snooker | “Perfection at the snooker table” – Relive your first 147 times ever, 40 years ago today


It is January 11, 1982 and the middle of winter in the English town of Oldham, located in northwest England just above Manchester. It’s chilly and chilly, and as in many other British small villages, not much happens often. However, good things have come out of Oldham, although opinions are likely to be divided on that as well. There was born Carl Cox, a famous DJ, as well as Mark Owen, one of the singers of the British boy band Take That.

1982 Lada Classic


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At the beginning of that year, the Civic Center in Oldham hosted “The 1982 Lada Classic”, a snooker tournament in which only the world’s top eight players participated. At the time, snooker was booming in the UK and the Lada Classic was added to the calendar at the start of the season to satisfy the English public’s appetite for snooker tournaments. The current world champion at the time, England’s Steve Davis, is also in attendance, as well as the terrible brat from Northern Ireland Alex Higgins, England’s Dennis Taylor and Welsh slowie Terry Griffiths.

The tournament was a day earlier when the world champion entered Oldham. A shy and somewhat shy Englishman, Steve Davis had dominated the sport since the beginning of the decade. He faced John Spencer in the first round. Spencer was a veteran, and his heyday actually came ten years ago, when the public still had little interest in the sport of snooker. Davis was going to defeat Spencer, and that was the case. No one in attendance would have previously believed that snooker fans around the world would be talking about this day in forty years later.

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John Spencer

As of January 11, there were no 147 live broadcasts on English television, although this is not entirely true. Davis’ opponent John Spencer would have made one in 1979 during a televised tournament, had it not been for the fact that the paparazzi were stuffing themselves with greasy burgers at a McDonald’s around the corner. Spencer himself was not really concerned that his moment of glory was not recorded by British television. It was typical of how snooker was experienced in the late 1970s by the public, television and the players themselves

How different it was three years later. Civic Center is filled to the brim as the Davis-Spencer match begins. Both players are matched evenly and split the first four frames. Contrary to expectations, Spencer keeps Davis reasonably in check. The score is 2-2 if Spencer is allowed to block. The 46-year-old Spencer makes a mess of his breakup, and immediately presents Davis with a good opportunity. Fifteen reds and fifteen blacks disappeared after about ten minutes. You can hear a pin in the ring, it’s quiet. All the spectators, including commentators John Pullman and David Taylor, are on the edge of their seats.

However, there is nothing to read from Davis himself. No nervous gait or arm tremors can be seen. It was made for these types of situations. The yellow and green are easy to pocket, but when browning the pot it looks like the Englishman gets a kick, a little moment of static electricity between the header and the goal ball. Its location on the blue is simply bad, besides, it has an angle that is too wide to pass through one frame to the pink.

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Davis managed to fit the blue pocket into the middle left pocket, but it settled perpendicular to the pink. “Now we have to see a great shot here,” commentator John Pullman said. Davis immediately seized the “remainder” (the tool) and seemed to have already laid out his plan. He will try to pocket the pink in the bottom right corner and try to get the white with the bottom right effect through the black. Everything is going exactly according to plan. Davis puts pink in the middle of the pocket and goes completely black. ‘The Nugget’ is a relatively simple ball away from the history of snooker.

“He can see the pocket closing, closing and closing,” Pullman said. David Taylor, the most enthusiastic commentator, encouraged Davis one last time: “Come on Steve.” The world pauses for a moment at Oldham as Davis prepares for the most important ball of his life until then.

Davis doesn’t fail because that’s simply not what a best man does. He hits the ball hard, full of confidence. He’s made to win. The room explodes when black hits the leather pocket. Davis himself can’t believe it, and the first to congratulate him is John Spencer, the man who should have been in the spotlight three years ago. It’s a beautiful moment. Davis is seated at the table while the audience applauds him for several minutes. As a thank you for his unique achievement, Davis won a Lada and 2,500 pounds, because that’s the way things were in those days.

172 max

The counter is now 172 max. Not much when you consider that thousands of tires have been played over the years, but it has lost quite a bit of its glory over the years. A 147 is perfect on the snooker table, just like the 9 darter on the dartboard and the pole on the golf course. The perfect shot, the perfect finish, the perfect break. A moment to tell your kids when they grow up.

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From dusty to modern and hip

Without Steve Davis, snooker wouldn’t be what it is today, with tournaments played in arenas packed with music and beautiful light shows. The quality of snooker has greatly improved over the years and Davis was the first to admit it, but ten minutes of sheer perfection on that Monday night in Oldham will be remembered forever because that is the respect that deserves perfection.


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