McLaughlin
  Wayne Jones 6–1   Jim Donnelly
  Paul Watchorn 6–1   Jack Fitzmaurice
  Roger Bales 6–4   Ian Black
  Marcel Gauvreau 6–3   David Greaves
  Matt Gibson 6–1   Bert Demarco
  Ray Edmonds 6–1   Derek Mienie


  1. ^ a b Hayton, Eric. Cuesport Book of Professional Snooker. p. 160.
  2. ^ a b c Morrison, Ian (1985). The Hamlyn Encyclopedia of Snooker. Twickenham: Hamlyn Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 0600501922.
  3. ^ a b Allan, Gordon (16 February 1985). "Hearn attacks decision over cut in frames". The Times. London. p. 25 – via The Times Digital Archive. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Everton, Clive (1985). Guinness Snooker: The Records. Enfield: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0851124488.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Dulux British Open". Snooker Scene. No. April 1985. Everton's News Agency. pp. 5–10.
  6. ^ "Werbeniuk beaten". Aberdeen Press and Journal. 17 January 1985. p. 27 – via British Newspaper Archive. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Shock defeat for Charlton". Aberdeen Press and Journal. 18 January 1985. p. 16 – via British Newspaper Archive. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  8. ^ Hayton, Eric; Dee, John (2004). The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker: The Complete Record & History. Rose Villa Publications. pp. 433–434. ISBN 978-0954854904.
  9. ^ "Davis gets through – only just". Aberdeen Evening Express. 18 January 1985. p. 16 – via British Newspaper Archive. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  10. ^ Friskin, Sydney (18 February 1985). "Griffiths given surprise by newcomer". The Times. London. p. 19 – via The Times Digital Archive. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  11. ^ Friskin, Sydney (20 February 1985). "Thorne and White lose". The Times. London. p. 22 – via The Times Digital Archive. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  12. ^ Friskin, Sydney (22 February 1985). "Celebrities out of focus". The Times. London. p. 25 – via The Times Digital Archive. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  13. ^ Friskin, Sydney (26 February 1985). "Break of 142 emphasizes Higgins's form". The Times. London. p. 29 – via The Times Digital Archive. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  14. ^ Friskin, Sydney (27 February 1985). "Stevens wins after losing opening frames". The Times. London. p. 27 – via The Times Digital Archive. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  15. ^ Friskin, Sydney (1 March 1985). "Long day is a strain for Davis". The Times. London. p. 26 – via The Times Digital Archive. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  16. ^ Friskin, Sydney (2 March 1985). "Francisco's open gate". The Times. London. p. 25 – via The Times Digital Archive. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  17. ^ a b Ashenden, Mark (11 October 2009). "Rampant Robertson sees off Ding". BBC Sport. BBC. Archived from the original on 8 January 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  18. ^ a b Friskin, Sydney (4 March 1985). "Francisco loses his sleep but wins title". The Times. London. p. 20 – via The Times Digital Archive. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  19. ^ Steve Davis (9 April 2015). Interesting: My Autobiography. Ebury Publishing. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-4735-0248-2.
  20. ^ "British Open". Snooker Scene. Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2 March 2018.