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Herbert John Pulman[1] (12 December 1923 – 25 December 1998)[1] was an English professional snooker player who dominated the game throughout the 1960s.

John Pulman
John Pulman.jpg
Born(1923-12-12)12 December 1923
Devon
Died25 December 1998(1998-12-25) (aged 75)
Northampton
Sport country England
Professional1946–1982
Highest ranking7 (1977/78)
Career winnings£11,401
Highest break130 (1975 Canadian Open)
Century breaks9
Best ranking finishSemi-final (1977 World Championship)
Tournament wins
Major11
World Champion1957–1968 (8 times)

Contents

CareerEdit

Pulman won the 1946 English Amateur title and turned professional shortly afterwards. In 1947 he had his first appearance at the World Championship, losing 14-21 to Albert Brown in the first round of qualification. The next season, he won the qualifying section of the World Snooker Championship. In the 1948 Sunday Empire News Tournament he won the qualifying event and finished second in the main event behind Joe Davis. Pulman won a total of £400; £150 for the qualifying and £250 for finishing second. He first reached the final of the World Professional Match-play Championship in 1955, losing to Fred Davis. Davis beat him again in the 1956 final, but Davis did not enter in 1957 and Pulman won the title, after which the event was discontinued. In 1964 the World Championship was resumed on a challenge basis. Pulman won the championship and successfully defended it in all further title challenges, the last being in 1968 when he beat the Australian Eddie Charlton. In 1969 the World Championship became a knockout tournament (which is generally regarded as the birth of the modern snooker era) and Pulman failed to successfully defend his title. He reached the final in 1970 but lost to Ray Reardon. Pulman reached the semi-finals of the World Championship when it was first held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 1977, narrowly losing to the eventual winner John Spencer by 18 frames to 16.

After a depressing run of results, Pulman was adjudged bankrupt on 7 February 1979 with debts of £5,916. By this time he was recently divorced, suffering from severe motivational problems and living in a hotel in Bromley.[2]

Pulman retired from professional play in 1982, by which time he had joined the BBC as a commentator. A short time later he joined ITV, where he commentated alongside Dennis Taylor, Mark Wildman, Ray Edmonds and Jim Meadowcroft. He remained the lead commentator until the sport was dropped by the channel in 1992. Pulman died on Christmas Day 1998 after falling downstairs at home.

Performance and rankings timelineEdit

Post-war

Tournament 1946/
47
1947/
48
1948/
49
1949/
50
1950/
51
1951/
52
1952/
53
1953/
54
1954/
55
1955/
56
1956/
57
1957/
58
1958/
59
1959/
60
Apr
1964
Oct
1964
Mar
1965
Nov
1965
Dec
1965
Apr
1966
Mar
1968
Sunday Empire News Tournament[nb 1] Not Held 3 Tournament Not Held
Sporting Record Masters' Tournament[nb 1] Not Held 3 Tournament Not Held
Professional Matchplay Championship Tournament Not Held 1R SF SF F F W Tournament Not Held
News of the World Snooker Tournament[nb 1][nb 2] Not Held 6 2 5 6 W 6 4 W 2 3 3 Tournament Not Held
World Championship[nb 3] LQ QF SF QF SF A Tournament Not Held W W W W W W W

Modern era

Tournament 1968/
69
1969/
70
1970/
71
1971/
72
1972/
73
1973/
74
1974/
75
1975/
76
1976/
77
1977/
78
1978/
79
1979/
80
1980/
81
Ranking[3] No ranking system 15 7 10 14 19
Ranking tournaments
World Championship QF F RR QF 2R 2R 2R 1R SF 1R LQ 1R LQ
Non-ranking tournaments
Canadian Open Tournament Not Held A F QF 1R 2R A A
UK Championship Tournament Not Held WD 2R 1R 1R
Pot Black SF SF RR LQ RR SF RR A RR A A A A
The Masters Tournament Not Held QF QF 1R QF A A A
Yamaha Organs Trophy[nb 4] Tournament Not Held RR LQ
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

Career finalsEdit

Non-ranking finals: 20 (11 titles, 9 runners-up)Edit

Legend
World Championship (8–3) [nb 5]
Other (3–6)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1948 Sunday Empire News Tournament Qualifying Event   Kingsley Kennerley League
Runner-up 1. 1948 Sunday Empire News Tournament   Joe Davis League
Runner-up 2. 1951 News of the World Snooker Tournament   Alec Brown 0–7
Winner 2. 1954 News of the World Snooker Tournament   Joe Davis 7–1
Runner-up 3. 1955 World Professional Match-play Championship   Fred Davis 35–38
Runner-up 4. 1956 World Professional Match-play Championship (2)   Fred Davis 35–38
Winner 3. 1957 News of the World Snooker Tournament (2)   Fred Davis 5–0
Winner 4. 1957 World Professional Match-play Championship   Jackie Rea 39–34
Runner-up 5. 1958 News of the World Snooker Tournament (2)   Fred Davis 1–4
Winner 5. 1964 World Snooker Championship (2)   Fred Davis 19–16
Winner 6. 1964 World Snooker Championship (3)   Rex Williams 40–33
Winner 7. 1965 World Snooker Championship (4)   Fred Davis 37–36
Winner 8. 1965 World Snooker Championship (5)   Rex Williams 25–22[nb 6]
Winner 9. 1965 World Snooker Championship (6)   Fred Van Rensburg 39–12
Winner 10. 1966 World Snooker Championship (7)   Fred Davis 5–2[nb 6]
Winner 11. 1968 World Snooker Championship (8)   Eddie Charlton 39–34
Runner-up 6. 1970 World Snooker Championship (3)   Ray Reardon 33–37
Runner-up 7. 1973 Norwich Union Open   John Spencer 7–8
Runner-up 8. 1975 Canadian Open   Alex Higgins 7–15
Runner-up 9. 1977 Pontins Professional   John Spencer 5–7

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Round-robin handicap tournament
  2. ^ Snooker Plus event in 1959/60 season
  3. ^ Tournaments between 1964 and 1968 were challenge matches
  4. ^ The event was also called the British Gold Cup (1979/1980)
  5. ^ Known as World Professional Match-play Championship between 1952 and 1957
  6. ^ a b The title was decided over a series of matches rather than frames

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "John Pulman". The Times. 31 December 1998. p. 25.
  2. ^ Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, March 1979, p25.
  3. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011.

SourcesEdit