Cliff Thorburn

Clifford Charles Devlin Thorburn CM (born 16 January 1948) is a Canadian retired professional snooker player. Nicknamed "The Grinder" because of his slow, determined style of play, he won the World Snooker Championship in 1980, defeating Alex Higgins 18–16 in the final to become the first world champion in snooker's modern era from outside the United Kingdom. He remains the sport's only world champion from the Americas. He was runner-up in two other world championships, losing 21–25 to John Spencer in the 1977 final and 6–18 to Steve Davis in the 1983 final. Ranked world number one during the 1981–82 season, he was the first non-British player to top the world rankings.

Cliff Thorburn
Photograph of a smiling Thorburn standing behind a trophy on a snooker table.
Thorburn in 2010
Born (1948-01-16) 16 January 1948 (age 74)
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Sport countryCanada
NicknameThe Grinder
Highest ranking1 (1981/82)
Maximum breaks2
Tournament wins
World Champion1980

In 1983, Thorburn became the first player to make a maximum break in a World Championship match, achieving the feat in his second-round encounter with Terry Griffiths. He won the invitational Masters in 1983, 1985, and 1986, making him the first player to win the Masters three times and the first to retain the title. He retired from the main professional tour in 1996. Inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Snooker Hall of Fame in 2014, he competed in Snooker Legends events and on the World Seniors Tour, winning the 2018 Seniors Masters at the Crucible Theatre at age 70. He retired from competitive snooker after the 2022 UK Seniors Championship.

Early lifeEdit

Thorburn was born on 16 January 1948 in Victoria, British Columbia.[1][2] His parents separated when he was eighteen months old.[3]: 104  He was abandoned by his mother, and after spending about two years in an orphanage during a custody dispute, was raised by his father and his father's mother. He was told that his mother had died, but, aged twenty, learnt that she was still alive.[4][5]

He played pool and lacrosse in his youth,[2] and set a one-game scoring record of ten goals in the Greater Victoria Minor Lacrosse Association "midget division" in 1958.[6] He left school at the age of 16, and travelled across Canada playing pool and snooker money matches, taking jobs as a dishwasher and working on a garbage truck to help earn money for his stakes. In 1968 he entered his first tournaments, and won the Toronto City Championship. He spent time with Fred Davis and Rex Williams when they toured Canada in 1970, and afterwards became a resident professional at the House of Champions club in Toronto.[3] In July 1970, he reportedly made a maximum break of 147 in a non-competitive game against Fred Hardwick.[7][8] He made six century breaks in winning the North American championship in 1971, equalling the record, jointly held by Joe Davis and George Chenier, for most century breaks in a single tournament.[9]

Early professional careerEdit

Thorburn played John Spencer in a series of three exhibition matches in 1971; although he lost all three,[2] he was recommended by Spencer to the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association,[3] and he was accepted as a professional in 1972.[10] Thorburn travelled to England in 1973, and on the day of his arrival, the reigning world snooker champion Alex Higgins offered to play him for £5 a frame. Thorburn, receiving 28 points start in each frame, claims to have beaten Higgins in every frame they played, and that Higgins refused to pay up.[11]

At the 1973 World Snooker Championship, his first major tournament on the professional snooker circuit, Thorburn defeated Dennis Taylor 9–8 in the first round then lost 15–16 to Williams in the second round. Later that year, he had a 4–0 win over Pat Houlihan at the 1973 Norwich Union Open before losing 2–4 to Higgins in the quarter-final. In the 1974 World Snooker Championship he defeated Alex McDonald 8–3 in qualifying then lost 4–8 to Paddy Morgan in the first round. He started the 1974–75 snooker season with a victory in the 1974 Canadian Open, knocking out Willie Thorne and Graham Miles to reach the final, where he won 8–6 against Taylor.[12] He reached the quarter-finals of the 1975 World Snooker Championship with wins over Morgan and Miles, losing the quarter-final 12–19 to Eddie Charlton, and, the following year, was eliminated 14–15 by Higgins in the first round of the 1976 World Snooker Championship.[13]

The 1977 World Snooker Championship was the first to be held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Thorburn became the first Canadian world snooker championship finalist. He whitewashed Chris Ross 11–0 in qualifying, then recorded a 13–6 win over Williams. In the quarter-final, he won in the deciding frame, 13–12, against Charlton.[14] He overcame Taylor 18–16 in the semi-final, and twelve hours later was facing Spencer in the final. Spencer built a 4–2 lead at the end of the first session, but Thorburn won four of the next six frames and they finished the second session level at 6–6. Thorburn took the first two frames of the third session, and it finished with them level again, at 9–9. Thorburn built a 13–11 lead during the fourth session, and extended it to 15–11 before Spencer won four consecutive frames to make it 15–15; the next session again saw them share the frames, finishing at 18–18. Spencer won three frames in a row to lead 21–18, and Thorburn took the next two to trail by a single frame. Spencer took the last frame of the session, leading 22–20. In the last session, Thorburn again narrowed the gap to one frame, but then Spencer won three in a row to achieve victory at 25–21.[15]

Thorburn reached the final of the 1978 Masters with wins over Doug Mountjoy and Spencer, losing 5–7 to Higgins in the final. He was knocked out of the 1978 World Snooker Championship by Charlton, 12–13 in the quarter-finals.[12] In the 1978–79 snooker season he defeated Tony Meo 17–15 in the final to win the 1978 Canadian Open after having trailed 6–10 at the end of the first day of the final,[16] but lost his opening matches in both the Masters (4–5 to Perrie Mans) and the World Championship (10–13 to John Virgo).[17] He retained his Canadian Open title in 1979, taking a 10–3 lead over Terry Griffiths before winning the match in the deciding frame, at 17–16.[18]


1980 world snooker championEdit

Thorburn had defeated Virgo 6–1 in the round robin phase of the 1980 Bombay International, but lost 7–13 to him in the final.[18] He won 5–3 against Virgo in the first round of the 1980 Masters, then lost 3–5 to Griffiths in the quarter-final.[19] In advance of the 1980 World Championship, he practised at a club near the Crucible that was owned by a friend, and gave up smoking and drinking alcohol for a week before the tournament. His first match was against Mountjoy, Thorburn finishing their first session 3–5 behind. In the evening, he played cards and drank alcohol with friends until 5:00 am, resuming the match the next day by winning the first five frames in succession. Thorburn won the match 13–10.[3] In the quarter-final, he beat Jim Wych 13–6, having led 5–3, and 10–6.[20] He led David Taylor 5–3 after their first semi-final session, and 11–4 at the end of the second.[21] In the last session of the match, Thorburn extended his lead to 15–7 by the mid-session interval, then won 16–7 with a break of 114 in the 23rd frame,[22] becoming the first player to reach a second final at the Crucible.[23]

His opponent in the final was Higgins, the 1972 champion.[23] Thorburn won the first frame, and Higgins won the next five. Thorburn won the seventh to make it 5–2, Higgins complaining after the frame that Thorburn had been standing in his line of sight, a claim that author and sports statistician Ian Morrison called "unfounded".[23] Higgins led 6–3 at the end of the first session, extending this to 9–5 before Thorburn levelled the match at 9–9.[23] Writing in The Times, Sydney Friskin described the match to this point as a contrast of styles: "the shrewd cumulative processes of Thorburn against the explosive break-building of Higgins". He also noted that each player had accused the other of distracting them during the match.[24] Thorburn won the 19th and 20th frames, Higgins taking the following two to level at 11–11.[23] Thorburn went ahead at 12–11 and 13–12, Higgins levelling the match both times, and the third session ending 13–13.[25]

In the final session, Higgins won the first frame then Thorburn won the next two, before Higgins equalized at 15–15. Thorburn led 16–15, and missed an easy brown ball that let Higgins in to make it 16–16.[23] With a break of 119, Thorburn moved within a frame of victory at 17–16. In the 34th frame, leading 45–9 in points, he laid a snooker for Higgins, and made a 51 break after that to win the title.[23] The BBC's television coverage of the final had been interrupted by the broadcast of live footage of the Iranian Embassy Siege.[26] The conclusion of the final was watched by 14.5 million television viewers.[27] Thorburn is generally regarded as the first player from outside the United Kingdom to win the world championship, Horace Lindrum's victory in the 1952 World Snooker Championship usually being disregarded.[a][29][3] After the match, Higgins said of Thorburn "he's a grinder",[30] and the nickname "The Grinder" was subsequently associated with Thorburn, seen as apt for his slow, determined style of play.[3] Thorburn has aspired to be known by the nickname "Champagne Cliff", but admitted later that it never caught on.[31]

He won the Canadian Open for a third successive year in 1980, defeating Griffiths 17–10 in the final,[32] and was part of the Canada Team that reached the final of the 1980 World Challenge Cup, where they lost 5–8 to Wales.[33] He led Higgins 5–1 in the semi-final of the 1981 Masters, but lost the match 5–6.[34] At the 1981 World Championship, as defending champion, he reached the semi-final where he lost 10–16 to Steve Davis.[35] Following a 4–10 loss to Jimmy White in the first round of the 1982 World Snooker Championship, Thorburn decided to return to Canada.[3] Thorburn had been number two in the 1980/1981 world rankings, and reached number one in the 1981/1982 rankings. He won the 1983 Masters, recovering from 2–5 behind against Charlton to win 6–5 in the semi-final, and defeating Ray Reardon 9–7 in the final.[36]

1983 world championship maximum breakEdit

In 1983, Thorburn became the first player to make a maximum break at the World Championship,[37] during the fourth frame of his second-round match against Griffiths,[3] and only the second player to make an official maximum in professional competition (after Davis at the 1982 Classic).[38][39] Thorburn started the break by fluking a red. While he was completing the break, play stopped on the tournament's second table because his friend and fellow Canadian Bill Werbeniuk wanted to watch.[37] The match against Griffiths ended at 3:51 am, Thorburn emerging as the winner, 13–12. He then defeated Kirk Stevens 13–12 in the quarter-final (from 10–12 behind), and Tony Knowles 16–15 in the semi-final (from 13–15 behind).[40] During the semi-final, which finished at 12:45 am,[2] Thorburn learnt that his wife Barbara had suffered a miscarriage on the day of his maximum break.[41] He played Steve Davis in the final. From 2–2 after the first four frames, Davis won four in a row to leave Thorburn 2–6 behind, extending this to 2–9 at the start of the second session, and 5–12 at the end of the first day. Davis wrapped up victory on the second day, at 18–6, this being the first final at the Crucible to be completed in only three sessions.[42] Commenting on Thorburn's performance in the final, snooker historian Clive Everton observed that the long matches he had played in reaching the final had "left him so drained .. that he was able to offer only token resistance".[43]

1984 to 1989Edit

Thorburn enjoyed a resurgence in form during the 1984–85 season.[44] He reached the final of the Grand Prix, where he lost to Dennis Taylor 2–10. In the semi-final, Thorburn had defeated the reigning world champion Steve Davis 9–7.[45] He also reached the final of the Classic in January 1985, where he met Thorne, the latter winning five frames in a row to win 13–8 after the pair had been tied at 8–8.[46] Thorburn was again runner-up in the 1986 Classic, this time losing to Jimmy White in the final 12–13. Thorburn fluked a pot on the green ball in the deciding frame, to leave White requiring penalty points from Thorburn to win. White potted the brown and blue, then laid a snooker on the pink. Thorburn failed to hit the pink, which gave White the penalty points he needed, and White then potted the pink and black to win the title.[47]

He won further Masters titles by defeating Mountjoy 9–6 in 1985, and White 9–5 in 1986.[12] He became the first player ever to retain the Masters title, and the first to win it three times.[48] Thorburn experienced success in the Scottish Masters, an invitational event which opened the snooker season, in 1985 and 1986. He defeated Thorne 9–7 in the 1985 final, and Alex Higgins 9–8 the following year.[12] He won the opening ranking event in the 1985–86 snooker calendar, the Matchroom Trophy, where he beat Jimmy White in the final 12–10, having trailed 0–7.[49] He was then runner-up in the corresponding event the following two seasons, 9–12 to Neal Foulds in 1986, and 5–12 to Davis in 1987.[12]

In 1988 Thorburn was fined £10,000, had two ranking points deducted, and was banned for two ranking tournaments, by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. The Association's disciplinary committee had decided that Thorburn had brought the sport into disrepute, as a drug test that he took at the 1988 British Open showed that he had "minute traces of cocaine in his urine sample".[50][51] He compiled another maximum break in the 1989 Matchroom League, during a match against White.[52]

Later yearsEdit

Thorburn in 2007

Thorburn last qualified for the World Championship in 1994,[12] where he faced Nigel Bond in the first round. Thorburn led by 9–2 but eventually lost 9–10.[53] At the 1995 Thailand Open, ranked 54th, he defeated three players from the top 16, including second-ranked Steve Davis, to reach the semi-finals. It was the first time he had reached this stage of a major event since the 1991 European Open.[54][55] He lost the semi-final 0–5 to Ronnie O'Sullivan.[56]

Thorburn effectively retired from the professional tournament circuit after the 1995–96 season.[3] Ranked 91st, and having not entered for any ranking tournaments in the 1996–97 season, he was quoted as saying that when he realised he would have to take part in tournament qualifying rounds for several weeks, "I just couldn't accept that ... When you've played at all of the major venues in front of capacity crowds, it's hard to focus and get motivated playing with just one man and a dog watching".[57] He played for Canada in the 1996 World Cup, where his team reached the quarter-finals.[58]

Thorburn won over one million pounds in prize money during the course of his professional career.[59] Playing as an amateur again, he won the pro-am Canadian Amateur Championship in 2001; he had previously won the tournament in 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1977.[60] During the 2006 World Championship, he flew to Sheffield to unveil a life-size painting of the maximum break that he made at the tournament in 1983. Painted by the artist Michael Myers, the work is on display at the Macdonald St. Paul's Hotel in Sheffield.[61] Thorburn competed on the inaugural Snooker Legends Tour in 2010.[62]

At the age of 70, Thorburn won the 2018 Seniors Masters at the Crucible Theatre, defeating Jonathan Bagley 2–0 in the final.[63][64] Shortly before turning 74, he announced that the 2022 UK Seniors Championship would be his last competitive event. Thorburn played his last competitive match on 5 January 2022 against Kuldesh Johal, losing 0–3.[65]

Personal lifeEdit

Thorburn is the father of two children.[66] Following his World Championship victory, he bought a house in England with the intention of spending more time in Britain.[3] His manager Darryl McKerrow was killed in a hunting accident during the 1984–85 season, and Thorburn was subsequently managed by Robert Windsor, until joining Barry Hearn's Matchroom Sport in January 1988.[2] Thorburn was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1984.[1] He was added to the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1995,[67] and inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.[68]

His instruction book, Cliff Thorburn's Snooker Skills, was published in 1987 by Hamlyn, and his autobiography, Playing for Keeps, co-written with Everton, was published by Partridge Press in the same year.[69][70][71] Thorburn is the head coach for cue sports at the Canadian Billiards and Snooker Association,[72] director of coaching and an ambassador for the Pan American Billiards & Snooker Association,[73] and a member of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association International Expert Coaching Advisory Panel.[74]

Performance and rankings timelineEdit

Tournament 1972/
Ranking No ranking system 13 6 5 5 2 1 3 3 3 2 2 4 6 7 18 36 36 41 54 41 [75]
Ranking tournaments
Thailand Classic[b] Tournament Not Held NR A 1R 1R 1R LQ LQ LQ [12]
Grand Prix[c] Tournament Not Held 3R QF F SF 1R 2R A 2R 1R 1R LQ LQ 1R LQ [12]
UK Championship Non-Ranking Event SF 3R QF QF QF 2R WD 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ [12]
German Open Tournament Not Held LQ [12]
Welsh Open Tournament Not Held 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ [12]
International Open[d] Tournament Not Held NR 2R F 1R W F F A 1R Not Held LQ 2R 1R LQ [12]
European Open Tournament Not Held QF 1R SF 2R 1R LQ LQ LQ [12]
Thailand Open[e] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event Not Held 1R 1R LQ LQ 1R SF WD [12]
British Open[f] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 3R 3R SF SF 3R 1R 1R 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ [12]
World Championship NR 1R QF 1R F QF 1R W SF 1R F QF QF SF 1R SF 1R QF LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ [12]
Non-ranking tournaments
Australian Masters[g] Tournament Not Held A A A RR W 1R A A QF NH R Tournament Not Held A A [82][83]
Scottish Masters Tournament Not Held F A SF QF W W SF NH QF A A A A A A [12]
The Masters Not Held 1R 1R A F QF QF SF QF W 1R W W SF QF QF 1R A LQ A A A A [12]
Irish Masters[h] Not Held A A A A A RR SF QF A QF QF SF QF QF 1R 1R A A A A A A [12]
European League[i] Tournament Not Held A Not Held RR RR RR RR A A A A A A [86]
Pontins Professional NH SF SF A SF RR A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A [12]
Former ranking tournaments
Canadian Masters[j] Not Held Non-Ranking Event Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking QF Tournament Not Held [12]
Hong Kong Open[g] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event NH LQ Tournament Not Held NR [12]
Classic Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 1R F F 2R 2R SF 2R 1R 2R Tournament Not Held [12]
Strachan Open Tournament Not Held QF MR NR Not Held [12]
Former non-ranking tournaments
World Championship 2R Ranking Event [12]
World Masters Not Held W Tournament Not Held [88]
Norwich Union Open NH QF SF Tournament Not Held [12]
World Matchplay Championship Tournament Not Held 1R Tournament Not Held [12]
Holsten Lager International Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held [89]
Limosin International Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held [12]
Bombay International Tournament Not Held RR F Tournament Not Held [12]
Pontins Camber Sands Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held [12]
Champion of Champions Tournament Not Held A NH RR Tournament Not Held [12]
International Open[d] Tournament Not Held 2R Ranking Event Not Held Ranking Event [12]
Northern Ireland Classic Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held [12]
UK Championship Tournament Not Held A A A A 2R A A Ranking Event [12]
British Open[f] Tournament Not Held A RR 2R A A Ranking Event [12][90]
Classic Tournament Not Held A QF[k] QF QF Ranking Event Tournament Not Held [12][91][92]
Tolly Cobbold Classic Tournament Not Held A A F A A SF Tournament Not Held [12]
New Zealand Masters Tournament Not Held QF Not Held A A Tournament Not Held [93]
Carlsberg Challenge Tournament Not Held A SF A A A Tournament Not Held [12]
KitKat Break for World Champions Tournament Not Held QF[k] Tournament Not Held [12]
Pot Black A RR A A SF RR A A W SF A A SF SF Tournament Not Held A A A NH [94][95][96]
Hong Kong Masters Tournament Not Held A A A QF QF A NH A A Tournament Not Held [12]
Canadian Masters[j] Not Held W QF QF QF W W W Tournament Not Held SF QF SF R Tournament Not Held [12]
Canadian Professional Championship Tournament Not Held W Not Held SF W W W W SF Tournament Not Held [97][98][99]
Dubai Masters[b] Tournament Not Held QF Ranking Event [12]
Matchroom Professional Championship Tournament Not Held A A QF Ranking Event [12]
Norwich Union Grand Prix Tournament Not Held RR A A Tournament Not Held [12]
World Matchplay Tournament Not Held 1R 1R A A A Not Held [12]
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held 3R Tournament Not Held [100]
European Grand Masters Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held [101]
World Masters Tournament Not Held 1R Tournament Not Held [12]
European Challenge Tournament Not Held QF A Not Held [102]
World Seniors Championship Tournament Not Held 1R Tournament Not Held [103]
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Held means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event means an event is/was a ranking event.

Career finalsEdit

Ranking finals: 10 (2 titles)Edit

Thorburn's record in ranking tournament finals is shown below.[12]

World Championship (1–2)
Other (1–6)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1977 World Snooker Championship   John Spencer (ENG) 21–25
Winner 1. 1980 World Snooker Championship   Alex Higgins (NIR) 18–16
Runner-up 2. 1983 World Snooker Championship (2)   Steve Davis (ENG) 6–18
Runner-up 3. 1983 International Open   Steve Davis (ENG) 4–9
Runner-up 4. 1984 Grand Prix   Dennis Taylor (NIR) 2–10
Runner-up 5. 1985 The Classic   Willie Thorne (ENG) 8–13
Winner 2. 1985 Matchroom Trophy   Jimmy White (ENG) 12–10
Runner-up 6. 1986 The Classic (2)   Jimmy White (ENG) 12–13
Runner-up 7. 1986 International Open (2)   Neal Foulds (ENG) 9–12
Runner-up 8. 1987 International Open (3)   Steve Davis (ENG) 5–12

Non-ranking finals: 25 (18 titles)Edit

World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, the governing body for professional snooker, first published official world rankings for players on the main tour for the 1976–77 season.[104][105] Thorburn's record in non-ranking tournament finals is shown below.

The Masters (3–1)
Other (15–6)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Runner-up 1. 1972 Championship Plate   John Pulman (ENG) 13–16 [106][l]
Runner-up 2. 1973 Championship Plate   John Pulman (ENG) 12–16 [106]
Winner 1. 1974 World Masters   John Spencer (ENG) 160–67[m] [88]
Winner 2. 1974 Canadian Open   Dennis Taylor (NIR) 8–6 [12]
Runner-up 3. 1978 The Masters   Alex Higgins (NIR) 5–7 [12]
Winner 3. 1978 Canadian Open (2)   Tony Meo (ENG) 17–15 [12]
Winner 4. 1979 Canadian Open (3)   Terry Griffiths (WAL) 17–16 [12]
Runner-up 4. 1980 Bombay International   John Virgo (ENG) 7–13 [12]
Winner 5. 1980 Canadian Professional Championship (2)   Jim Wych (CAN) 9–6 [108]
Winner 6. 1980 Canadian Open (4)   Terry Griffiths (WAL) 17–10 [12]
Winner 7. 1981 Pot Black   Jim Wych (CAN) 2–0 [94]
Runner-up 5. 1981 Tolly Cobbold Classic   Graham Miles (ENG) 1–5 [12]
Runner-up 6. 1981 Scottish Masters   Jimmy White (ENG) 4–9 [12]
Winner 8. 1983 The Masters   Ray Reardon (WAL) 9–7 [12]
Winner 9. 1983 Australian Masters   Bill Werbeniuk (CAN) 7–3 [12]
Winner 10. 1984 Canadian Professional Championship (3)   Mario Morra (CAN) 9–2 [98]
Winner 11. 1985 The Masters (2)   Doug Mountjoy (WAL) 9–6 [12]
Winner 12. 1985 Canadian Professional Championship (4)   Bob Chaperon (CAN) 6–4 [98]
Winner 13. 1985 Scottish Masters   Willie Thorne (ENG) 9–7 [12]
Winner 14. 1986 The Masters (3)   Jimmy White (ENG) 9–5 [12]
Winner 15. 1986 Canadian Professional Championship (5)   Jim Wych (CAN) 6–2 [98]
Winner 16. 1986 Scottish Masters (2)   Alex Higgins (NIR) 9–8 [12]
Winner 17. 1987 Canadian Professional Championship (6)   Jim Bear (CAN) 8–4 [98]
Runner-up 7. 2000 World Seniors Masters   Willie Thorne (ENG) 0–1[n] [109]
Winner 18. 2018 The Seniors Masters   Jonathan Bagley (ENG) 2–1 [64]

Team finals: 9 (4 titles)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Team/partner Opponent(s) in the final Score Ref.
Winner 1. 1975 Ladbroke International Rest of the World[o]   England[p] +113[q] [111]
Runner-up 1. 1980 World Challenge Cup   Canada[r]   Wales[s] 5–8 [33]
Winner 2. 1981 World Mixed Doubles Championship   Natalie Stelmach (CAN)   John Virgo (ENG)
  Vera Selby (ENG)
269–239[t] [112]
Winner 3. 1982 World Team Classic   Canada[r]   England[u] 4–2 [33]
Runner-up 2. 1984 World Doubles Championship (2)   Willie Thorne (ENG)   Alex Higgins (NIR)
  Jimmy White (ENG)
2–10 [113]
Runner-up 3. 1986 World Cup (2)   Canada[r] Ireland "A"[v] 7–9 [115]
Runner-up 4. 1987 World Cup (3)   Canada[r] Ireland "A"[v] 2–9 [115]
Runner-up 5. 1987 World Doubles Championship (2)   Dennis Taylor (NIR)   Stephen Hendry (SCO)
  Mike Hallett (ENG)
8–12 [116]
Winner 4. 1990 World Cup (2)   Canada[w]   Northern Ireland[x] 9–5 [117]

Amateur finals: 11 (7 titles)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Winner 1. 1971 North American Championship   Ken Shea (CAN) 36–15 [9]
Winner 2. 1972 Canadian Amateur Championship unknown [118]
Runner-up 1. 1973 North American Championship   Bill Werbeniuk (CAN) 22–26 [119]
Winner 3. 1974 Canadian Amateur Championship (2)   Julien St Dennis (CAN) 13–11 [60][120]
Winner 4. 1975 Canadian Amateur Championship (3)   Bill Werbeniuk (CAN) 11–1 [121]
Runner-up 2. 1975 North American Championship (2)   Bill Werbeniuk (CAN) 9–11 [122]
Winner 5. 1976 Canadian Amateur Championship (4)   Bill Werbeniuk (CAN) 9–2 [122]
Winner 6. 1977 Canadian Amateur Championship (5)   Robert Paquette (CAN) 10–6 [123]
Winner 7. 2001 Canadian Amateur Championship (6)   Tom Finstad (CAN) 4–3 [60][124]
Runner-up 3. 2002 Canadian Amateur Championship   Kirk Stevens (CAN) 1–6 [125]
Runner-up 4. 2003 Canadian Amateur Championship (2)   Alain Robidoux (CAN) [60]


  1. ^ Following a dispute over money between professional players and the Billiards Association and Control Council (BA&CC), the players decided to organize the 1952 World Professional Match-play Championship. The only players to enter the BA&CC's 1952 World Snooker Championship were Lindrum and Clark McConachy. According to Clive Everton, it was the World Professional Match-play Championship that was "recognised by the public as the genuine article".[28]
  2. ^ a b The event was also called the Dubai Masters (1988/1989) and Dubai Classic (1989/1990–1994/1995).[76]
  3. ^ The event was also called the Professional Players Tournament (1982/1983–1983/1984).[77]
  4. ^ a b The event was also called the Goya Matchroom Trophy (1985/1986).[78]
  5. ^ The event was also called the Thailand Masters (1983/1984–1986/1987 & 1991/1992) and the Asian Open (1989/1990–1992/1993).[79]
  6. ^ a b The event was also called the British Gold Cup (1979/1980), Yamaha Organs Trophy (1980/1981) and International Masters (1981/1982–1983/1984).[80]
  7. ^ a b The event was also called the Hong Kong Open (1989/1990) and Australian Open (1994/1995).[81]
  8. ^ The event was also called the Benson & Hedges Ireland Tournament (1974/1975–1976/1977).[84]
  9. ^ The event was also called the Matchroom League (1978/1979–1980/1981).[85]
  10. ^ a b The event was also called the Canadian Open (1978/1979–1980/1981).[87]
  11. ^ a b The quarter-finals were the first round.
  12. ^ Thorburn's entry for the 1972 World Snooker Championship arrived too late for him to be included in the main draw. He was placed in the plate competition.
  13. ^ Aggregate points score across two frames[107]
  14. ^ 8–84 points[109]
  15. ^ The "Rest of the World" team was Thorburn, Ray Reardon (Wales), Eddie Charlton (Australia), and Alex Higgins and Jackie Rea (both Northern Ireland).[110]
  16. ^ The England team was Rex Williams, Fred Davis, Graham Miles, John Spencer and John Pulman.[110]
  17. ^ Difference in cumulative points scored
  18. ^ a b c d The other players were Bill Werbeniuk and Kirk Stevens.[33]
  19. ^ The Wales team was Ray Reardon, Terry Griffiths and Doug Mountjoy[33]
  20. ^ Aggregate points across four frames[112]
  21. ^ The England team was Steve Davis, Jimmy White and Tony Knowles.[33]
  22. ^ a b The Ireland "A" team was Dennis Taylor and Alex Higgins from Northern Ireland, and Eugene Hughes from the Republic of Ireland.[114]
  23. ^ The other team members were Bob Chaperon and Alain Robidoux.[117]
  24. ^ The Northern Ireland team was Dennis Taylor, Alex Higgins and Tommy Murphy,[117]



  • Clarke, Gary (2008). A Billiards and Snooker Compendium. Paragon Publishing. pp. 23, 69. ISBN 978-1-899820-46-7.
  • Everton, Clive (1976). The Ladbroke Snooker International Handbook. Ladbrokes Leisure. ISBN 978-0-905606-00-2.
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  • Everton, Clive, ed. (1984). Benson and Hedges Snooker Year (First ed.). London: Virgin Books. ISBN 978-0-86369-051-8.
  • Everton, Clive (1985). Snooker – The Records. Guinness Superlatives. ISBN 978-0-85112-448-3.
  • Everton, Clive (2012). Black Farce and Cue Ball Wizards. Edinburgh: Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-78057-568-1.
  • Hale, Janice (1987). Rothmans Snooker Yearbook 1987–88. Aylesbury: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 978-0-356-14690-4.
  • Hayton, Eric; Dee, John (2004). The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker: The Complete Record & History. Lowestoft: Rose Villa Publications. ISBN 978-0-9548549-0-4.
  • Kobylecky, John (2019). The Complete International Directory of Snooker Players – 1927 to 2018. Kobyhadrian Books. ISBN 978-0-9931433-1-1.
  • Morrison, Ian (1987). The Hamlyn Encyclopedia of Snooker. Twickenham: Hamlyn. ISBN 978-0-600-55604-6.
  • Morrison, Ian (1988). Hamlyn Who's Who in Snooker. London: Hamlyn. ISBN 978-0-600-55713-5.
  • Morrison, Ian (1989). Snooker: records, facts and champions. Guinness Superlatives. ISBN 978-0-85112-364-6.
  • Perrin, Reg (1980). Pot Black. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-17789-0.
  • Thorburn, Cliff (1987). Cliff Thorburn's Snooker Skills. London: Hamlyn. ISBN 978-0-600-55210-9.
  • Thorburn, Cliff; Everton, Clive (1987). Playing for Keeps. Partridge Press. ISBN 978-1-85225-011-9.
  • Williams, Luke; Gadsby, Paul (2005). Masters of the Baize. Edinburgh: Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84018-872-1.


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External linksEdit