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Last Updated: Friday, 18 April, 2003, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
1980: Thorburn outguns Higgins
Cliff Thorburn
Thorbun flew the flag for Canada
Cliff Thorburn's capture of the title was a personal triumph for this measured, tactically astute game over the raw genius of Alex Higgins.

Higgins led 5-1, 6-2 and 9-5 but began to give Thorburn chances and the first day ended with the scores level at 9-9.

So engrossing was the final that the BBC was deluged by calls of complaint when they interrupted live coverage to show news reports of the unfolding Iranian Embassy siege in London.

The drama on-table ended when Thorburn made a break of 119 to lead 17-16 and claimed the next as well for victory.

Terry Griffiths, the defending champion, had fallen victim to the emerging Steve Davis in the last 16 and Ray Reardon, six times champion, was surprisingly beaten 13-11 in the quarter-finals by David Taylor.

Aside from Thorburn, two other Canadians produced impressive performances. Jim Wych qualified for the Crucible at his first attempt and defeated John Pulman and Dennis Taylor in reaching the quarter-finals.

Kirk Stevens, famous for his distinctive white suit, beat John Spencer and Eddie Charlton to reach the semi-finals.


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