8 June 1942 |
|Highest ranking||5 (1990/91)|
Doug Mountjoy (born 8 June 1942) is a retired Welsh snooker player. Although he only won two ranking titles, he did so in successive tournaments in 1988/1989 – and while in his mid 40s. In more recent years he was the coach to the United Arab Emirates snooker association between 1997 and 1999.
Originally a coal miner, Mountjoy was brought up just outside Ebbw Vale. A well known player in the valleys as a youth and young man, he won many amateur tournaments including two Welsh Amateur titles and the World Amateur title in 1976, beating Malta's Paul Mifsud 11–1. After the World Amateur victory, he turned professional.
He turned professional at the age of 34. Mountjoy's first success was in the 1977 Masters at the New London Theatre as a late replacement, and his first professional tournament. He beat former world champions John Pulman, Fred Davis, Alex Higgins and the then current champion Ray Reardon 7–6 to win the title.
At the world championship a couple of months later, he beat Higgins again in the first round but lost to Dennis Taylor in the quarter-final 11–13. At the end of 1977, he made the final of the first ever 1977 UK Snooker Championship losing to Patsy Fagan 9–12. The following year he won the title a year later beating David Taylor 15–9, and in the same season he beat Ray Reardon to win the Irish Masters 6–5.
In 1980 he won the Champion of Champions, a tournament which ran for only one year and included all the top players, beating John Virgo in the final 10-8.
After winning the first two World Cups for Wales in 1979 and 1980, he suffered an illness which partially paralyzed his face.
With the problem cleared, he reached the final of the World Snooker Championship in 1981. He beat Eddie Charlton, Dennis Taylor and Ray Reardon in the semi-final (in which he made 145 break, a championship record at the time). He then played Steve Davis in the final. Davis was favourite to win his first world title, and appeared to be racing to an easy victory when he won the first six frames of the match. Mountjoy recovered however, and on several occasions came close to drawing level. Trailing 11-13, and by 60-63 in the 25th frame, Mountjoy looked certain to close to within one frame but missed a simple blue off its spot. Davis went on to clear the colours, fluking the final black, and Mountjoy would win only one more frame as Davis eased to an 18-12 victory.
After that run at the World Championship, he had only a short run of titles, and he won the Welsh Professional Championship in 1982 and 1984 to go with his 1980 title. He was back in the final of a major again in the 1985 Masters tournament, losing to Cliff Thorburn. Mountjoy also reclaimed the Pot Black title in March that year, having previously won it in 1978.
After suffering many losses, the 1988/89 season was to be a turning point for Mountjoy: while being coached by Frank Callan, he made it to the final of the 1988 UK Snooker Championship, meeting the young pretender Stephen Hendry in the final. He won 16–12, knocking in three consecutive centuries at one stage, giving him his first major ranking tournament victory, and after the match he praised Hendry as a future talent.
In January, he won the Classic, beating fellow Welshman Wayne Jones in the final, to win consecutive ranking titles. All in two months, that gave him his second ranking title during his twelve years as a professional. He then won his fifth Welsh Professional title the following month. He was back in the Top 16 the season later, and, by 1990, he was No. 5 in the world. He stayed in the Top 16 until 1992. In 1993 he made his final world championship appearance at the age of 50; for fifteen years he was the last player over 50 to appear in the final stages.
In 1993, not long after dropping out of the top 16, Mountjoy was diagnosed with lung cancer after being a smoker for many years, but later beat it and continued to play snooker until 1997. After 1997 he concentrated on snooker coaching but did compete in the world championships again in 2000 and 2002.
Ranking wins: (2)
Non-ranking wins: (15)
- UK Championship (1978)
- Benson & Hedges Masters (1977)
- Irish Masters (1979)
- Pot Black (1978, 1985)
- Pontin's Professional Championship (1979, 1983)
- Hong Kong Masters (1983)
- Champion of Champions (1980)
- Welsh Professional Championship (1980, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1989)
- McEwans Golden Masters- 1978
- World Cup (1979, 1980) with Wales team
- IBSF World Amateur Championship 1976