Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC SPORT
You are in: In Depth: World Snooker Championship  
Front Page 
Football 
Cricket 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Tennis 
Golf 
Motorsport 
Boxing 
Athletics 
Other Sports 
Sports Talk 
In Depth 
Photo Galleries 
Audio/Video 
TV & Radio 
BBC Pundits 
Question of Sport 
Funny Old Game 

Around The Uk

BBC News

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
banner Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Crucible's top 10 moments
Alex Higgins and Dennis Taylor
Alex Higgins and Dennis Taylor provided classic action
1. Terry Griffiths beats Eddie Charlton in the semi-final in 1979

On his way to becoming world champion in 1979, Terry Griffiths grafted out a famous semi-final victory against Eddie Charlton.

The game went into the small hours of the morning, with Griffiths finally winning 19-17.

When BBC presenter David Vine approached the winner for an interview straight after the match, the Welshman's response owed more to bemusement and relief than measured choice of words.

"I'm in the final now, you know!" he said, a quote forever immortalised in snooker history.

He then went on to beat Dennis Taylor 24-16 in the final.

2. Cliff Thorburn wins the 1980 final during the storming of the Iranian Embassy

The 1980 final will be remembered for two things.

One: Cliff Thorburn becoming the first non-British snooker player ever to win the world championship.

And two: The coverage of the final being interrupted by the storming of the Iranian Embassy in London.

The Canadian beat Alex Higgins in a close 18-16 battle, but midway through the intriguing clash, the BBC suddenly broadcast live footage of the SAS entering the Iranian Embassy.

There were scenes of choas in the press box, all of whom were blissfully unaware of events elsewhere in the country and from the television audience - some of whom believed they were watching a film.

3. Alex Higgins beating Jimmy White in the semi-final in 1982

Higgins was on the verge of defeat with the score 15-14 to another crowd favourite, Jimmy White.

Needing all 69 points left on the table to keep his hopes of reaching the final alive, Higgins then produced the clearance of his life under intense pressure.

His final place was wrapped up in the final frame as a jubilant Crucible crowd rose to their feet to acknowledge Higgin's performance.

4. Alex Higgins wins the world title in 1982

Alex Higgins
Alex Higgins tasted success at the Crucible
Higgins won his second world title - his first at the Crucible - with yet another memorable performance, beating six-time champion Ray Reardon 18-15.

In true Higgins style, he made victory the more difficult after leading 10-7 overnight.

Two careless and extravagant shots gave Reardon the opportunity to take the match to 15-15 going into the final session.

However, a moment of brilliance captured the title when the 33-year-old, wearing an unforgettable green shirt with brown collars, hit a 135 break.

He then burst into tears when presented with the trophy, beckoning his wife Lyn and daughter Laura to join him in his moment of adulation.

5. Cliff Thorburn scores the first 147 at the 1983 World Championships

The Canadian made Crucible history when he became the first player to record a 147 in the World Championships.

An opening fluked red off the cushion enabled him to achieve the feat in a second round match against Terry Griffiths.

As the final black went in, Thorburn sank to his knees and thrust the cue aloft in celebration.

Thorburn eventually lost the final 18-6 to an unstoppable Steve Davis - but etched his name forever in snooker history.

6. Dennis Taylor beating Steve Davis in the 1985 final

Described by snooker purists as the greatest match of all time and witnessed by a record 18.5m viewers.

With Davis leading 17-15 going into the final session of day two, the reigning champion needed only one frame to win his fourth world title.

Dennis taylor celebrates victory in 1985
The most famous celebration in snooker
But Taylor won the next two frames, setting up a dramatic final finale - and all this with the time approaching midnight.

With all the reds down, Davis potted the green to take a 62-44 lead.

Under intense pressure, Taylor then potted brown to pink to leave the scores at 62-59 with only the black remaining.

His long pot was missed, leaving Davis a relatively easy shot to claim the title.

Incredibly, he missed and Taylor returned to the table and potted the black, raising his cue high above his head for snooker's most famous celebration.

7. Joe Johnson wins the world title in 1986

Before Johnson won the world title in 1986, he had never won a match at the Crucible.

Joe Johnson celebrates with his wife
150/1 outsider Joe Johnson celebrates
And with bookmakers offering odds of 150/1 for him to become the champion, they were certain the record would not change.

But after seeing off Terry Griffiths 13-12 in a tight quarter-final, he then went on to beat Tony Knowles in the semis.

Steve Davis was up next, keen to avenge the previous year's final defeat to Dennis Taylor.

Bradford-born Johnson then produced the performance of his life to beat Davis 18-12 - and make the bookmakers slash his odds for the next year.

8. Stephen Hendry becomes the youngest player ever to win the world title

Hendry announced his intention to dominate snooker in the 90s just as his idol Steve Davis did in the 1980s.

That year he had already secured the UK Championship, Dubai Classic and Asian Open titles, adding the Scottish and Wembley Masters.

The most coveted and prestigious crown arrived after the defeat of hapless Jimmy White 18-12 - surpassing Alex Higgins as the youngest ever world champion at the age of 21.

9. Stephen Hendry beating Jimmy White final in 1994

The eternal bridesmaid was only a few points away from finally stepping down the aisle after four previously failed attempts.

The final was another epic finale, with neither player going more than two frames in front after White took the lead at 10-9 until the score came to 17-17.

Stephen Hendry celebrates in 1994
Stephen Hendry adds title number four to his collection
When Hendry failed to register a sizeable total, "The Whirlwind" stepped up and promptly began to clear the table.

But when he missed the straight black, a stunned - and fiercely partisan - Crucible crowd then watched the reigning champion take the remaining points to record his fourth world title.

10. Ronnie O'Sullivan's fastest 147, April 1997

Ronnie O'Sullivan left his indelible mark on the 1997 championship by posting the fastest 147 break in snooker history.

It took "The Rocket" only five minutes and 20 seconds to notch up only the fourth ever maximum break scored at the Crucible.

His feat earned him 147,000 in the process - working out to be 515 per second.

"I went for it when I had made nine, the reds opened perfectly," he said after his 10-6 victory over Mick Price in the first round.

"But I would swap the 147 if I could win the title", he said, but was beaten 13-12 in the semi-finals by Darren Morgan.

Links to more World Snooker Championship stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to more World Snooker Championship stories

^^ Back to top