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Christopher Small (born 26 September 1973) is a retired Scottish professional snooker player and now a qualified snooker coach.[2] His playing career was ended by the spinal condition ankylosing spondylitis.[2][3][4]

Chris Small
Born (1973-09-26) 26 September 1973 (age 46)
Sport country Scotland
Highest ranking12 (2004/05)
Career winnings£579,800[1]
Highest break141: (2 times)
Century breaks50
Tournament wins


At age 15, Small was the number 1 under-19 player in Scotland. He turned professional the following year.[5] In 1992, he won the Benson & Hedges Championship, defeating Alan McManus in the final, and in 1995 he reached the Semi-finals of the Welsh Open,[5] and was again a semi-finalist at the 1998 Grand Prix event. His greatest achievement was winning the 2002 LG Cup, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins, before a 9–5 win over Alan McManus in the final. This followed a season in which he won only three matches, owing to the severity of his medical condition.[6] He reached the quarter-finals of the LG Cup in the following season.[7]

The 2003/2004 season ended with him having to pull out of a World Championship match against Alan McManus while trailing 1–7, as the regular steroid injections he required in his neck caused problems with his vision.[8] The 2004/2005 season was disastrous for him, as he lost all his ranking tournament matches, and in September 2005 he announced his retirement from the game. Small then started coaching other players, but by 2009 his condition had worsened, and he had to give up coaching.[2]

Despite being the youngest player ever to win on his Crucible debut (10–7 against Doug Mountjoy aged 18 in 1992), he never progressed beyond the last-16 in the World Championship. He was a regular in the top 32 for several years, but his LG Cup win helped him reach #12 for the 2004/2005 season, the only time he had entered the top 16. His career-high break was a 141.[7]

In January 2007, he applied for a grant from a trust fund for players who have fallen on hard times from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, but was rejected.[9] This decision, stemming from Small's refusal to provide a £250 medical certificate, has been criticised by figures including Jimmy White, Graeme Dott ("Everybody in the game that I’ve spoken to is behind him")[10] and Clive Everton.[3]

In 2012, improved medication allowed Small to return to coaching, one of his players being former snooker professional Michael Leslie.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Small is the son of a taxi driver.[11] He worked as a bank clerk before his success in snooker.[12] Small and his wife Clare have four children.[13]

Performance and rankings timelineEdit

Tournament 1991/
Ranking[14][nb 1] [nb 2] 75 98 86 62 30 25 25 18 21 24 29 18 12
Ranking tournaments
Grand Prix[nb 3] LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ 2R QF SF 3R 1R 1R W QF 1R
UK Championship LQ 1R LQ 1R 3R 2R 2R 1R 2R 2R 2R 3R 2R 2R
Malta Cup[nb 4] A LQ 1R LQ LQ 2R NH LQ Not Held LQ LQ 2R 1R
Welsh Open LQ LQ LQ SF 3R 2R 3R 2R 2R 1R 1R LQ 2R 2R
China Open[nb 5] Tournament Not Held NR 1R LQ LQ LQ Not Held 1R
World Championship 2R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 2R 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R
Non-ranking tournaments
The Masters LQ WR LQ LQ LQ LQ A A A A A A A 1R
Former ranking tournaments
Classic LQ Tournament Not Held
Strachan Open LQ Tournament Not Held
Dubai Classic[nb 6] A LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ Tournament Not Held
German Open Tournament Not Held 1R LQ 1R NR Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Not Held Non-Ranking Event LQ NR Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters[nb 7] A LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ 1R 1R LQ NR Not Held
Scottish Open[nb 8] A LQ LQ LQ 3R 2R 1R 3R 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R NH
British Open LQ 1R 1R 2R LQ 1R 2R 3R 2R 1R 1R SF 1R 2R
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event QF SF LQ
Former non-ranking tournaments
Australian Masters Not Held A F Tournament Not Held
Scottish Masters A 1R A A A A A LQ LQ LQ A LQ Not Held
NH / Not Held event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event event is/was a ranking event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Event event is/was a minor-ranking event.
  1. ^ From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  3. ^ The event also ran under the name LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004)
  4. ^ The event also ran as the European Open (1991/1992–1996/1997 and 2001/2002–2003/2004) and Irish Open (1998/1999)
  5. ^ The event ran under a different name as China International (1997/1998–1998/1999)
  6. ^ The event also ran under the names Thailand Classic (1995/1996) and Asian Classic (1996/1997)
  7. ^ The event also ran under the names Asian Open (1992/1993) and Thailand Open (1993/1994–1996/1997)
  8. ^ The event also ran under the names International Open (1991/1992–1996/1997) and Players Championship (2003/2004)

Career finalsEdit

Ranking finals: 1 (1 title)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2002 LG Cup   Alan McManus 9–5

Minor-ranking finals: 1 (1 title)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1992 Benson & Hedges Championship   Alan McManus 9–1

Non-ranking finals: 2 (2 runner-ups)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1995 Australian Masters   Anthony Hamilton 6–8
Runner-up 2. 1995 Australian Open   Anthony Hamilton 7–9


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d Chris Small Snooker Coaching website
  3. ^ a b Ex Snooker Star Chris gives up
  4. ^ "Small forced to give up snooker. Former World No.12 Chris Small has retired from snooker due to a degenerative spinal disease". BBC News. BBC. 23 September 2005. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  5. ^ a b Career details on Chris Small website
  6. ^ Small Claims Biggest Prize
  7. ^ a b Cuetracker Chris Small page for 2003/04 Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Opening day at Sheffield comes with a Small eruption
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ Small's tall order
  12. ^ O'Sullivan big scalp for Small
  13. ^ Ex Snooker Champion Gives up Battle
  14. ^ "Ranking History". Retrieved 6 February 2011.

External linksEdit

  • Chris Small at CueTracker: Snooker Results & Statistics Database