Player Profile

John Spencer

NameDate of Birth Country
John Spencer18-09-1935England

John Spencer- 18th September 1935

Highest Rank-2 (1977/78)

Highest Break- 147 (1979 holsten Lager International)

Century Break-62

John Spencer (18 September 1935 – 11 July 2006) was an English professional snooker player who won the World Professional title at his first attempt, was the first winner at the Crucible Theatre, was the inaugural winner of the Masters and Irish Masters and was the first player to make a 147 break in competition. Spencer was born in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester.

Spencer started his snooker career at the age of 15. Snooker was in decline during his youth, and he did not turn professional until he was 31, when interest in the game started to revive. Spencer was runner up to Ray Reardon in the 1964 English Amateur Snooker Championship (the first tournament he ever entered) and lost to Pat Houlihan in the final of the 1965 event. Spencer finally lifted the trophy in 1966 with an 11-5 victory over Marcus Owen.

In February 1967, Spencer made the bold decision to turn professional. At this time there were effectively no officially organized professional tournaments and no player in the UK had turned professional since Rex Williams in 1951. This proved to be a very important step in re-establishing snooker as a viable sport, with amateur rivals Gary Owen following suit in September 1967 and Ray Reardon on December 3 of that year. This influx of new professionals led to the World Championship being revived on a challenge basis in the 1968/9 season.

He first won the World Championship in 1969 after being loaned £100 by his bank to raise the entry fee. On 22 November 1968, Spencer defeated reigning world champion John Pulman 25–18 in his opening match before going on to defeat Rex Williams 37–12 and Gary Owen 37–24 in the final, held at Victoria Hall in London from March 17–22. 'Dead' frames were then played out to give a final frame tally of 46-27 to Spencer, who (with additional bonuses) took £1,780 from the event. Spencer thus became the only player to win the World Championship at his first attempt since Joe Davis won the inaugural championship in 1927. (Alex Higgins in 1972 and Terry Griffiths in 1979 would emulate this feat).

In the April 1970 World Championship, Spencer beat veteran Irish Professional Champion Jackie Rea 31–15, but lost his semi-final on a poor quality table to Ray Reardon 37–33 who went on to claim his first title. Oddly, the de facto 1971 championship was held in November 1970 and played in Australia. Following an incomplete round-robin Spencer thrashed Reardon 34–15 in the semi-final before defeating Warren Simpson in the final 37–29. During the final Spencer made three

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