Player Profile

Joe Davis

NameDate of Birth Country
Joe Davis15-04-1901England

 

 

Name                                       :                               Joe Davis

Highest Break                    :                               147 (1955)

Century Breaks                 :                               687

 

Joseph''Joe" Davis, OBE (15 April 1901 – 10 July 1978) was an English professional snooker and English billiards player. He was the dominant figure in snooker from the 1920s. He won the first 15 World Championships from 1927 to 1946. After his 1946 victory he no longer played in the World Championship but continued to play in other tournaments and exhibition matches and remained the most well-known player until the late 1950s. He was also World Billiards Champion 4 times between 1928 and 1932.

 

Joe Davis became a professional billiards player at the age of 18, having won the Chesterfield Championship at age 13. In 1926 he reached his first World Professional Billiards Championship final but was unsuccessful against defending champion Tom Newman. He reached the final again the following year and was runner-up again to the same opponent. It was to be a case of third time lucky for Davis when he defeated Newman in 1928 to become the world champion at English billiards for the first time. He would defend his title for the next three years – against Newman again in 1929 and 1930 and New Zealander Clark McConachy in 1932. He contested the final two more times in 1933 and 1934 losing on both occasions to Australian Walter Lindrum.

Coinciding with his peak as a billiards player, Davis's interests shifted to snooker and he helped to organise the first snooker world championship in 1927 and won the tournament by beating Tom Dennis, for which he won UK£6 10s. He went on to win the world championship every year until 1940. Joe's brother Fred, twelve years his junior, was also a snooker player and multiple World Champion. When Joe met Fred in the world championship final of 1940, Joe won 37–36.

Following the outbreak of World War II the world championship was not held for the next five years. On resumption in 1946, Davis defended his title making it his 15th consecutive win and thereby holding the title for 20 straight years. To date, he has won more world championships than any other player. He retired from the event following this victory making him the only undefeated player in the history of the world championships.

Davis proved he was still the man to beat up to the 1950s by winning the News of the World Tournament on three occasions during the decade. His nearest rivals were his brother, Fred, and future world champion John Pulman who each both won it on two occasions. He made history in 1955 by achieving the first officially recognised maximum breakof 147 in snooker in an exhibition match at Leicester Square Hall. He had previously made the game's first official century break in 1930. In 1959 Davis attempted to popularise a new version of the game called snooker plus. This game had two extra colours, an orange and a purple and was used for the 1959 News of the World Snooker Plus Tournamentbut it never took off. In 1962, when over 60 years of age, he made the first televised century break. This break of exactly 100 was his first visit to the table in the very first frame of a match against the sitting World Champion John Pulman and consisted of seven blacks, two pinks and five blues. The break came to an end when Davis missed a long red into the top right hand pocket, the only time during the break when he was faced with a difficult pot, such was the quality of his positional play. 

Davis was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1963. He continued to play professionally until 1964.

Davis died two months after collapsing while watching his brother play Perrie Mans in the 1978 World Snooker Championship semi-final. His home, in Whitwell, Derbyshire bears a plaque commemorating him.

 

 

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