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Last Updated: Monday, 8 November, 2004, 14:19 GMT
Aussie legend Charlton dies at 75
Eddie Charlton
Charlton won the Pot Black title three times in the 1970s
Snooker legend Eddie Charlton has died in New Zealand at the age of 75.

The Australian, beaten in three World Championship finals, died in hospital from complications following surgery.

Charlton, who was in New Zealand for a series of exhibitions and engagements when he fell ill, won the Pot Black title three times in the 1970s.

But he narrowly missed out on the prestigious world crown, losing to England's John Pulman in 1968 and Welshman Ray Reardon in 1973 and 1975.

A minute's silence in Charlton's honour was held before the start of the British Open in Brighton on Monday.

He was one of snooker's most competitive players, but he was also a gentleman on and off the table
Sir Rodney Walker

Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of World Snooker, said: "We are saddened to hear the news that Eddie has died.

"He was an outstanding snooker player and all-round sportsman, a true role model for young Australians. He was also a great character.

"He was one of snooker's most competitive players, but he was also a gentleman on and off the table.

"He was a fine ambassador for our sport and one of the original members of our Association. Our sympathies go to his family. He will be sadly missed."

Born in Merewether, New South Wales, in October 1929, Charlton turned professional in 1963 and won the Australian Championship the following year.

He went on to win that title 20 times in 21 years.

The man known as 'Steady Eddie' for his cautious approach to snooker tactics first competed for the world title in 1968, losing 39-34 to John Pullman.

His second world final came in 1973 when he lost 38-32 to Ray Reardon, and his last in 1975 when he was edged out 31-30 by Reardon.

"Eddie was still playing the game he loved right to the end and will be best known for appearing in Pot Black," said World Pool Association president Ian Anderson.

Charlton also won the World Match Play Championship and the World Open Snooker Championship.

He is survived by five children and eight grandchildren.

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