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Thursday, 31 January, 2002, 15:19 GMT
B&H Masters: BBC team
BBC Sport Online profiles the BBC's team expert team of presenters, reporters and analysts at the B&H Masters.

Ray Stubbs

Ray Stubbs has carved a successful career in sports broadcasting after playing professional football with Tranmere Rovers FC.

He joined Tranmere from school and was on the club's books for five years before switching to an administrative role with the club.

Ray Stubbs
Stubbs is an all-rounder as far as presenting is concerned
He then spent three years with BBC Radio Merseyside as a reporter and presenter.

In 1986, Stubbs moved to BBC Manchester as an assistant producer, working on a number of sports including snooker, darts and bowls, as well as A Question of Sport.

He also worked as a producer, reporter and presenter on BBC2's investigative series On the Line, a series which saw him go to Italy in 1990 to report on England football fans at the World Cup Finals.

Later that year, Stubbs began working as a reporter on Grandstand, Match of the Day and Sportsnight.

At the start of the 1998-99 season he hosted two editions of Match of the Day Extra.

He also co-hosted coverage of the 1998 Winter Olympics and co-presented coverage of the 1998 Commonwealth Games and has reported for BBC One's On Side.

He covered the last two World Cups for BBC Sport as well as the European Championships in 1996 and 2000.

Stubbs has become a regular fixture in the Grandstand team after replacing Gary Lineker as Football Focus host at the start of 1999-2000.


Clive Everton

Senior commentator Clive Everton is one of the most respected figures on the snooker circuit.

He is the founding editor of Snooker Scene magazine, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, and is snooker correspondent for both The Guardian and Independent on Sunday.

Clive Everton
Everton: Nearly 30 years of snooker with the BBC
Clive first covered snooker for BBC Radio in 1972, when Alex Higgins won his first world title. His network TV commentary career began at the 1978 World Championship.

As a player, he reached the 1975 and 1977 world amateur billiards semi-finals. but in the latter he exacerbated a back problem which later needed surgery, ending his hopes of a professional career.

Clive reached ninth in the world billiards rankings, and is still 20th despite rarely playing.

In a varied career, he has also covered Wimbledon for The Times of India, rugby for the Sunday Telegraph and football for The Times.

Clive, who played tennis for Worcestershire for 13 years until 1974, wrote a book with Ann Jones following her 1969 Wimbledon triumph.

He also managed Jonah Barrington when he was world squash number one.


Steve Davis

Steve is one of the greatest players ever seen in the modern game.

Steve Davis
Steve Davis is one of the greatest ever snooker players
He has won six World Championship crowns as well as countless other ranking and non-ranking titles over a professional career which has lasted over 22 years.

The "Golden Nugget" will also be remembered for taking part in one of the greatest televised matches of all time, when he lost on a black ball to Dennis Taylor in the 1985 Crucible final.

His run as world number one ended when a Scottish teenager by the name of Stephen Hendry arrived on the scene.


John Parrott

With his role as a captain on BBC TV's Question of Sport programme, John Parrott has become one of snooker's best-known faces.

John Parrott
Parrott won the World Championship in 1991
Parrott has been among the game's most consistent performers over a sustained period, having established himself in world's top 25 for over a decade.

He has an impressive record in the major events, with nine ranking event victories during his long career.

The World Championship win of 1991 was followed by a UK Championship victory in the same year.

Parrott, a passionate Everton FC fan, has also reached eight world quarter-finals, one semi-final and two finals.

He led England to victory in the 2000 Nations Cup at Reading.


Dennis Taylor

One of the most popular players to have graced the snooker circuit, Dennis had been part of the BBC team for several years when he finally retired in 2000.

Dennis Taylor
Taylor in his trademark 'upside down' glasses
The highlight of his career came in 1985 when, on the final black of the final frame, he beat Steve Davis to take the world title in front of 18 million TV viewers.

The Irishman turned professional in 1972. He reached the World Championship sem-finals in 1975 and 1977 before making the final in 1979, where he lost to Terry Griffiths.

Although he became one of the most consistent players on the circuit, a major title eluded him until he won the Rothman's Grand Prix title in 1984.

He never quite matched the heights of his famous triumph over Davis in Sheffield, but did win the 1987 Masters title and remained in the world's top 16 until 1994, having entered it in 1976.


John Virgo

John Virgo is known to millions as Jim Davidson's trickshot-playing partner in BBC TV's Big Break, but was no mean player as a pro.

John Virgo
The Entertainer: John Virgo
A former under-16 and under-19 champion, he turned professional in 1977, and reached the semi-finals of that season's UK Championship.

In 1979 he reached the semi-finals of the World Championship where he lost to Dennis Taylor, but ended the season with a career-highest ranking of 10th.

He claimed the UK Championship crown in the same year, beating Terry Griffiths 14-13 in the final, but that proved to be the pinnacle of his playing career.

He reached two ranking-event semis in 1982, and the last four of the British Open in 1986, but subsequently dropped down the rankings and finally quit the circuit in 1994.

John has remained a big exhibition draw, however, thanks to his reputation as one of the game's great entertainers.

A former WPBSA chairman, he found his niche on national TV in the mid-1990s with the BBC's snooker gameshow Big Break, and is a regular commentator on its snooker coverage.


Willie Thorne

Willie only ever won one major tournament, but along with Virgo and Taylor, he will be remembered as one of the game's more colourful characters.

Willie Thorne
Thorne: Always a crowd favourite
Leicester's very own, who was renowned for his friendship with Gary Lineker and bald pate, won the Mercantile Credit Classic in 1985 when he beat his close friend and rival Cliff Thorburn.

The following season was also a good one for Willie as he reached the final of the UK and British Open.

During the 1986/87 season Willie also won the Hong Kong Masters and the Matchroom Championship.

Wille is now a fully-fledged memeber of the Seniors Tour and won the World Seniors Masters in 2000.


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