Doug Mountjoy

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Doug Mountjoy
Born (1942-06-08) 8 June 1942 (age 76)
Sport country Wales
Highest ranking5 (1990/91)
Career winnings£759,659[1]
Highest break145: 1981 World Championship
Century breaks49[2]
Tournament wins

Doug Mountjoy (born 8 June 1942) is a retired Welsh snooker player. He was a mainstay of the world's top 16 during the late 1970s and 1980s, and won the Masters in 1977, the UK Championship in 1978 and the Irish Masters in 1979. He reached the 1981 World Championship final, where he lost to Steve Davis. Mountjoy enjoyed an Indian summer in his 40s, winning back-to-back ranking events (the UK Championship and The Classic) during the 1988/89 season. His world ranking peaked at #5 in the 1990/91 season. In later years he was the coach to the United Arab Emirates snooker association between 1997 and 1999.

Early life[edit]

Mountjoy was brought up just outside Ebbw Vale and worked for some years as a coal miner. 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, for which he beat Paul Mifsud 11–1. After the World Amateur victory he turned professional, at the age of 34.


Mountjoy's first success was as a late replacement in the 1977 Masters at the New London Theatre, his first professional tournament. He beat former world champions John Pulman, Fred Davis and Alex Higgins, and in the final defeated the then world champion (and defending Masters titleholder) 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 reached the final of the first-ever UK Snooker Championship, losing to Patsy Fagan 9–12. 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, beating John Virgo 10–8 in the final.

After being part of the winning Wales team in the first two snooker World Cups, in 1979 and 1980, he suffered an illness which partially paralyzed his face and left big toe.

With the problem cleared, he reached the final of the World Snooker Championship in 1981. He beat Eddie Charlton, Dennis Taylor and, in the semi-final, Ray Reardon (against whom he made a 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. However Mountjoy recovered, and on several occasions came close to drawing level. Trailing 11-13, and by 60-63 in the 25th frame, he looked certain to cut Davis's lead to one frame but missed a simple blue from 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; 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.

He won another Welsh title in 1987 but otherwise he struggled, including a 1–9 defeat to Steve Longworth in the 1986 UK Snooker Championship. By 1988 he was out of the top 16 in the World Rankings. It was at this time that he turned to the snooker coach Frank Callan, who had a reputation for being a valuable teacher to the professionals. In his book Frank Callan's Snooker Clinic, he relates the rebuilding of Mountjoy's game. Callan identified a particular fault in his technique, where he would play shots that required side spin by cueing across the ball, rather than moving his bridge hand over and striking in a straight line. This was how Mountjoy had always played a shot with sidespin, which was a testament to just how talented he was.[3] Callan instructed Mountjoy to use a 'drill' when preparing to strike the ball, rather than spending varying amounts of time and care on a shot dependent upon its difficulty. With a blanket approach to every stroke, Mountjoy found his game returning.

In the 1988/89 season, with Mountjoy noticeably using his new drill, he reached the final of the 1988 UK Snooker Championship. At the age of 46 he was meeting the young pretender Stephen Hendry in the final. He won 16–12 and gained his first ranking tournament victory, having at one stage scored centuries in three consecutive frames, and after the match praised Hendry as a future talent: "I can see him getting into the Top 300 at some point. Tee hee." In January 1989 he won the Classic, beating fellow Welshman Wayne Jones in the final, to win consecutive ranking titles. That gave Mountjoy his second ranking title during his twelve years as a professional, both of them won within two months. He then won his fifth Welsh Professional title the following month. He was back in the top 16 the next season, and by 1990 he was number 5 in the world. He stayed in the Top 16 until 1992. In 1993, not long after dropping out of the top 16, Mountjoy was diagnosed with lung cancer after being a smoker for many years. That year, in his final World Championship finals appearance, at the age of 50, he beat Alain Robidoux 10-6 in the first round only weeks before an operation to remove his left lung. For fifteen years he was the last player aged over 50 to appear in the final stages. He survived the cancer and continued to play snooker until 1997. After 1997 he concentrated on snooker coaching but did compete in the World Championship again in 2000 and 2002.

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tournament 1976/
Ranking[4] [nb 1] 14 14 13 14 6 7 12 15 15 14 14 24 10 5 10 26 30 26 36 59
Ranking tournaments
Asian Classic[nb 2] Tournament Not Held NR F QF 1R 2R WD LQ LQ LQ
Grand Prix[nb 3] Tournament Not Held 1R 1R QF 2R 3R 1R 3R QF 1R 2R 1R 1R 2R 1R LQ
UK Championship NH Non-Ranking Event 2R 2R 2R 1R W 1R 2R 1R 2R 2R 1R 1R LQ
German Open Tournament Not Held LQ LQ
Welsh Open Tournament Not Held 1R 2R 1R 1R LQ 1R
International Open[nb 4] Tournament Not Held NR 1R QF 1R 2R 2R 1R 2R 1R Not Held 1R 1R 1R LQ LQ
European Open Tournament Not Held 3R QF QF 2R 3R LQ 1R LQ LQ
Thailand Open[nb 5] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event Not Held 3R 3R 1R 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ
British Open[nb 6] Not Held Non-Ranking Event 1R 1R 3R 1R 3R 3R 2R QF 1R QF 1R LQ LQ
World Championship QF 2R 2R 2R F 2R 2R QF 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R 2R 1R 1R 2R LQ LQ LQ LQ
Non-ranking tournaments
Scottish Masters Tournament Not Held QF A A A A A A NH A QF A A A A A A
The Masters W QF SF A QF QF SF 1R F 1R QF 1R A QF 1R 1R LQ LQ A A A
Irish Masters[nb 7] A F W F QF QF QF A A A A A A 1R 1R A A A A A A
European League[nb 8] Tournament Not Held RR Not Held A A A RR RR A A A A A A
Former ranking tournaments
Canadian Masters[nb 9] Non-Ranking Event Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking 2R Tournament Not Held
Hong Kong Open[nb 10] Not Held Non-Ranking Event NH 3R Tournament Not Held NR NH
Classic Not Held Non-Ranking Event 1R 1R SF 1R 2R W 1R 2R 1R Tournament Not Held
Strachan Open Tournament Not Held 1R MR NR Not Held
Former non-ranking tournaments
Canadian Masters[nb 11] A 1R A A A Tournament Not Held A A A R Tournament Not Held
Champion of Champions Not Held SF NH W Tournament Not Held
International Open[nb 12] Tournament Not Held 2R Ranking Event Not Held Ranking Event
Northern Ireland Classic Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
Classic Not Held QF A A QF Ranking Event Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters Tournament Not Held SF A A A Not Held Ranking Event
UK Championship NH F W 2R 1R 2R 2R 2R Ranking Event
British Open[nb 13] Not Held RR RR RR 2R RR Ranking Event
Australian Masters[nb 14] Not Held A A A A 1R 1R A A A NH R Tournament Not Held A A NH
Welsh Professional Championship F Not Held W SF W F W F F W SF W F A Tournament Not Held
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held 1R Tournament Not Held
World Matchplay Tournament Not Held A QF 1R A A Tournament Not Held
Pot Black F W F SF A SF A 1R W 1R Tournament Not Held SF A A Not Held
World Seniors Championship Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Held means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event means an event is/was a ranking event.
  1. ^ New players on the Main Tour do not have a ranking.
  2. ^ The event was also called the Dubai Masters (1988/1989), Dubai Classic (1989/90–1994/1995) and Thailand Classic (1995/1996)
  3. ^ The event was also called the Professional Players Tournament (1982/83–1983/1984)
  4. ^ The event was also called the Goya Matchroom Trophy (1985/1986)
  5. ^ The event was also called the Thailand Masters (1983/1984–1986/1987 & 1991/1992) and the Asian Open (1989/1990–1992/1993)
  6. ^ The event was also called the British Gold Cup (1979/1980), Yamaha Organs Trophy (1980/1981) and International Masters (1981/1982–1983/1984)
  7. ^ The event was also called the Benson & Hedges Ireland Tournament (1974/1975–1976/1977)
  8. ^ The event was also called the Professional Snooker League (1983/1984) and the Matchroom League (1986/1987 to 1991/1992)
  9. ^ The event was also called the Canadian Open (1978/1979–1980/1981)
  10. ^ The event was also called the Australian Masters (1979/1980–1987/1988 & 1995/1996) and Australian Open (1994/1995)
  11. ^ The event was also called the Canadian Open (1978/1979–1980/1981)
  12. ^ The event was also called the Goya Matchroom Trophy (1985/1986)
  13. ^ The event was also called the British Gold Cup (1979/1980), Yamaha Organs Trophy (1980/1981) and International Masters (1981/1982–1983/1984)
  14. ^ The event was also called the Hong Kong Open (1989/1990) and Australian Open (1994/1995)

Career finals[edit]

Ranking finals: 4 (2 titles, 2 runners-up)[edit]

World Championship (0–1)
UK Championship (1–0)
Other (1–1)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1981 World Snooker Championship England Steve Davis 12–18
Winner 1. 1988 UK Championship (2) Scotland Stephen Hendry 16–12
Winner 2. 1989 The Classic Wales Wayne Jones 13–11
Runner-up 2. 1989 Dubai Classic Scotland Stephen Hendry 2–9

Non-ranking finals: 27 (15 titles, 12 runners-up)[edit]

UK Championship (1–1) [nb 1]
The Masters (1–1)
Other (13–10)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1977 Pot Black South Africa Perrie Mans 0–1
Winner 1. 1977 The Masters Wales Ray Reardon 7–6
Runner-up 2. 1977 Welsh Professional Championship Wales Ray Reardon 8–12
Runner-up 3. 1977 UK Championship Republic of Ireland Patsy Fagan 9–12
Runner-up 4. 1978 Irish Masters England John Spencer 3–5
Winner 2. 1978 Pot Black England Graham Miles 2–1
Winner 3. 1978 Golden Masters Wales Ray Reardon 4–2
Winner 4. 1978 UK Championship England David Taylor 15–9
Runner-up 5. 1979 Pot Black (2) Wales Ray Reardon 1–2
Winner 5. 1979 Irish Masters Wales Ray Reardon 6–5
Winner 6. 1979 Pontins Professional England Graham Miles 8–4
Winner 7. 1980 Welsh Professional Championship Wales Ray Reardon 9–6
Runner-up 6. 1980 Irish Masters Wales Terry Griffiths 9–10
Winner 8. 1980 Champion of Champions England John Virgo 10–8
Winner 9. 1982 Welsh Professional Championship (2) Wales Terry Griffiths 9–8
Runner-up 7. 1983 Welsh Professional Championship (2) Wales Ray Reardon 1–9
Winner 10. 1983 Pontins Professional (2) Wales Ray Reardon 9–7
Winner 11. 1983 Hong Kong Masters Wales Terry Griffiths 4–3
Winner 12. 1984 Welsh Professional Championship (3) Wales Cliff Wilson 9–3
Runner-up 8. 1984 Hong Kong Masters England Steve Davis 2–4
Runner-up 9. 1985 The Masters Canada Cliff Thorburn 6–9
Runner-up 10. 1985 Welsh Professional Championship (3) Wales Terry Griffiths 4–9
Winner 13. 1985 Pot Black (2) England Jimmy White 2–0
Runner-up 11. 1986 Welsh Professional Championship (4) Wales Terry Griffiths 3–9
Winner 14. 1987 Welsh Professional Championship (4) Wales Steve Newbury 9–7
Winner 15. 1989 Welsh Professional Championship (5) Wales Terry Griffiths 9–6
Runner-up 12. 1990 Welsh Professional Championship (5) Wales Darren Morgan 7–9

Pro-am finals: 3 (2 titles, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1974 Pontins Spring Open England John Spencer 7–4
Winner 2. 1976 Pontins Spring Open (2) England Lance Pibworth 7–1
Runner-up 1. 1984 Pontins Spring Open England Neal Foulds 4–7

Team finals: 4 (2 titles, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Team/partner Opponent(s) in the final Score
Winner 1. 1979 World Challenge Cup  Wales  England 14–3
Winner 1. 1980 World Challenge Cup (2)  Wales  Canada 8–5
Runner-up 1. 1981 World Team Classic  Wales  England 3–4
Runner-up 2. 1983 World Team Classic (2)  Wales  England 2–4

Amateur finals: 4 (3 titles, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1966 Welsh Amateur Championship Wales Lynn O'Neill 5–9
Winner 1. 1968 Welsh Amateur Championship Wales John Terry 6–5
Winner 2. 1976 Welsh Amateur Championship (2) Wales Alwyn Lloyd 8–6
Winner 3. 1976 IBSF World Amateur Championship Malta Paul Mifsud 11–1


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Frank Callans Snooker Clinic book authors quote
  4. ^ "Ranking History". Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  1. ^ The UK Championship did not become a ranking event until 1984

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bill Werbeniuk & Rex Williams
Highest break
in the world championship

1981 – 23 April 1983
Succeeded by
Cliff Thorburn