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|Born||January 16, 1948|
Victoria, British Columbia
|Highest ranking||1 (1981/82)|
|Highest||147 : (2 times)|
Clifford Charles Devlin "Cliff" Thorburn CM (born January 16, 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, making him the first world champion in the sport's modern era from outside the United Kingdom. He remains the only world champion from the Americas. He was runner-up in two other World Championships, losing to John Spencer in the 1977 final (the first ever held at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre) and to Steve Davis in the 1983 final. During his second-round encounter with Terry Griffiths in 1983, Thorburn became the first player to compile a maximum break in a World Championship match.
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order and the second highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada. It comes second only to membership in the Order of Merit, which is the personal gift of Canada's monarch.
Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.
Snooker is a cue sport which originated among British Army officers stationed in India in the later half of the 19th century. It is played on a rectangular table covered with a green cloth, or baize, with pockets at each of the four corners and in the middle of each long side. Using a cue and 21 coloured balls, players must strike the white ball to the remaining balls in the correct sequence, accumulating points for each pot. An individual game, or frame, is won by the player scoring the most points. A match is won when a player wins a predetermined number of frames.
Thorburn's other notable achievements include holding the number one ranking during the 1981/82 season and winning the prestigious invitational Masters three times, in 1983, 1985, and 1986, which made him the first player to win the Masters more than once and the first to retain the title. He retired in 1996 and was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.During his snooker career, Thorburn maintained a near-scratch handicap in golf, which he had taken up in his youth; as his snooker career scaled down, he appeared occasionally in charity fundraiser golf events in Canada, as a celebrity.
The snooker season 1981/1982 was a series of snooker tournaments played between 27 June 1981 and 28 May 1982. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.
The Masters is a professional invitational snooker tournament. Held every year since 1975, it is the second-longest running tournament behind the World Championship. It is one of the Triple Crown events, and although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit. The reigning champion is Judd Trump.
The 1983 Benson & Hedges Masters was a professional non-ranking snooker tournament that took place between from Sunday 23 January to Sunday 30 January 1983 at the Wembley Conference Centre in London, England. The event was increased to 16 players and extended from 6 to 8 days. Although there were 16 players they were not the top 16 ranked players that would compete in the following years. BBC Television coverage did not start until 26 January and so only two of the eight first round matches were televised.
Thorburn first went to England to play snooker professionally in the early 70s. He had met John Spencer in Canada, who had advised him to go to the UK to improve his game. He was soon considered a contender for tournaments, and finished runner-up in the world championship in 1977.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
John Spencer was an English professional snooker player who won the World Professional title at his first attempt, was the first winner at the Crucible Theatre, was the inaugural winner of the Masters and Irish Masters and was the first player to make a 147 break in competition. This is regarded as an unofficial maximum break as the event used non templated tables. Spencer was born in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester.
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, with 70% of citizens residing within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.
Cliff Thorburn met Alex Higgins in the final of the 1980 World Championship. He won the match 18–16 to take the championship,and rose to number two in the world rankings. The BBC's coverage of the final had been interrupted by the broadcast of live footage of the SAS storming the Iranian Embassy. The following season, Thorburn reached number one in the world rankings.
Alexander Gordon Higgins was a Northern Irish professional snooker player, who is remembered as one of the most iconic figures in the game. Nicknamed Hurricane Higgins because of his fast play, he was World Champion in 1972 and 1982, and runner-up in 1976 and 1980. He won the UK Championship in 1983 and the Masters in 1978 and 1981, making him one of eleven players to have completed snooker's Triple Crown. He was also World Doubles champion with Jimmy White in 1984, and won the World Cup three times with the All-Ireland team.
The 1980 World Snooker Championship was a professional ranking snooker tournament that took place between 22 April and 5 May 1980 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England.
The professional snooker world rankings for the top 27 snooker players in the 1980/1981 season are listed below.
In 1983, Thorburn was made a Member of the Order of Canada. That same year, he became the first player to make a maximum break at the World Championship. He compiled the break in the fourth frame of his second round match against Terry Griffiths (a match he went on to win 13–12). 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. He subsequently went on to reach the final, but lost to then world number 1 Steve Davis. His wife had a miscarriage during his semi-final, but Thorburn refused to blame this for his loss, instead saying that he was fatigued after his three back-to-back final-frame victories: a 13–12 win over Terry Griffiths in the second round; another 13–12 win over Kirk Stevens in the quarter finals; and a gruelling 16–15 victory (from 13–15 behind) in his semi-final against Tony Knowles, which finished at 2:30am and left him physically exhausted before the final which commenced later that same day. He stated that, after finishing the semi-final in the early hours of the morning, he simply had nothing left for the final less than thirteen hours later against the in-form Steve Davis, who eventually defeated him 18–6, with a session to spare.
In snooker the maximum break is 147, also known as a maximum, a 147, or orally, a one-four-seven. A player compiles a maximum break by potting all 15 with 15 for 120 points, followed by all six for a further 27 points. A maximum break is regarded as the highest possible achievement in a single frame of snooker, and is often compared to a nine-dart finish in darts or a 300 game in ten-pin bowling.
The World Snooker Championship is the leading snooker tournament both in terms of prestige and prize money. The first championship was held in 1927 and was won by Joe Davis. Davis won the first 15 championships before retiring from the event, undefeated, after his 1946 success. In the 1950s snooker went into a period of decline and the championship was not held after 1952, although an unofficial championship was held until 1957. In 1964 the championship was revived on a challenge basis and in 1969 the championship became a knock-out event again. Since 1977 it has been played at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. The tournament is currently played over 17 days and ends on the first Monday in May. In the modern era, the best record is that of Stephen Hendry, who won the title seven times. Steve Davis and Ray Reardon both won six times while Ronnie O'Sullivan has won five titles. The current champion is Judd Trump, whose 2019 win was his first.
Terrence Martin Griffiths, 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.
Thorburn was a three-time champion of The Masters, the most prestigious non-ranking event on the snooker calendar for many years, during its tenure at the Wembley Conference Centre near London, England. He defeated Ray Reardon 9–7 in the 1983 final, Doug Mountjoy 9–6 in 1985, and Jimmy White 9–5 in 1986. He became the first player ever to retain the Masters title.
Raymond Reardon, is a Welsh retired snooker player who dominated the sport in the 1970s, winning six World Championships, and is remembered as one of the best players of the 20th century. Despite being a genial figure, his dark widow's peak and sharp-toothed grin earned him the nickname "Dracula".
Doug Mountjoy is a retired Welsh snooker player. He was a mainstay of the professional snooker circuit during the late 1970s and 1980s, and remained within the top 16 of the world rankings for eleven consecutive years. He began his professional snooker career by clinching the title at the 1977 Masters tournament, which he had entered as a late replacement. He won both the 1978 UK Championship and the 1979 Irish Masters, and reached the final of the 1981 World Championship where he lost to Steve Davis. He also finished in second place at the 1985 Masters, but by 1988 he had dropped out of the top 16.
The 1985 Benson & Hedges Masters was a professional non-ranking snooker tournament that took place between 27 January and 3 February 1985 at the Wembley Conference Centre in London, England. The highest break of the tournament was 103 made by Cliff Thorburn, for which Thorburn earned £3,750.
He enjoyed a resurgence in form during the 1984/1985 season. He made the final of the Grand Prix, where he lost to Dennis Taylor 2–10. In the semi-final, Thorburn had unexpectedly beaten tournament favourite Steve Davis 9–7. He also made the final of the Classic in January 1985, where he met Willie Thorne in the final, with Thorne winning 13–8. Thorburn was again runner-up in the 1986 Classic, this time losing to Jimmy White in the final 12–13. Thorburn looked certain to win the title but White got a snooker in the deciding frame on the final pink and potted pink and black to win the title.[ citation needed ]
Thorburn enjoyed success in the 1985 and 1986 Scottish Masters, an invitational event which opened the snooker season. He defeated Willie Thorne 9–7 in the 1985 final, and Alex Higgins 9–8 the following year. He won the opening ranking event in the 1985/1986 snooker calendar, the Matchroom Trophy, where he beat Jimmy White in the final 12–10, having trailed 0–7 and 4–8. He was then runner-up in the same event the following two seasons.
Thorburn last qualified for the World Championship in 1994, where he faced Nigel Bond in the first round. Thorburn led by 9–2 but eventually lost 9–10. In 2001, he was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.The same year he won the pro-am Canadian Amateur Championship (snooker); he had previously won the tournament in 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1977.
During the 2006 World Championship, Thorburn flew to Sheffield to unveil a life-size painting of the first televised 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.In 2010, Thorburn returned to the UK to compete on the Snooker Legends Tour where he faced Alex Higgins, Jimmy White and John Parrott.
His manager Darryl McKerrow was killed in a hunting accident during the mid-1980s.[ citation needed ] Thorburn was fined £10,000 and banned for two ranking tournaments in 1988 after failing a drug test.[ citation needed ]
He is the father of two children, Jamie and Andrew. Thorburn won around C$2.5 million in prize money during his 25-year career but also received a considerable income from sources including billiards equipment endorsements, exhibition games, a snooker instruction book and an autobiography, Playing for Keeps, published in 1987.
|Ranking||No ranking system||13||6||5||5||2||1||3||3||3||2||2||4||6||7||18||36||36||41||54||41|
|Thailand Classic||Tournament Not Held||NR||A||1R||1R||1R||LQ||LQ||LQ|
|Grand Prix||Tournament Not Held||3R||QF||F||SF||1R||2R||A||2R||1R||1R||LQ||LQ||1R||LQ|
|UK Championship||Non-Ranking Event||SF||3R||QF||QF||QF||2R||WD||1R||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ|
|German Open||Tournament Not Held||LQ|
|Welsh Open||Tournament Not Held||1R||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ|
|International Open||Tournament Not Held||NR||2R||F||1R||W||F||F||A||1R||Not Held||LQ||2R||1R||LQ|
|European Open||Tournament Not Held||QF||1R||SF||2R||1R||LQ||LQ||LQ|
|Thailand Open||Tournament Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||Not Held||1R||1R||LQ||LQ||1R||SF||WD|
|British Open||Tournament Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||3R||3R||SF||SF||3R||1R||1R||1R||LQ||1R||LQ||LQ|
|Australian Masters||Tournament Not Held||A||A||A||RR||W||1R||A||A||QF||NH||R||Tournament Not Held||A||A|
|Scottish Masters||Tournament Not Held||F||A||SF||QF||W||W||SF||NH||QF||A||A||A||A||A||A|
|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|
|Irish Masters||Not Held||A||A||A||A||A||RR||SF||QF||A||QF||QF||SF||QF||QF||1R||1R||A||A||A||A||A||A|
|European League||Tournament Not Held||A||Not Held||RR||RR||RR||RR||A||A||A||A||A||A|
|Former ranking tournaments|
|Canadian Masters||Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||Tournament Not Held||Non-Ranking||QF||Tournament Not Held|
|Hong Kong Open||Tournament Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||NH||LQ||Tournament Not Held||NR|
|Classic||Tournament Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||1R||F||F||2R||2R||SF||2R||1R||2R||Tournament Not Held|
|Strachan Open||Tournament Not Held||QF||MR||NR||Not Held|
|Former non-ranking tournaments|
|Champion of Champions||Tournament Not Held||A||NH||RR||Tournament Not Held|
|International Open||Tournament Not Held||2R||Ranking Event||Not Held||Ranking Event|
|Northern Ireland Classic||Tournament Not Held||QF||Tournament Not Held|
|UK Championship||Tournament Not Held||A||A||A||A||2R||A||A||Ranking Event|
|British Open||Tournament Not Held||A||RR||2R||A||A||Ranking Event|
|Classic||Tournament Not Held||A||QF||QF||QF||Ranking Event||Tournament Not Held|
|Pot Black||A||RR||A||A||SF||RR||A||A||W||SF||A||A||SF||SF||Tournament Not Held||A||A||A||NH|
|Canadian Masters||Not Held||W||QF||QF||QF||W||W||W||Tournament Not Held||SF||QF||SF||R||Tournament Not Held|
|Canadian Professional Championship||Tournament Not Held||W||Not Held||SF||W||W||W||W||SF||Tournament Not Held|
|Dubai Masters||Tournament Not Held||QF||Ranking Event|
|Matchroom Professional Championship||Tournament Not Held||A||A||QF||Ranking Event|
|World Matchplay||Tournament Not Held||1R||1R||A||A||A||Not Held|
|Shoot-Out||Tournament Not Held||3R||Tournament Not Held|
|World Seniors Championship||Tournament Not Held||1R||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.|
|World Championship (1–2)|
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Runner-up||1.||1977||World Snooker Championship||21–25|
|Winner||1.||1980||World Snooker Championship||18–16|
|Runner-up||2.||1983||World Snooker Championship (2)||6–18|
|Runner-up||6.||1986||The Classic (2)||12–13|
|Runner-up||7.||1986||International Open (2)||9–12|
|Runner-up||8.||1987||International Open (3)||5–12|
|The Masters (3–1)|
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||2.||1978||Canadian Open (2)||17–15|
|Winner||3.||1979||Canadian Open (3)||17–16|
|Winner||4.||1980||Canadian Professional Championship||9–6|
|Winner||5.||1980||Canadian Open (4)||17–10|
|Runner-up||3.||1981||Tolly Cobbold Classic||1–5|
|Winner||9.||1984||Canadian Professional Championship (3)||9–2|
|Winner||10.||1985||The Masters (2)||9–6|
|Winner||11.||1985||Canadian Professional Championship (4)||6–4|
|Winner||13.||1986||The Masters (3)||9–5|
|Winner||14.||1986||Canadian Professional Championship (5)||6–2|
|Winner||15.||1986||Scottish Masters (2)||9–8|
|Winner||16.||1987||Canadian Professional Championship (6)||8–4|
|Runner-up||5.||2000||World Seniors Masters||0–1|
|Winner||17.||2018||The Seniors Masters||2–1|
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Team/partner||Opponent(s) in the final||Score|
|Runner-up||1.||1980||World Challenge Cup||5–8|
|Winner||1.||1982||World Team Classic||4–2|
|Runner-up||2.||1986||World Cup (2)||Ireland||7–9|
|Runner-up||3.||1987||World Cup (3)||Ireland||2–9|
|Winner||2.||1990||World Cup (2)||9–5|
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||1974||Canadian Amateur Championship||13–11|
|Winner||2.||1975||Canadian Amateur Championship (2)|
|Winner||3.||1976||Canadian Amateur Championship (3)||11–1|
|Winner||4.||1977||Canadian Amateur Championship (4)||10–6|
|Winner||5.||2001||Canadian Amateur Championship (5)||4–3|
|Runner-up||1.||2002||Canadian Amateur Championship||1–6|
|Runner-up||2.||2003||Canadian Amateur Championship (2)||2–6|
William Alexander "Bill" Werbeniuk was a Canadian professional snooker and pool player. Recognisable for his girth, he was nicknamed "Big Bill". Werbeniuk was a four-time World Championship quarter-finalist and also a UK Championship semi-finalist, reaching a career high world ranking of #8 for the 1983-84 season.
Tony Meo is a retired English snooker player.
Pierre "Perrie" Mans is a retired professional snooker player from South Africa, who first won the South African Professional Championship in 1965, and won the event 19 times. Mans won the Benson & Hedges Masters in 1979 and reached the final of the World Championship in 1978.
William Joseph "Willie" Thorne is a former English professional snooker player who is now a sports commentator. He is most famous for winning the 1985 Classic. He is the player that caused the "miss" rule to be introduced, after admitting he meant to just about hit the ball or miss it to gain the advantage in a frame.
Edward Francis "Eddie" Charlton, was an Australian professional snooker and English billiards player. He remains the only player to have been world championship runner-up in both snooker and billiards without winning either title. He later became a successful marketer of sporting goods launching a popular brand of billiard room equipment bearing his name.
David Taylor is a retired English professional snooker player. He won the World and English Amateur Championships in 1968, before the success of those wins encouraged him to turn professional. Although an excellent player, Taylor never quite reached the very top of the game. He was nicknamed "The Silver Fox" because of his prematurely grey hair.
Desmond Rex Williams is a retired English professional snooker and billiards player. Williams was an excellent junior player in both snooker and billiards, and a three time World Snooker Championship semi-finalist.
Kirk Stevens is a Canadian former professional snooker player.
Mike Hallett is an English former professional snooker player and television sports commentator.
Anthony "Tony" Knowles is an English former professional snooker player. He was a three times semi-finalist in the World Professional Snooker Championship in the 1980s.
Silvino Francisco is a retired South African professional snooker player, most notable for winning the 1985 British Open.
Dean Reynolds is an English former professional snooker player whose career spanned twenty years from 1981 to 2001.
Cliff Wilson was a Welsh professional snooker player. He became 1978 World Amateur Champion. After turning professional he got into the world's top 16 in 1988 at the age of 54, despite very poor eyesight and a number of other ailments.
Patsy Fagan is a retired Irish professional snooker player.
Dennis Taylor is a retired professional snooker player and current BBC snooker commentator.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cliff Thorburn .|
|First|| Maximum break-scorer |
in World Championship
23 April 1983