Neal Foulds (born 13 July 1963) is an English former professional snooker player and six-time tournament winner, including the 1986 International Open, the 1988 Dubai Masters and the 1992 Scottish Masters,[1] as well as the invitational Pot Black in 1992. He was the runner up for the UK Championships in 1986, the British Open in 1987 and reached the semi finals of the Masters on three occasions, as well as the World Championship.[1] After his retirement, Foulds became a commentator for the BBC and is currently part of the presenting team for ITV and Eurosport.[2]

Neal Foulds
German Masters 2015-Venue-Misc-13 (LezFraniak).jpg
Foulds as commentator at the 2015 German Masters
Born (1963-07-13) 13 July 1963 (age 58)
Sport country England
Highest ranking3 (1987/1988, 1988/1989)
Tournament wins


The son of snooker professional Geoff Foulds, he began playing the game at the age of 11 and by the early 1980s was already one of the strongest players in his area. Following victory in the national under-19's Championship beating John Parrott in the final, Foulds then turned professional in 1983.

At the end of the season he qualified for the final stages of the World Championship at his first attempt. Even more impressively however, he then defeated twice-champion Alex Higgins 10–9 in the first round before going down 13–9 to Doug Mountjoy in the last 16, a run that saw him enter the rankings at number 30.

Foulds quickly climbed the rankings in the seasons that followed reaching no. 3 within four years. He won his first ranking tournament in 1986, the BCE International, beating Cliff Thorburn 12–9 in the final. In the same season he was runner-up to Steve Davis in the UK Championship, and he also reached the semi-finals of the 1987 World Championship, losing 16–9 to Joe Johnson.[3] Starting the following season in a career high position of number three, 1987/88 was not to be quite as successful, though another strong run to the quarter-finals in the 1988 World Snooker Championship before losing to Terry Griffiths ensured that he would retain his spot at third in the rankings. Foulds also won the 1988 Dubai Masters, beating Steve Davis in the final, though this event would not hold any ranking points until the following year.

From here however he started to struggle, dropping 17 places to 20th in the rankings and finding himself having to qualify for events the following season. Still, 1989/90 was to see a revival and despite a round one exit at the World Championship to Wayne Jones, he did enough to regain a place in the top 16 before moving up to number seven at the end of 1990/1.[4]

In 1992, Foulds was crowned the Scottish Masters champion and also won the 1992 edition of Pot Black, beating Nigel Bond, Jimmy White, Ronnie O'Sullivan en route to the final, where he beat James Wattana.

Foulds and Jimmy White in an interview with Shaun Murphy after his victory against Mark Allen

Though he was able to maintain a top 16 place until the end of the 1993/4 season, and a place on the tour until 2003, he played his final match as a Main Tour player on 13 January 2003 before retiring from competitive play aged 39.

Foulds made a brief reappearance as a player in November 2011 in the World Seniors (aged 48) before eventually losing to Dene O'Kane.

Foulds made 86 competitive century breaks in his career.

Commentary careerEdit

Since his retirement, Foulds has moved up to the commentary box for Eurosport, BBC, Sky Sports and he also co-hosts all ITV4 tournament coverage, interviewing players as well as commentating. In 2014, Foulds made a cameo as himself commentating on a fictional match at the climax of the snooker short film drama "Extended Rest".

Personal lifeEdit

Foulds is married and has a son and a daughter.[5] He supports Queens Park Rangers.

Performance and rankings timelineEdit

Tournament 1983/
Ranking[6] [nb 1] 30 23 13 3 3 20 13 6 4 14 25 28 21 30 34 40 73 71 78
Ranking tournaments
LG Cup[nb 2] LQ SF 2R SF 1R 3R 2R QF 3R QF 3R 1R 2R 2R 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ
British Open NR 2R 2R F 3R 3R QF 2R 3R 1R 1R 3R 2R 1R QF LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ
UK Championship NR LQ 3R F 1R 2R 2R 3R QF 1R 1R 1R 2R 1R 3R 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ
Welsh Open Tournament Not held 3R 3R 1R 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ
European Open[nb 3] Tournament Not held 1R QF QF 3R 1R 1R 1R 1R LQ NH LQ Not held LQ LQ
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event LQ
Scottish Open[nb 4] A 1R SF W 2R 2R 3R Not held 1R QF 2R 3R 1R 2R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ
World Championship 2R 1R 1R SF QF 1R QF 2R 2R QF 2R LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ
Non-ranking tournaments
Scottish Masters A A A A QF NH A A QF W QF A LQ A A A A A A A
The Masters A A A 1R 1R SF A QF SF 1R SF A A A A A A A A A
Premier League[nb 5] A Not Held F RR RR RR RR RR A A A A A A A A A A A
Former ranking tournaments
Canadian Masters Not Held Non-Ranking LQ Tournament Not Held
Hong Kong Open[nb 6] Non-Ranking Event NH QF Tournament Not held NR NR Tournament Not held
Classic LQ LQ QF 1R 2R 2R 1R SF 2R Tournament Not Held
Strachan Open Tournament NH 1R MR NR Tournament Not Held
Dubai Classic[nb 7] Tournament Not Held NR A 3R 3R 1R 1R LQ LQ 1R Tournament Not Held
German Open Tournament Not held 1R LQ LQ NR Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event LQ NR Not Held
China Open[nb 8] Tournament Not Held NR LQ LQ LQ LQ NH
Thailand Masters[nb 9] Non-Ranking Event Not Held 2R QF 2R 1R 2R LQ 1R 1R 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ NR
Former non-ranking tournaments
UK Championship 1R Tournament Not Held
International Masters RR Ranking Tournament
Malaysian Masters NH A NH QF Tournament Not Held A Tournament Not Held
Carling Challenge NH A A A SF A Tournament Not Held
Tokyo Masters Not Held QF Tournament Not Held
Canadian Masters Not Held A A SF R Tournament Not Held
Dubai Masters Tournament Not Held W Ranking Event Tournament Not Held
Matchroom Professional Championship Not Held 1R SF SF Tournament Not Held
Norwich Union Grand Prix Tournament Not Held RR A A Tournament Not Held
English Professional Championship NH 2R F 1R F SF Tournament Not Held
London Masters Tournament Not Held QF A A Tournament Not Held
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held 4R Tournament Not Held
World Masters Tournament Not Held 2R Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters A A A A Not Held Ranking SF Ranking Event NR
Hong Kong Challenge[nb 10] A A A QF QF F NH A 1R Tournament Not Held
Indian Challenge Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held
World Matchplay Tournament Not Held A A 1R 1R A Tournament Not Held
Belgian Challenge Tournament Not Held 1R Tournament Not Held
Kent Classic[nb 11] Not Held QF A NH A A NH 1R Tournament Not Held
European Challenge Tournament Not Held QF A Tournament Not Held
Belgian Masters Tournament Not Held A F QF Not Held A Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters A A A A F QF A A 1R 1R A A A A A A A A A R
Pot Black A QF A Tournament Not Held QF W 1R Tournament Not Held
Pontins Professional A QF QF W QF A A W F QF QF QF QF SF QF A A 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. ^ New players on the Main Tour do not have a ranking.
  2. ^ The event ran under different names such as Professional Players Tournament (1983/1984) and Grand Prix (1984/1985 to 2000/2001).
  3. ^ The event ran under different names such as European Open (1988/1989 to 1996/1997 and 2001/2002 to 2003/2004) and Irish Open (1998/1999).
  4. ^ The event ran under different names such as International Open (1983/1984 to 1984/1985, 1986/1987 to 1996/1997), Goya Matchroom Trophy (1985/1986) and Players Championship (2003/2004).
  5. ^ The event was also called the Professional Snooker League (1983/1984), the Matchroom League (1986/1987–1991/1992) and the European League (1992/1993–1996/1997)
  6. ^ The event ran under different names such as the Australian Masters (1983/1984 to 1987/1988 and 1995/1996) and Australian Open (1994/1995).
  7. ^ The event run under different names as Dubai Masters (1988/1989), Thailand Classic (1995/1996) and Asian Classic (1996/1997)
  8. ^ The event ran under a different name as the China International (1997/1998 and 1998/1999)
  9. ^ The event ran under different names such as Asian Open (1989/1990 to 1992/1993) and Thailand Open (1993/1994 to 1996/1997).
  10. ^ The event was also called the Hong Kong Masters (1983/1984–1988/1989)
  11. ^ The event was also called the Kent Cup (1986/1987–1987/1988 & 1989/1990–1990/1991)

Career finalsEdit

Ranking finals: 3 (1 title)Edit

UK Championship (0–1)
Other (1–1)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1986 International Open   Cliff Thorburn 12–9
Runner-up 1. 1986 UK Championship   Steve Davis 7–16
Runner-up 2. 1987 British Open   Jimmy White 9–13

Non-ranking finals: 12 (5 titles)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1986 English Professional Championship   Tony Meo 7–9
Winner 1. 1987 Pontins Professional   Willie Thorne 9–8
Runner-up 2. 1987 Matchroom League   Steve Davis Round-Robin
Runner-up 3. 1988 English Professional Championship (2)   Dean Reynolds 5–9
Runner-up 4. 1988 Irish Masters   Steve Davis 4–9
Runner-up 5. 1988 Hong Kong Masters   Jimmy White 3–6
Winner 2. 1988 Dubai Masters   Steve Davis 5–4
Winner 3. 1991 Pontins Professional (2)   Mike Hallett 9–6
Runner-up 6. 1991 Belgian Masters   Mike Hallett 7–9
Runner-up 7. 1992 Pontins Professional   Steve James 8–9
Winner 4. 1992 Scottish Masters   Gary Wilkinson 10–8
Winner 5. 1992 Pot Black   James Wattana 1–0

Pro-am finals: 2 (1 title)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1984 Pontins Spring Open   Doug Mountjoy 7–4[7][8]
Runner-up 1. 1998 Pontins Spring Open   James McGouran 0–7[7][8]

Team finals: 2 (2 titles)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Team/partner Opponent(s) in the final Score
Winner 1. 1988 World Cup (1)   England   Australia 9–7
Winner 2. 1989 World Cup (2)   England Rest of the World 9–8

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Neal Foulds Player Profile". Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Then and Now: Neal Foulds". Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Clive Everton's Crucible History – 1987 World Championship". BBC Sport. 2001. Archived from the original on 1 May 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
  4. ^ 16th October 2011 (16 October 2011). "Neal Foulds - The Big Interview". Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Neal Foulds: Army Saved Me From Floods". Inside Snooker. 25 February 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Ranking History". Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Pontin's Snooker". 19 December 2008. Archived from the original on 19 December 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b "pontins". 28 February 2012. Archived from the original on 28 February 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2017.

External linksEdit