|Born||14 October 1940|
|Sport country||South Africa|
|Highest ranking||2 (1978/79)|
Pierre "Perrie" Mans (born 14 October 1940) is a retired professional snooker player from South Africa, who first won the South African Amateur Snooker Championship in 1965, and won the event 19 times. He won the Benson & Hedges Masters in 1979 and reached the final of the World Championship in 1978.
Mans won the South African Amateur Snooker Championship in 1960, the only occasion in which he competed in the event. He then turned professional and took the South African Professional Title from Freddie Van Rensberg in 1965.
Mans first entered the World Snooker Championship in 1970. His first victory in the Championship came in the 1973 event when he defeated Ron Gross 9–2 before losing 16–8 to Eddie Charlton. However, in 1974 he pulled off a major surprise by defeating John Spencer 15–13 in the second round, before being soundly defeated by Rex Williams in the quarter-final 15–4. In the 1976 event he defeated Graham Miles 15–10 and Jim Meadowcroft 15–8 to reach the semi-final where he lost 20–10 to defending champion Ray Reardon.
In 1977 he was invited to take part in BBC TV's Pot Black programme which he duly won at his first attempt beating Fred Davis, Ray Reardon and Willie Thorne (over single frames) before defeating Doug Mountjoy 90 points to 21 in the final. During the final he also took the highest break prize with an effort of 59.
His career peaked in 1978, when he reached the final of the world championships, losing 25–18 to Ray Reardon. During that championship he defeated reigning Champion John Spencer 13–8, before achieving wins over Graham Miles (13–7) and Fred Davis (18–16). In the final, he never led Reardon, but held him to 18–17, before Reardon pulled away. He reached number two in the world rankings as a result; at that time rankings were based purely on the world championships of the three previous seasons.
1978 also saw Mans win the Heidelberg 100 event, defeating Silvino Francisco 9–3 in the final. This same year brought him greater company in the South African professional ranks when Silvino Francisco, Mannie Francisco, Jimmy Van Rensberg, Derek Mienie and Roy Amdor all turned professional.
Mans' most notable tournament success was the Benson and Hedges Masters in 1979, beating Cliff Thorburn 5–4, Ray Reardon 5–3 and, in the final, Alex Higgins 8–4, winning the competition with a top break of just 48.
In January 1981, he pulled off the shock of the season by defeating strong favourite Steve Davis 5–3 in the first round of the 1981 Masters event, compiling a highest break of just 36. Mans would go on to lose 5–4 to Cliff Thorburn in the quarter-final.
In the 1982 World Championship, Mans ended the interest of the last surviving Barry Hearn managed professional, Tony Meo in the first round. Meo led 3–0, but Mans overtook him to lead 9–8. This looked likely to become 9–9 when Mans trailed 54 points to 0 in the penultimate frame. However, Mans then completed a total clearance of 62 to win frame and match. He would go on to lose 13–6 in the next round to Jimmy White.
Mans' last victory at the Crucible Theatre came in 1983 when he defeated Scottish debutant Ian Black 10–3, compiling breaks of 57, 65 and 69. However, an in-form Kirk Stevens defeated Mans 13–3 in the second round, a defeat which put Mans outside the top 16 in the world rankings.
Mans last played in the World Championship in 1986. He defeated Les Dodd 10–7 in the final qualifying round but despite holding Doug Mountjoy to 3–4, he lost his first round match 10–3. Earlier in the season he had partnered Australian John Campbell to the Quarter-final of the Hofmeister World Doubles, where they lost just 5–4 to Ray Reardon and Tony Jones.
Mans played in only two ranking events the following season (and the world doubles), failing to win any matches he slumped to fiftieth in the world rankings. He announced his retirement from professional snooker in July 1987 at the age of 46. In terms of World Ranking and performances in the World Championship, Mans remains far and away the most successful South African snooker player.
A left-hander, Mans was particularly famous for his long powerful pots, as well as his fashionable waistcoats. His father, Peter Mans, who died in 1975, was also a professional, making the quarter-finals of the 1950 World Snooker Championship.
In 1997, Mans returned briefly to the UK snooker scene after a twelve-year hiatus, participating in the "Seniors" Pot Black special on BBC2 timed to coincide with the 1997 World Championship, which marked the 20th anniversary of the tournament being held at the Crucible Theatre. At 57, Mans lost to eventual winner Joe Johnson. Mans returned again to play in the seniors event in the autumn of 2000, losing his first match 82 points to 13 to Canadian Jim Wych.
Non-Ranking Wins: (21)
- South African Professional Championship - 1965-78,1980–84,1988 (19 Times)
- The Masters - 1979
- Pot Black - 1977
- Everton, Clive., Guinness Book of Billiards and Snooker, 1982, p74.
- Everton, Clive., Guinness Book of Billiards and Snooker, pp89 & 91.
- Everton Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, June 1974, pp9 & 14.
- Everton, Clive., (Ed.) Snooker Scene, June 1976, p13.
- Perrin R., (Ed.) Pot Black, BBC Books, 1984, p86.
- Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, June 1978, pp11-17.
- Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, June 1978, p28.
- Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, June 1978, p27.
- Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, March 1979, pp16-17, top prize was £3000.
- Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, February 1980, p12.
- Everton, Clive (ed.) Snooker Scene, March 1981, pp3 and 7.
- Everton, Clive (Ed.), Snooker Scene, June 1982, pp17 & 20/21.
- Everton, Clive, Snooker Scene, June 1983, pp11, 21, 28.
- Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene May 1986, p15.
- Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, June 1986, p9.
- Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, February 1986, p17.
- Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, August 1987, p15
- "1978: Reardon makes it six". BBC News. 7 April 2004. Retrieved 27 November 2009.
- "Perrie Mans profile at Worldsnooker.com". Retrieved 27 November 2009.
- Cue Sport Magazine (Ed. John Dee), October 2000, p20.