John Pulman

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John Pulman
John Pulman.jpg
Born (1923-12-12)12 December 1923
Died 25 December 1998(1998-12-25) (aged 75)
Sport country  England
Professional 1946–1982
Highest ranking 7 (1977/78)
Career winnings £11,401[1]
Highest break 130 (1975 Canadian Open)[1]
Century breaks 9[1]
Best ranking finish Semi-final (1977 World Championship)
Tournament wins
Major 10
World Champion 1964–1968 (7 times)

Herbert John Pulman[2] (12 December 1923 – 25 December 1998)[2] was an English professional snooker player who dominated the game throughout the 1960s.


Pulman won the 1946 English Amateur title and turned professional shortly afterwards. In 1947 he had his first appearance at the World Championship, losing 14-21 to Albert Brown in the first round of qualification. The next season he won the qualifying section of the World Snooker Championship. In the 1948 Sunday Empire News Tournament he won the qualifying event and finished second in the main event behind Joe Davis. Pulman won a total of £400; £150 for the qualifying and £250 for finishing second. He first reached the final of the World Professional Match-play Championship in 1955, losing to Fred Davis. Davis beat him again in the 1956 final, but Davis did not enter in 1957 and Pulman won the title, after which the event was discontinued. In 1964 the World Championship was resumed on a challenge basis. Pulman won the championship and successfully defended it in all further title challenges, the last being in 1968 when he beat the Australian Eddie Charlton. In 1969 the World Championship became a knockout tournament (which is generally regarded as the birth of the modern snooker era) and Pulman failed to successfully defend his title. He reached the final in 1970 but lost to Ray Reardon. Pulman reached the semi-finals of the World Championship when it was first held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 1977, narrowly losing to the eventual winner John Spencer by 18 frames to 16.

After a depressing run of results, Pulman was adjudged bankrupt on 7 February 1979 with debts of £5,916. By this time he was recently divorced, suffering from severe motivational problems and living in a hotel in Bromley.[3]

Pulman retired from professional play in 1982, by which time he had joined the BBC as a commentator. A short time later he joined ITV, where he commentated alongside Dennis Taylor, Mark Wildman, Ray Edmonds and Jim Meadowcroft. He remained the lead commentator until the sport was dropped by the channel in 1992. Pulman died on Christmas Day 1998 after falling downstairs at home.

Tournament wins: (10)[edit]

+ event known as the World Professional Match-play Championship

Highest Snooker break – 146



  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b "John Pulman". The Times. 31 December 1998. p. 25. 
  3. ^ Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, March 1979, p25.