One of the greatest player's of all time and one of the games leading
in 1901 in the Derbyshire village of Whitwell, Joe Davis is perhaps
the man most responsible for making snooker the mass
market sport it is today. Originally a billiards player, Joe won his first tournament at
the age of 13 and at 25 reached his
first professional billiards final. In 1928 he became world billiards champion.
was Joe who approached the Billiards Association in 1926 to organise
a World Professional Snooker Championship. Joe won
the event in its first year in 1927 and went on to hold the title
until 1946, at which stage he ceased to play in the Championships.
after his retirement Joe continued to dominate snooker, both on
and off the table. He became
chairman of the Professional Players
Association and for many years was still widely recognised as the
best snooker player in the world. As the primary figure
in snooker at that time it was with him that the BBC negotiated.
was during the 1978 World Snooker Championships that Joe became
unwell. At the time he
was taken ill he was watching his
brother Fred play Perrie Manns in the semi-finals. Manns had led 8-6, 13-8 and 16-12 going into
the final session, which meant that
Davis had to win six of
the remaining seven frames.
was living and playing every shot on behalf of his brother, until
of feeling unwell during the interval of the final session.
was taken back to his hotel and then driven to London the following
day. He was still poorly
on arrival and was taken to St
Mary’s in Paddington. A
lengthy operation saw him through the worst of the crisis, but he
would never recover and died a few weeks
was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He conducted himself with dignity at all times
and was a great ambassador for
will be fondly remembered by all in snooker for helping to make
the game what it is today, both through his skill
and expertiseon the table and the strength of his personality in
driving the game forward.
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