Joe Davis

Last updated

Joe Davis
OBE
Joe Davis.jpg
Born(1901-04-15)15 April 1901
Whitwell, Derbyshire
Died10 July 1978(1978-07-10) (aged 77)
Hampshire
Sport countryFlag of England.svg  England
Professional1919–1964
Highest break 147 (1955) [1]
Century breaks 687 [1]
Tournament wins
Major22
World Champion 1927–1940, 1946 (15 times)

Joseph Davis, OBE (15 April 1901 – 10 July 1978) was an English professional snooker and English billiards player. [2] He was the dominant figure in snooker from the 1920s to the 1950s. He won the first 15 World Championships from 1927 to 1946.

Snooker Cue sport

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 pot 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.

English billiards Cue sport

English billiards, called simply billiards in the United Kingdom, where it originated, and in many former British colonies such as Australia, is a cue sport that combines the aspects of carom billiards and pocket billiards. Two cue balls and a red object ball are used. Each player or team uses a different cue ball. It is played on a billiards table with the same dimensions as a snooker table and points are scored for cannons and pocketing the balls. English billiards has also, but less frequently, been referred to as "the English game", "the all-in game" and (formerly) "the common game".

World Snooker Championship snooker tournament

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 Mark Williams, who has won the tournament three times.

Contents

After his 1946 victory he no longer played in the World Championship but continued to play in other tournaments and exhibition matches until the late 1950s. He was World Billiards Champion 4 times between 1928 and 1932.

Biography

Joe Davis became a professional billiards player at the age of 18, having won the Chesterfield Championship at age 13. In 1926 he reached his first World Professional Billiards Championship final but was unsuccessful against defending champion Tom Newman. He reached the final again the following year and was runner-up again to the same opponent. It was to be a case of third time lucky for Davis when he defeated Newman in 1928 to become the world champion at English billiards for the first time. He would defend his title for the next three years – against Newman again in 1929 and 1930 and New Zealander Clark McConachy in 1932. He contested the final two more times in 1933 and 1934 losing on both occasions to Australian Walter Lindrum.

Tom Newman (billiards player) British snooker and billiard player

Tom Newman was an English professional player of English billiards and snooker. He was born Thomas Edgar Pratt in Barton-on-Humber, Lincolnshire. He always appeared under the name Tom Newman when playing billiards or snooker and changed his name formally in 1919, shortly before his marriage that year.

Clark McConachy New Zealand snooker and billiard player

Clark McConachy,, often known simply as Mac, was a New Zealand professional player of English billiards and snooker.

Walter Lindrum Australian billiards player

Walter Albert Lindrum, OBE, often known as Wally Lindrum, was an Australian professional player of English billiards who held the World Professional Billiards Championship from 1933 until his retirement in 1950. Being the first Lindrum born in Western Australia, he was named Walter Albert to have the initials of the state where he was born. He was one of the most successful players ever seen in billiards, with 57 world records to his credit, some of which still stand.

Coinciding with his peak as a billiards player, Davis's interests shifted to snooker and he helped to organise the first snooker world championship in 1927 and won the tournament by beating Tom Dennis, for which he won UK£6 10s. [3] He went on to win the world championship every year until 1940. Joe's brother Fred, twelve years his junior, was also a snooker player and multiple World Champion. When Joe met Fred in the world championship final of 1940, Joe won 37–36.

1927 World Snooker Championship

The 1927 World Snooker Championship was a snooker tournament held at various venues throughout the season. This was the inaugural edition of the tournament and was organised by Joe Davis and Bill Camkin. The final took place at the Camkin's Hall in Birmingham, England with Joe Davis winning the title by defeating Tom Dennis. Originally called the Professional Snooker Championship, it did not become the World Championship until 1935.

Thomas Arthur Dennis was an English professional snooker and English billiards player.

Pound sterling official currency of the United Kingdom and other territories

The pound sterling, commonly known as the pound and less commonly referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling also have currencies called the pound.

Following the outbreak of World War II the world championship was not held for the next five years. On resumption in 1946, Davis defended his title making it his 15th consecutive win and thereby holding the title for 20 straight years. To date, he has won more world championships than any other player. [3] He retired from the event following this victory making him the only undefeated player in the history of the world championships.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Davis proved he was still the man to beat up to the 1950s by winning the News of the World Tournament on three occasions during the decade. His nearest rivals were his brother, Fred, and future world champion John Pulman who each both won it on two occasions. He made history in 1955 by achieving the first officially recognised maximum break of 147 in snooker in an exhibition match at Leicester Square Hall. He had previously made the game's first official century break in 1930. In 1959 Davis attempted to popularise a new version of the game called snooker plus. This game had two extra colours , an orange and a purple and was used for the 1959 News of the World Snooker Plus Tournament but it never took off. In 1962, when over 60 years of age, he made the first televised century break. This break of exactly 100 was his first visit to the table in the very first frame of a match against the sitting World Champion John Pulman and consisted of seven blacks, two pinks and five blues. The break came to an end when Davis missed a long red into the top right hand pocket, the only time during the break when he was faced with a difficult pot, such was the quality of his positional play. [4]

The News of the World Snooker Tournament was one of the leading professional tournaments of the 1950s and widely considered as being more important than the world championship due to the involvement of Joe Davis. The event was sponsored by the Sunday newspaper News of the World. The highest break of the tournament was four times 140 or more, which was unusual at that time.

John Pulman English former professional snooker player, 8-time world champion (last 1968)

Herbert John Pulman was an English professional snooker player who dominated the game throughout the 1960s.

Maximum break The highest single score in cue sport Snooker

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 reds with 15 blacks for 120 points, followed by all six colours 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.

Davis was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1963. He continued to play professionally until 1964.

Davis died two months after collapsing while watching his brother play Perrie Mans in the 1978 World Snooker Championship semi-final. His home, in Whitwell, Derbyshire bears a plaque commemorating him.

Legacy

Having won fifteen World Championship titles, spanning an unbeaten 20-year period, and losing off level terms only four times in his career - all of which came towards the end of his career and were inflicted by his brother Fred, Davis is widely perceived as one of the greatest players of all time by enthusiasts and fellow professionals, including five-time World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan. [5]

Until the 1980s, he was still generally regarded as the best player in the history of his sport, a sentiment demonstrated by the snooker coach Frank Callan, who, in his book "Frank Callan's Snooker Clinic", compared the best player at the time, Steve Davis, to Joe Davis in order to determine the greatest player ever. Callan also stated that, "many players who tried to emulate Joe's stance (which was unusually off centre due to left eye striking) simply gave up the game when they found they couldn't play like that". Davis' influence on the game was such that, according to Callan, "his word was law".

Steve Davis, who holds the record for most professional tournament wins and himself is generally regarded as the beginning of the modern game, has stated that if he could play against a player from the past, it would be Joe Davis, to "find out how good he really was". [6]

Snooker performance and rankings timeline

Tournament1926/
27
1927/
28
1928/
29
1929/
30
1930/
31
1931/
32
1932/
33
1933/
34
1934/
35
1935/
36
1936/
37
1937/
38
1938/
39
1939/
40
Daily Mail Gold Cup [nb 1] [nb 2] Tournament Not Held 1 1 4 6
World Championship W W W W W W W W W W W W W W
Tournament1945/
46
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
Sunday Empire News Tournament [nb 1] Tournament Not Held 1 Tournament Not Held
News of the World Snooker Tournament [nb 1] [nb 3] Tournament Not Held 1 3 7 1 2 2 1 5 5 2 1
Sporting Record Masters' Tournament [nb 1] Tournament Not Held 1 Tournament Not Held
World Championship W AAAAAATournament Not Held
Professional Matchplay Championship Tournament Not HeldAAAAAATournament Not Held
Performance Table Legend
LQlost in the qualifying draw#R/Nlost in the early rounds of the tournament
(N = position in round-robin event)
QFlost in the quarter-finals
SFlost in the semi-finals
(challenge final in 1928)
Flost in the finalWwon the tournament
DNQdid not qualify for the tournamentAdid not participate in the tournamentWDwithdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Heldmeans an event was not held.
  1. 1 2 3 4 Round-robin handicap tournament
  2. Billiards event before 1936/37 season
  3. Snooker Plus event in 1959/60 season

Tournament wins

Non-ranking wins: (22)

English billiards

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References

  1. 1 2 Turner, Chris. "Player Profile – Joe Davis OBE". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  2. http://www.britannica.com/biography/Joe-Davis
  3. 1 2 "Betfred.com World Championship – History". World Snooker. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  4. BBC Snooker Century Breakers VHS home video 1993
  5. Ronnies Snooker Hotshots DVD 2004 Top Ten greatest players
  6. Steve Davis autobiography Interesting 2015
  7. "Snooker Gold Cup won by Davis". Morning Bulletin. 21 December 1936. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  8. Hayton, Eric (2004). The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker. Suffolk: Rose Villa Publications. p. 4. ISBN   978-0-9548549-0-4.

Bibliography