Some of snooker’s biggest names will be showing off their talents when the World Seniors Championship gets underway in Portsmouth on Saturday, October 19.
Defending champion Nigel Bond—or 00-147 to those who know him best—takes his place in the 16-man event alongside established names such as Steve Davis, Dennis Taylor, Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry.
|13:00, Saturday, Oct 19||Dene O'Kane vs. Nigel Bond|
|Tony Knowles vs. Darren Morgan|
|Tony Drago vs. Dene Harold|
|Steve Davis vs. Dennis Taylor|
|19:00, Saturday, Oct 19||Doug Mountjoy vs. Jimmy White|
|Alain Robidoux vs. Tony Chappel|
|Cliff Thorburn vs. Philip Williams|
|Joe Johnson vs. Stephen Hendry|
|13:00, Sunday, Oct 20||4 x QFs|
|19:00, Sunday, Oct 20||2 x SFs|
The best-of-three frame tournament, which began in 2010, offers a top prize of £18,000 and will be televised on Sky Sports throughout the weekend.
Old rivalries reunite in Friday’s order of play with Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis pitted against each other once more. Here’s a breakdown of some of the legends on show.
Arguably one of snooker’s most iconic figures, Taylor and his famous glasses will be on hand to entertain the crowds at the Mountbatten Centre.
Taylor’s brightest moment in the spotlight came in the 1985 World Championship (see below) when he defeated a young Steve Davis 18-17 after it all came down to the final ball.
According to Nick Harris in The Independent, the contest was watched by 18.5 million people in the UK and the winning cheque of £60,000 was one of the largest in individual sports at the time.
The Taylor/Davis final frame was to snooker what John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg’s infamous tiebreak in the 1980 Wimbledon final was to tennis. The occasion transcended the sport and brought the type of publicity to snooker that may not be seen again.
Drama at its best.
Luckily for snooker fans, Davis and Taylor are set to square off once more this weekend. The old foes will be last to take the table in Saturday’s afternoon session.
The 56-year-old Londoner is one of the sport’s most decorated participants.
Winner of the World Championship in 1981, '83, '84, '87, '88 and '89, Davis dominated snooker when the sport was enjoying some of its greatest years and he became the first player to surpass the £1 million mark in prize money.
Davis, who has won 28 ranking titles, recorded snooker’s first televised 147 at the 1982 Lada Classic (see clip), according to his World Snooker biography.
Unfortunately for Davis, his most famous moment at the table was probably his loss to Taylor in 1985. After a game of tug of war on the final black, Davis was finally beaten before observing: "It’s all there in black and white."
A win over Taylor on Saturday won’t exactly be payback for Davis, but he will be eager to stamp his authority among fellow legends of the game.
Throughout his career, White was one of those players everyone cheered for.
His exciting brand of snooker endeared him to the masses, but it was his heartbreaking defeats in six Crucible finals—including an 18-17 defeat to Hendry in 1994—that had the watching public rooting for him each year.
The Englishman failed to get his hands on a World Championship during his career, although he did clinch the senior equivalent in 2010.
The Whirlwind will face off against Doug Mountjoy in his first round in Portsmouth.
Despite being amongst fellow legends of the game at the Mountbatten Centre, Hendry’s records still stand out from the crowd.
His seven victories at the Crucible represent the greatest haul of world titles by a snooker player and he finished world No. 1 for eight consecutive years.
The records go on. According to his World Snooker bio, Hendry won a record 36 ranking titles, earned almost £9 million in prize money and reached the century mark 775 times in his career.
The Scotsman is top billing in Portsmouth on Saturday. His contest with Joe Johnson, who won the world title in 1986, is last up in the evening session.