Pot Black cont…

Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain djed in 1944 at the age of 88.

By that year Joe Davis had realised the potential of the game now played on snooker tables and had developed it to the precise science – or is it art? – we know today. In 1927 he instituted and won the first World Professional Snooker table Championship against T. A. Dennis by 20 frames to 11. Davis went on to win this Championship each year until 1940.

After the War, in 1946 he played his last World Championship and beat Horace Undrum 78—67Davis then retired, undefeated from World Championship play.

It is largely forgotten that he was also the holder of the World Professional Billiards Championship from 1928 to I932. The first 147 maximum break to be eventually ratified as a world record was made by the great Joe at the Leicester Square HaEI on 22 January 1955. He was now fifty-three and had been playing for thirty-five years, with a staggering total ot 574 century breaks to his credit- He was awarded the OBE in 1963 for his services to charity, and though Joe retired completely from competitive play he maintained an active interest in snooker.

The snooker table recovering In the first programme of the 1971 Pot Black series was carried out by Riley fitters. Joe Davis was persuaded to pick up a cue once more in front of the stydio audience and perform a trick-shot or two on the snooker table. The winner of the 1971 Pot Black Competition John Spencer received the Trophy from Joe – who also had the pleasure of presenting his brother Fred with a cheque for the highest break of the series.

Today snooker is thriving, both as a sport and as a business. its seedy image of yesteryear’ has vertually dissappeared and both the snooker writers and the press are unanimous in their verdict that television and Pot Black, in particular, has created a new shop window for a game created in a damp afternoon in India, 100 years ago.

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