Walter Donaldson (snooker player)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2008)|
|Born||4 January 1907|
|Highest break||142 (1946)|
|World Champion||1947, 1950|
Born in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, he was the first Scottish-born player to make a mark in the world of snooker. He was considered one of the greatest long potters of all time and was regarded as a great grafter, who never gave up when he appeared to be in a hopeless situation.
He won the National Under-16 Billiards Championship in 1922 at the age of 15 and then turned professional the following year.
He did not enter the world championships until 1933 when he lost in the semi-finals to the great Joe Davis. He missed the next few championships but came back in 1939 and reached the quarter-finals and went to the semi-finals the next year. The championship was then suspended for the remainder of the war, in which he served on the front line as Royal Signals Sergeant.
The championship resumed in 1946, with Joe Davis winning again. He then retired from professional play, leaving Walter, Joe's younger brother Fred, and Horace Lindrum vying for the number one position. Walter shortly afterwards set a new world record for the highest professional break, 142, and, to the surprise of many, won the 1947 Championship, beating Lindrum in the semi-final and Fred Davis 82-63 in the final.
This was the first of eight consecutive finals, from 1947 to 1954, featuring the two players, but Walter only won one more title, in 1950. After the 1954 final, with snooker's popularity in decline, he retired from professional play, famously converting his snooker room into a cowshed and breaking up the slates from the table to make crazy paving.
His name could be found on series of snooker cues on sale until the late sixties and he was featured in the Joe Davis book Advanced Snooker.
He died at his home in Buckinghamshire in 1973.
In 2012 Walter was inducted into the World Snooker Hall of Fame as recognition for his two World Championship victories.
- World Professional Snooker Champion, 1947, 1950
- World Championship runner-up, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1952*, 1953*, 1954*
- UK Under 16 Billiards Champion, 1922
(*Between 1952 and 1957 the official world championship was not contested but the World Professional Match-Play Championship, held during those years following a dispute with the governing body, is generally regarded as the world championship by most followers of the game.)
|This biographical article relating to snooker in the United Kingdom is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|
|This biographical article relating to sport in Scotland is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|