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Terrence Martin Griffiths, OBE[1] (born 16 October 1947) is a retired Welsh snooker player and current snooker coach and pundit. He became World Champion in 1979 at the first attempt, and was runner-up in 1988. He achieved the notable feat of reaching at least the quarter-finals of the World Championship for nine consecutive years from 1984 to 1992. He also won the Masters in 1980 and the UK Championship in 1982, making him one of only eleven players to have completed snooker's Triple Crown. He was known for his slow, cautious, yet elegant style of play.

Terry Griffiths
Born (1947-10-16) 16 October 1947 (age 72)
Llanelli, Carmarthenshire
Sport country Wales
Highest ranking3 (1981/82)
Career winnings£1,209,054
Highest break140: 1983 Hong Kong Masters
Century breaks86
Tournament wins
World Champion1979

Early yearsEdit

Griffiths was born in Llanelli. A former postman,[2] insurance salesman, miner and bus conductor, he had a long amateur career, winning the Welsh Amateur Championship in 1975 and the English Amateur Championship in 1977 and 1978 before turning professional.


In his first professional match, at the 1978 UK Championship, Griffiths lost 8–9 to Rex Williams after leading 8–1.[3] However, he could hardly have expected what would come in the 1979 World Championship. After qualifying, he defeated Perrie Mans in the first round and Alex Higgins in the quarter-finals. Interviewed after beating Eddie Charlton in a long semi-final, it suddenly occurred to him what he had done, and he said "I'm in the final now, you know!" in his broad Welsh accent.[4] He eventually beat Dennis Taylor 24–16 in the final, becoming world champion at the first attempt.[5] In the same year he was part of the Welsh team that won the inaugural World Cup of snooker: Ray Reardon, Doug Mountjoy and Griffiths defeated England 14–3 in the final. However, at the end of 1979, he lost 13–14 to John Virgo in the UK Championship final.

1980 started well for Griffiths as he won the Masters, beating Alex Higgins 9–5 in front of 2,323 spectators at the Wembley Conference Centre. It was his first appearance at the Masters and turned out to be his only win there. He then won the Irish Masters also at the first attempt, defeating Doug Mountjoy 9–8, but the Crucible curse struck at the World Championship that year, as he lost to Steve Davis in his second round match (which was that year a "first round" for the top eight players, who had byes through to round 2). He and his team-mates retained the World Cup later on in 1980 for Wales, and he again won the Irish Masters in 1981 before losing to eventual winner Steve Davis again in the World Championship.

Griffiths lost 3–16 to Davis in the UK Championship final in 1981, beginning a six-month period in which he and Davis faced each other in almost every major tournament final. Although Davis had the better of their exchanges, winning three finals, Griffiths triumphed twice, in the Classic in early 1982 and later the Irish Masters (becoming the first player to win three consecutive titles), beating Davis on both occasions (the Classic 9–8 and the Irish Masters 9–5). Unsurprisingly, after Davis was sensationally defeated by Tony Knowles in the first round of the World Championship that year, Griffiths was immediately installed as the bookmakers' favourite for the title. However, a second surprise followed when he lost, also in the first round, to Willie Thorne. At the end of 1982, he won the UK Championship (which was still a non-ranking event at the time), beating Alex Higgins in a classic 16–15 final.

He never again won a ranking event, although he won several major invitational events: the 1984 Malaysian Masters, where he topped a round robin group (Tony Meo was the runner-up); the 1984 Singapore Masters, where he also topped a round robin group (Davis was the runner-up); the 1985 Hong Kong Masters, where he defeated Davis 4–2; and the 1986 Belgian Classic, where he beat Kirk Stevens 9–7 in the final, in an event featuring eight of the top nine players in that season's world rankings.

Griffiths took the Pot Black title in 1984 and won the Welsh Professional Championship in 1985, 1986 and 1988. He again reached the final of the World Snooker Championship in 1988, defeating Steve Longworth, Willie Thorne, Neal Foulds and Jimmy White, but he lost to old rival Steve Davis 11–18. During the final session of the championship, he accidentally knocked over a globe on the Crucible set, denting part of it with his foot; he was awarded the globe at the end of the match.

By the 1990s, Griffiths had begun to struggle in the rankings, but he still reached the semi-final of the 1992 World Championship, with victories over Bob Chaperon, Neal Foulds and Peter Ebdon before losing to Stephen Hendry. Having lost at the Crucible in 1996 against his old rival Steve Davis (whom he never defeated at the Crucible in seven attempts) in the last 16 (after beating the young Scottish player Jamie Burnett in a final frame decider 10–9 in the first round, having trailed 0–6 and 5–9), he immediately announced his retirement from the game.

Unusually for a snooker player, Griffiths retired whilst still inside the top 32 and 23rd in the rankings,[6] despite only entering the 1997 World Championship qualifiers in his final season as a professional.[7] He won his qualifying match to play in the main tournament at the Crucible one last time, where he lost in the first round to fellow countryman and debutant Mark Williams, in another final-frame decider, 9–10. During his professional snooker career, Griffiths played a total of 999 frames at the Crucible.[8]

Coaching careerEdit

Griffiths is well known as a coach and has coached many top players. Having retired from professional play in 1997, he currently coaches top players such as Mark Williams, Marco Fu, Mark Allen, Ali Carter, Joe Perry, Barry Hawkins and Ding Junhui,[9] and in the past has coached Stephen Hendry and Stephen Maguire. He is the Director of Coaching at the South West Snooker Academy.[10] He also frequently commentates on snooker for the BBC.

Performance and rankings timelineEdit

Tournament 1978/
Ranking[11] [nb 1] 8 5 3 14 9 8 8 10 6 5 5 6 11 6 8 14 15 23
Ranking tournaments
Asian Classic[nb 2] Tournament Not Held NR A QF 2R QF 2R 2R QF A
Grand Prix[nb 3] Tournament Not Held QF 3R 1R QF 3R 3R QF 1R 2R QF SF 1R 2R 1R A
UK Championship Non-Ranking Event 1R QF 3R QF SF SF 2R 3R 1R QF 3R 2R A
German Open Tournament Not Held 1R A
Welsh Open Tournament Not Held 3R 2R 1R 1R 2R A
International Open[nb 4] Not Held NR QF SF 2R 3R 3R 2R 1R 2R Not Held 3R 3R 3R 1R A
European Open Tournament Not Held F 1R 2R SF 2R 1R QF 2R A
Thailand Open[nb 5] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event Not Held SF 1R 1R 1R 2R 1R 1R A
British Open[nb 6] NH Non-Ranking Event 2R QF 3R 2R 1R 2R 3R QF 1R 1R 1R 1R A
World Championship W 2R QF 1R 2R QF QF QF QF F QF QF QF SF 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R
Non-ranking tournaments
Scottish Masters Not Held A SF QF QF A A F NH F F A 1R A A A A
Charity Challenge Tournament Not Held SF 1R A
The Masters A W F F QF F SF QF 1R QF QF 1R SF 1R 1R 1R QF WR A
Irish Masters A W W W SF F 1R 1R SF SF QF SF 1R 1R 1R 1R A A A
European League[nb 7] Tournament Not Held A Not Held RR RR RR A A A A A A A A
Former ranking tournaments
Canadian Masters[nb 8] Non-Ranking Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking QF Tournament Not Held
Hong Kong Open[nb 9] NH Ranking Event NH 2R Tournament Not Held Ranking NH
Classic NH Non-Ranking Event QF QF 1R QF QF 3R 1R 1R 3R Tournament Not Held
Strachan Open Tournament Not Held 2R MR NR Not Held
Former non-ranking tournaments
Champion of Champions A NH RR Tournament Not Held
International Open[nb 10] Not Held QF Ranking Event Not Held Ranking Event
Northern Ireland Classic Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
Classic NH SF QF W 1R Ranking Event Tournament Not Held
UK Championship 1R F SF F W SF Ranking Event
British Open[nb 11] NH RR RR F 2R 2R Ranking Event
Australian Masters[nb 12] NH A A A A A A A SF A NH R Tournament Not Held A A NH
Thailand Masters Tournament Not Held SF F F F Not Held Ranking Event
Canadian Masters[nb 13] A F F Tournament Not Held QF A QF R Tournament Not Held
Asian Classic[nb 14] Tournament Not Held QF Ranking Event
Matchroom Professional Championship Tournament Not Held SF 1R QF Tournament Not Held
Welsh Professional Championship NH SF SF F SF SF W W SF W F QF QF Tournament Not Held
World Seniors Championship Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
World Matchplay Tournament Not Held QF QF SF QF 1R Tournament Not Held
Pot Black A RR A A A W QF 1R Tournament Not Held 1R QF QF 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.
  1. ^ New players on the Main Tour do not have a ranking.
  2. ^ The event was also called the Dubai Masters (1988/1989), Dubai Classic (1989/90–1994/1995) and Thailand Classic (1995/1996)
  3. ^ The event was also called the Professional Players Tournament (1982/83–1983/1984)
  4. ^ The event was also called the Goya Matchroom Trophy (1985/1986)
  5. ^ The event was also called the Thailand Masters (1983/1984–1986/1987 & 1991/1992) and the Asian Open (1989/1990–1992/1993)
  6. ^ The event was also called the British Gold Cup (1979/1980), Yamaha Organs Trophy (1980/1981) and International Masters (1981/1982–1983/1984)
  7. ^ The event was also called the Matchroom League (1986/1987–1991/1992)
  8. ^ The event was also called the Canadian Open (1978/1979–1980/1981)
  9. ^ The event was also called the Australian Masters (1979/1980–1987/1988) and Australian Open (1994/1995)
  10. ^ The event was also called the Goya Matchroom Trophy (1985/1986)
  11. ^ The event was also called the British Gold Cup (1979/1980), Yamaha Organs Trophy (1980/1981) and International Masters (1981/1982–1983/1984)
  12. ^ The event was also called the Hong Kong Open (1989/1990) and Australian Open (1994/1995)
  13. ^ The event was also called the Canadian Open (1978/1979–1980/1981)
  14. ^ The event was also called the Dubai Masters (1988/1989)

Career finalsEdit

Ranking finals: 3 (1 title, 2 runner-ups)Edit

World Championship (1–1)
Other (0–1)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1979 World Championship   Dennis Taylor 24–16
Runner-up 1. 1988 World Championship   Steve Davis 11–18
Runner-up 2. 1989 European Open   John Parrott 8–9

Non-ranking finals: 40 (17 titles, 23 runner-ups)Edit

UK Championship (1–2) [nb 1]
The Masters (1–3)
Other (15–19)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1979 Canadian Open   Cliff Thorburn 16–17
Runner-up 2. 1979 UK Championship   John Virgo 13–14
Winner 1. 1980 The Masters   Alex Higgins 9–5
Winner 2. 1980 Irish Masters   Doug Mountjoy 10–9
Runner-up 3. 1980 Canadian Open (2)   Cliff Thorburn 10–17
Runner-up 4. 1981 The Masters   Alex Higgins 6–9
Winner 3. 1981 Irish Masters (2)   Ray Reardon 9–7
Winner 4. 1981 Pontins Professional   Willie Thorne 9–8
Runner-up 5. 1981 UK Championship (2)   Steve Davis 3–16
Winner 5. 1982 The Classic   Steve Davis 9–8
Runner-up 6. 1982 The Masters (2)   Steve Davis 5–9
Runner-up 7. 1982 Welsh Professional Championship   Doug Mountjoy 8–9
Runner-up 8. 1982 International Masters   Steve Davis 7–9
Winner 6. 1982 Irish Masters (3)   Steve Davis 9–5
Winner 7. 1982 UK Championship   Alex Higgins 16–15
Runner-up 9. 1983 Tolly Cobbold Classic   Steve Davis 5–7
Runner-up 10. 1983 Hong Kong Masters   Doug Mountjoy 3–4
Winner 8. 1984 Pot Black   John Spencer 2–1
Runner-up 11. 1984 The Masters (3)   Jimmy White 5–9
Runner-up 12. 1984 Irish Masters   Steve Davis 1–9
Runner-up 13. 1984 Thailand Masters   Jimmy White 3–4
Winner 9. 1984 Malaysian Masters   Tony Meo Round-Robin [nb 2]
Winner 10. 1984 Singapore Masters   Steve Davis Round-Robin [nb 2]
Winner 11. 1985 Welsh Professional Championship   Doug Mountjoy 9–4
Winner 12. 1985 Pontins Professional (2)   John Spencer 9–7
Winner 13. 1985 Hong Kong Masters   Steve Davis 4–2
Runner-up 14. 1985 Thailand Masters (2)   Dennis Taylor 0–4
Runner-up 15. 1985 Singapore Masters   Steve Davis 2–4
Winner 14. 1986 Belgian Classic   Kirk Stevens 9–7
Winner 15. 1986 Welsh Professional Championship (2)   Doug Mountjoy 9–3
Winner 16. 1986 Pontins Professional (3)   Willie Thorne 9–6
Runner-up 16. 1986 Thailand Masters (3)   James Wattana 1–2
Runner-up 17. 1986 China Masters   Steve Davis 0–3
Runner-up 18. 1987 Tokyo Masters   Dennis Taylor 3–6
Runner-up 19. 1987 Scottish Masters   Joe Johnson 7–9
Winner 17. 1988 Welsh Professional Championship (3)   Wayne Jones 9–3
Runner-up 20. 1989 Welsh Professional Championship (2)   Doug Mountjoy 6–9
Runner-up 21. 1989 Scottish Masters (2)   Stephen Hendry 1–10
Runner-up 22. 1990 Scottish Masters (3)   Stephen Hendry 6–10
Runner-up 23. 1997 Seniors Pot Black   Joe Johnson 0–2

Team finals: 5 (2 titles, 3 runner-ups)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Team/partner Opponent(s) in the final Score
Winner 1. 1979 World Challenge Cup   Wales   England 14–3
Winner 2. 1980 World Challenge Cup (2)   Wales   Canada 8–5
Runner-up 1. 1981 World Team Classic   Wales   England 3–4
Runner-up 2. 1982 World Doubles Championship   Doug Mountjoy   Steve Davis
  Tony Meo
Runner-up 3. 1983 World Team Classic (2)   Wales   England 2–4

Pro-am finals: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1977 Pontins Spring Open   Alex Higgins 4–7
Winner 1. 1983 Pontins Spring Open   Ray Reardon 7–3

Amateur finals: 4 (3 titles, 1 runner-up)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1972 Welsh Amateur Championship   Geoff Thomas 2–6
Winner 1. 1975 Welsh Amateur Championship   Geoff Thomas 8–7
Winner 2. 1977 English Amateur Championship   Sid Hood 13–3
Winner 3. 1978 English Amateur Championship (2)   Joe Johnson 13–6

Trickshot eventsEdit


  1. ^ The UK Championship did not become a ranking event until 1984
  2. ^ a b No play-off. Winner decided via a league format.


  1. ^ "Terry Griffiths receives an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours". Retrieved 16 June 2009
  2. ^ "1979: Griffiths creates miracle". BBC. 12 April 2002. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  3. ^ "Where are they now? – Terry Griffiths". Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on 8 April 2005. Retrieved 9 April 2008.
  4. ^ "Hall of Fame – Terry Griffiths". BBC. Archived from the original on 6 March 2005. Retrieved 14 July 2008.
  5. ^ "A Profile for Terry Griffiths". Terry Griffiths Snooker. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Still POTTY after all these years. – Free Online Library". Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Interview with Terry Griffiths (part 1 of 2) " Snooker Island Blog". 25 November 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Crucible 2008 – some potential milestones". BBC. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Griffiths to coach six players". World Snooker. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Coaching". South West Snooker Academy. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Ranking History". Retrieved 7 November 2017.

External linksEdit