David Harold (born 9 December 1966) is an English former professional snooker player from Stoke-on-Trent. He was known by the nicknames of "the Hard Man" and "the Stoke Potter" (conflating his home city's pottery industry and his profession of potting snooker balls). He was also the first player on the television circuit to sport a plaster on his chin as a guide for his cue,[citation needed] which is a practice now adopted by Graeme Dott. As an amateur he played as David Harold, but after turning professional in 1991 he was registered as Dave Harold.[2]

Dave Harold
Born (1966-12-09) 9 December 1966 (age 56)
Stoke-on-Trent, England
Sport country England
NicknameThe Stoke Potter[1]
Highest ranking11 (1996/1997)
Century breaks143
Tournament wins

He won one ranking title, reached two further finals and several semi-finals, and spent four seasons ranked among the top 16. Harold was renowned for both his very strong defensive play and his unusual cue-action, with which he is able to unleash a great deal of power on a shot without using backswing on the cue.[citation needed] Despite safety play ultimately being considered his strong point, he compiled 143 century breaks.[3] Steve Davis has commented that he is not the most naturally gifted player, but makes up for this with strong tactical play.[4] For his technique and grinding play he has been compared to Cliff Thorburn.

Career edit

Early career edit

Soon after turning professional, Harold won the 1993 Asian Open, beating Darren Morgan 9–3 in the final. Ranked 93rd in the world at the time, he became the lowest-ranked player ever to win a ranking tournament.[citation needed] He never repeated this achievement, although he reached his second ranking final in the 1994 Grand Prix, losing 6–9 to John Higgins.

Top 16 (1996–2002) edit

After 1994, Harold did not reach a third ranking final until 2008, although he reached a total of ten semi-finals in ranking tournaments, and was a Top-16 player for four seasons between 1995/1996 and 2001/2002, reaching a career-best position of No. 11 in the world rankings in the 1996/97 season. In the 1996 Welsh Open, he lost in the semi-finals, 1–6, to eventual winner Mark Williams.

He competed in his first and only World Championship quarter-final in the 1996 event, where he lost 7–13 to Nigel Bond. He also lost 5–6 to Bond in his 1996 British Open semi-final less than two weeks earlier.

In the 1998 Grand Prix, he knocked out Stephen Hendry and John Higgins en route to the semi-finals, but lost narrowly to eventual champion Stephen Lee. 1998 also saw him reach his first semi-final in the UK Championship, where he was defeated 9–7 by Matthew Stevens.

In the 1999 Grand Prix Harold led Mark Williams 5–3 in the semi-finals but lost 5–6. This was Harold's last ranking semi-final until 2008, although he also reached the semis in the non-ranking 2001 Masters, defeating John Higgins and John Parrott, but losing his semi-final 5–6 to eventual runner-up Fergal O'Brien after having trailed 5–1.

2003–2015 edit

Following a poor season in 2001–2002, Harold dropped out of the Top 16, down to number 29 in the World Rankings. A broken wrist sustained on New Year's Eve 2003 saw him drop further down the rankings,[citation needed] out of the top 32, although he had a better 2005/2006 season. Another consistent season in 2006/2007 helped Harold back up to No. 30 in the world rankings for 2007/2008.

2007/2008 started with a quarter-final appearance in the Shanghai Masters, losing to eventual winner Dominic Dale. Harold did not get past the round robin phase of the Grand Prix, finishing fifth in his group of six players; but in the 2007 UK Championship, Harold eliminated World Number 2 Graeme Dott 9–7 in the first round to achieve a place in the last 16 of the tournament for the first time since 1999. However, he lost 2–9 in the second round to Mark Selby. He qualified for the final stages of the World Championship with a 10–4 win over Mike Dunn, but lost 10–3 at the Crucible in the first round proper to Shaun Murphy.

During a preliminary round match against local wildcard Jin Long in the 2008 China Open, Harold was locked at 4–4. He took time out before the deciding frame to leave the playing arena and consume a couple of bananas, returning replenished to finish the job with a clearance on the colours. This gave rise to the affectionate nickname "Bananaman" on the Betfair snooker forum,[citation needed] referring to a children's TV character who gained superhuman powers. Harold also put up a battle against Shaun Murphy in the next round, but eventually lost 5–3; the last frame set a record at the time for being the longest ever in snooker history (93 minutes and 12 seconds).[citation needed]

Harold retained his Top 32 ranking, and started the 2008–09 season ranked at #28, his highest ranking since 2003. In the first ranking event of the new season, the 2008 Northern Ireland Trophy, he beat Ricky Walden 5–2, Graeme Dott 5–3, Stephen Lee 5–4 and defending champion Stephen Maguire to reach the semi-finals, his first appearance at that stage of a ranking event for five years. He then moved into a 5–1 lead against John Higgins and won 6–4, to reach his first final since 1994, which he lost 9–3 to Ronnie O'Sullivan.[5] Harold's performance in this tournament moved him up to 14th in the provisional world rankings. Harold remarked after the final that, aside from claiming the World Championship, his one other remaining ambition in the game is to score a victory over O'Sullivan, who he has never beaten in a ranking tournament. The 2008 Northern Ireland Trophy marked his tenth consecutive failure to do so.[6]

Harold subsequently qualified for the 2008 Shanghai Masters and Grand Prix. In the former, he defeated home favourite Ding Junhui in the last 32, before losing 4–5 (from 3–0 and 4–1 up) against Steve Davis; however, in the latter he was eliminated in the first round by Ali Carter. A less successful run of results in the second half of the season saw him fall out of the Top 16 in the provisional rankings, largely due to his failure to qualify for the 2009 World Championship, although he started the 2009/2010 season ranked at No. 19, an improvement of nine places on the previous season.

Harold appeared in the Welsh Open in January 2010 but lost in the first round 5–1 to Stephen Hendry. In September he beat Shaun Murphy 3–0 in the newly formed World Open in Glasgow but subsequently lost in the next round to Jamie Cope 3–2.

Dave Harold at 2013 German Masters.

The 2012–13 season saw Harold win 2 qualifying matches to reach the main stages of the 2012 Wuxi Classic, however, he lost his wildcard match to Chinese player Rouzi Maimaiti. Harold subsequently failed to qualify for the next four ranking events, losing to players such as Ali Carter, Barry Hawkins, and Cao Yupeng. He did, however, qualify for the German Masters, beating Craig Steadman 5–3 and Ryan Day 5–4 to qualify for the Last 32 of the event, where he lost 3–5 to former world champion Graeme Dott. He only won 1 more match in ranking event qualifiers for the rest of the season, culminating with a 9–10 defeat the Alfie Burden in qualifying for the World Championship. Harold played in many of the Players Tour Championship event throughout the season, his best results being three Last 16 appearances, and a further two Last 32 results, finishing 39th on the Order of Merit, outside of the Top 26 that qualified for the Finals.

Harold started the 2013–14 season ranked 50th in the world rankings. He retired in May 2015 after suffering from eyesight problems.[7]

Personal life edit

Harold was born in Stoke-on-Trent and still lives there to this day. He is a Stoke City FC fan. He has three children and is separated from his wife.

Performance and rankings timeline edit

Tournament 1990/
Ranking[8][nb 1] [nb 2] [nb 3] 93 50 19 13 11 18 19 17 13 15 21 23 34 45 35 30 28 19 31 48 48 50 60
Ranking tournaments
Wuxi Classic[nb 4] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event WR A LQ
Australian Goldfields Open[nb 5] Tournament Not Held NR Tournament Not Held LQ LQ A LQ
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held QF 2R LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ
International Championship TournamentNot Held LQ 1R A
UK Championship A LQ LQ 2R QF 1R 1R 1R SF QF 3R 2R 2R 2R LQ 1R 2R 2R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 2R 1R
German Masters[nb 6] Tournament Not Held 1R QF 1R NR Tournament Not Held LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ
Welsh Open A LQ LQ QF 2R SF 1R 2R 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R WD LQ 1R 3R 2R 1R 1R 2R LQ LQ 2R 2R
Indian Open Tournament Not Held LQ LQ
Players Championship Finals[nb 7] Tournament Not Held DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
China Open[nb 8] Tournament Not Held NR LQ 1R 1R 2R Not Held 2R WR LQ 1R 2R LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R A
World Championship A LQ LQ 2R 1R QF 1R 1R LQ 1R 2R 1R LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ A
Non-ranking tournaments
Championship League Tournament Not Held RR RR RR A A A A A
World Seniors Championship NH A Tournament Not Held LQ A LQ SF LQ
Shoot-Out A Tournament Not Held 1R SF 3R 1R 1R
Former ranking tournaments
Classic A LQ Tournament Not Held
Strachan Open A LQ Tournament Not Held
Dubai Classic[nb 9] A LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R 2R Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event LQ NR Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters[nb 10] A LQ W 2R LQ 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R 2R NR Not Held NR Tournament Not Held
Scottish Open[nb 11] A NH SF 1R 2R QF 3R 1R 3R QF 2R QF 3R 1R Tournament Not Held MR Not Held
British Open A LQ LQ 3R QF SF QF 3R 1R 1R 3R 3R 1R 1R 1R Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event SF WD QF NH NR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy[nb 12] Tournament Not Held NR LQ 1R F Tournament Not Held
Malta Cup[nb 13] A LQ LQ LQ QF QF 1R NH 1R Not Held 1R 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ NR Tournament Not Held
Bahrain Championship Tournament Not Held 1R Tournament Not Held
World Open[nb 14] A 2R 1R 3R F 1R 1R 3R SF SF 2R 3R 1R 2R LQ 2R LQ RR 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
World Masters 1R Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters A A A A 1R A A A A A A A Ranking Event NH A Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Tournament Not Held A QF A A A R A Tournament Not Held
Charity Challenge Tournament Not Held A 1R A A A A A A Tournament Not Held
Scottish Masters A A A A A A A A A A LQ LQ A Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters[nb 10] Ranking Event 1R Not Held A Tournament Not Held
Masters Qualifying Event[nb 15] A LQ NH SF A A A 1R F 2R A A 2R QF NH 1R 1R 1R 1R 2R Tournament Not Held
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.
MR / Minor-Ranking Event means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
  1. ^ From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ He was an amateur.
  3. ^ New players on the Main Tour do not have a ranking.
  4. ^ The event ran under different name as Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009 to 2009/2010).
  5. ^ The event ran under different names such as Australian Open (1994/1995) and Australian Open (1995/1996).
  6. ^ The event ran under different name as German Open (1995/1996 to 1997/1998).
  7. ^ The event ran under different name as Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011 to 2012/2013).
  8. ^ The event ran under different names as China International (1997/1998 and 1998/1999)
  9. ^ The event run under different names such as Thailand Classic (1995/1996) and Asian Classic (1996/1997)
  10. ^ a b The event ran under different names such as Asian Open (1991/1992 to 1992/1993) and Thailand Open (1993/1994 to 1996/1997).
  11. ^ The event ran under different names such as International Open (1991/1992 to 1996/1997), Matchroom Trophy (1985/1986) and Players Championship (2003/2004).
  12. ^ The tournament was known as Northern Ireland Classic (1981/1982)
  13. ^ The event ran under different names such as European Open (1991/1992 to 1996/1997 and 2001/2002 to 2003/2004) and Irish Open (1998/1999).
  14. ^ The event ran under different names such as LG Cup (2001/2002 to 2003/2004), Grand Prix (1991/1992 to 2000/2001 and 2004/2005 to 2009/2010), the World Open (2010/2011) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014).
  15. ^ The event was also called the Benson & Hedges Championship (1990/1991–2002/2003)

Career finals edit

Ranking finals: 3 (1 title) edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1993 Asian Open   Darren Morgan 9–3
Runner-up 1. 1994 Grand Prix   John Higgins 6–9
Runner-up 2. 2008 Northern Ireland Trophy   Ronnie O'Sullivan 3–9

Non-ranking finals: 2 (1 title) edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1993 Merseyside Professional Championship   Tony Rampello 5–3[9]
Runner-up 1. 1998 Benson & Hedges Championship   David Gray 6–9

Pro-am finals: 6 (3 titles) edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2005 Pontins Autumn Open   Joe Swail 3–5
Runner-up 2. 2006 Pontins Pro-Am - Event 5   Ben Woollaston 1–4[10]
Winner 1. 2006 Pontins Pro-Am - Event 6   Ryan Day 4−1[11]
Runner-up 3. 2006 Swiss Open   Matthew Couch 3–4[12]
Winner 2. 2007 Pontins Pro-Am - Event 6   Judd Trump 4–3[13]
Winner 3. 2007 Swiss Open   Ken Doherty 5–0[14]

References edit

  1. ^ "Player List – Dave Harold". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 2 May 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Dave Harold Q&A". WPBSA. Archived from the original on 14 August 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
  3. ^ "Chris Turner's Snooker Archive – Top Century Makers". 2008. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
  4. ^ "15. Dave Harold". BBC News. 11 April 2002. Archived from the original on 10 June 2003. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Classy O'Sullivan wins NI Trophy Archived 25 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine", BBC Sport, 31 August 2008. Retrieved on 1 September 2008.
  6. ^ "BBC - Stoke & Staffordshire - Sport - Dave Harold vs Rocket Ronnie in Snooker World Championships". www.bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 5 August 2007. Retrieved 17 February 2008.
  7. ^ "Dave Harold quits snooker due to poor sight". The Sentinel. 3 May 2015. Archived from the original on 6 May 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  9. ^ Turner, Chris. "Merseyside Professional Championship". cajt.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  10. ^ "2006 Pontins Pro-Am – Event 5". Global Snooker Centre. Archived from the original on 12 March 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  11. ^ "2006 Pontins Pro-Am – Event 6". Global Snooker Centre. Archived from the original on 12 March 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  12. ^ "Snookerprofi Matthew Couch gewinnt in Zofingen" (in German). Swiss Billard. Archived from the original on 27 December 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  13. ^ "2007 Pontins Pro-Am – Event 6". Global Snooker Centre. Archived from the original on 20 February 2008.
  14. ^ "Dave Harold macht sein Ding" (in German). Billard Center Im Funken. Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2008.

External links edit