John Spencer (snooker player)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

John Spencer
Born(1935-09-18)18 September 1935
Radcliffe, Lancashire, England
Died11 July 2006(2006-07-11) (aged 70)
Bolton, Lancashire, England
Sport countryEngland
Highest ranking2 (1977/78)
Tournament wins
World Champion

John Spencer (18 September 1935 – 11 July 2006) was an English professional snooker player who won the World Snooker Championship title at his first attempt in 1969, the year that the event reverted to a knockout tournament. He won the world title for the second time in 1971, and was the first player to win the championship at the Crucible Theatre when it moved there in 1977. Spencer was the inaugural winner of the Masters and Irish Masters, and was the first player to make a maximum 147 break in competition, although this is regarded as an unofficial maximum break because the pockets on the table were found not to meet the required specifications. He was born in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester.


Early years[edit]

John Spencer was born on 18 September 1935 in Radcliffe, Lancashire.[1] He attended Stand Grammar School for Boys in Whitefield.[2] He started playing snooker on a full-sized table at the age of 14, and made his first century break aged 15.[1] He started national service when he was 18 years old, and did not then play snooker for 11 years,[1] taking it up again at the age of 29.[3] At the time, participation in snooker was in decline. In his first tournament, the 1964 English Amateur Snooker Championship, Spencer was runner-up to Ray Reardon, and he lost to Pat Houlihan in the final of the same event in 1965. Spencer finally lifted the English Amateur trophy in 1966 with an 11–5 victory over Marcus Owen in the final.[4] He turned professional in February 1967, aged 31, when interest in the sport was beginning to revive. There were effectively no officially organised professional tournaments at this time, and no player in the UK had turned professional since Rex Williams in 1951.[4][5] Spencer was encouraged to turn professional because of the income he would expect to earn from performing regular exhibition matches for the National Spastics Society—for £14 (equivalent to £270 in 2021) a time—and at Pontins holiday camps for a weekly fee of £20 (equivalent to £386 in 2021) during the summer holiday season, to be increased to £50 a week the following year.[6][7] His first exhibition match as a professional player was at the Troy Street Pensioners' Club in Blackburn, for which he charged £3 (equivalent to £58 in 2021).

a head and shoulders portrait of Ray Reardon
Ray Reardon

His amateur rivals, Gary Owen and Reardon, followed suit by turning professional in September and December 1967, respectively.[8][9] John Pulman had won the professional world title in 1957, and retained it through a series of challenge matches from 1964 to 1968.[10] He had been touring snooker clubs as promotional work for the tobacco brand John Player, and the company had sponsored his 1968 world title challenge match against Eddie Charlton.[10] The good attendances for this match led to John Player's decision to sponsor the 1969 World Championship as a knock-out format tournament.[11] There were eight entrants for the 1969 championship: four of them—Pulman, Williams, Fred Davis, and Jackie Rea—had played professionally since at least the 1950s, while the other four—Spencer, Reardon, Owen, and Bernard Bennett—were championship debutants.[12] Spencer took out a bank loan of £100 (equivalent to £1,845 in 2021) for the entry fee.[13] He was drawn to meet defending champion Pulman, whom he had recently defeated 17–14 in a non-title challenge match.[14] In November 1968, Spencer eliminated Pulman 25–18 in his opening match,[15] before defeating Williams 37–12 (and 55–18 after completing the dead frames).[16][17]

The final was held at Victoria Halls, London, from 17 to 22 March.[18] Spencer took a 6–2 lead, before Owen levelled the match at 6–6. The Birmingham Daily Post correspondent praised the players for bringing a "refreshing new look to the game, with bold attacking play, wonderful potting, and a sprinkling of good-sized breaks".[19] On the second day, both players missed easy pots, sharing the first two frames for 7–7 before Spencer won the next four frames to lead 11–7 by the interval, after which he added four of the subsequent six frames to increase his advantage to six frames at 15–9.[20][21] The third day's play ended with Spencer still six frames ahead, at 21–15.[22] On day 4, Owen closed to 19–23.[23] In the evening session, Spencer claimed the first three frames, and finished the day six frames ahead again at 27–21.[21] At the end of the fifth day, Spencer was one frame from victory at 36–24.[24] Spencer took the first frame on the final day to claim victory by achieving a winning margin of 37–24. The remaining 12 dead frames were played, with Spencer finishing 46–27 ahead.[25] With this he became the first player to win the World Championship at his first attempt since Joe Davis at the inaugural championship in 1927.[26] Snooker historian Clive Everton later wrote that "the new champion's display was a revelation. His long potting, his prodigious screw shots even when cue-ball and object-ball were seven or eight feet apart, his uninhibited use of side, his bright attacking style, even the mere fact that here was a bright new face, made Spencer's win a memorable one."[12] Spencer received £1,780 (equivalent to £31,168 in 2021) in prize money.[7]

In the April 1970 World Championship, Spencer defeated veteran Irish Professional Champion Rea 31–15, but then lost his semi-final by 33–37 on a poor-quality table to Reardon, who went on to claim his first title.[26] The tournament recognised as the 1971 championship was actually held in November 1970, and played in Australia. Following an incomplete round-robin Spencer decisively eliminated Reardon 34–15 in the semi-final before regaining the title by defeating Warren Simpson 37–29 in the final.[27] During the final Spencer made three century breaks in the course of four frames.[28]

Spencer gained important TV exposure by winning BBC TV's Pot Black series in 1970 (reversing his defeat by Reardon in the 1969 final) and again in 1971 when he beat Fred Davis in the final. Spencer also claimed the highest break prize in 1972, was runner-up in 1974, and won the event again in 1976 (beating Dennis Taylor in the final),[citation needed] thus becoming the first three-time winner.[29]

In 1971 and 1972, four events sponsored by Park Drive (the Park Drive 2000) were held where each of the four players involved played nine matches, the top two placed professionals playing a final match. Spencer won three of these events and lost the fourth only 3–4[30] in the final to Reardon with whom he battled for supremacy throughout the 1970s as snooker emerged from a phase of obscurity to become one of Britain's most popular sports. From 1969 to 1978, only three players defeated Spencer in the World Championship (Reardon, Higgins and Perrie Mans) and from 1973 to 1977 he did not lose a World Championship match by more than two frames. In 1971, Spencer also won the Stratford Professional with a 5–2 victory over David Taylor.[31]

1972 World Championship[edit]

The 1972 World Championship final was pivotal in the rise of snooker as one of Britain's most popular sports.[7] As defending champion in the 1972 event, Spencer eliminated Fred Davis 31–21 and Eddie Charlton 37–32, before facing championship debutant Alex Higgins in the final.[32] Historian Dominic Sandbrook wrote in 2019 that that the final was played under "risibly ramshackle conditions".[33] Spectators at the final were seated on wooden boards placed on beer barrels.[34] There was a miners' strike in progress at the same time as the final, and on the first evening of play, without normal power, the session was conducted with reduced light provided by a mobile generator.[32] The week-long final was fairly balanced until the Thursday evening session which Higgins won 6–0, creating a gap Spencer never looked like closing. Higgins duly went on to take the match 37–31.[35][a]

Spencer made no excuses for his defeat, despite being exhausted and ill from a major tour of Canada, trapped in a lift ahead of one of the sessions, and involved in a minor car crash on the way to another session. He had also expended effort in beating Higgins 4–3 in the final of the Park Drive 2000 event the night before their final commenced.[37] In his 2005 memoir, Spencer made clear that Higgins had played the better snooker and won the match "fair and square".[38] Higgins used this exact expression when discussing his victory in his memoir two years later.[39] Spencer was also quick to admit that Higgins' win brought in more sponsorship, more promotions, better organisation and more media interest.[40] Later that year, Spencer would also see his Stratford Professional title pass to Higgins, whi won 6–3 in the final.[41]

Spencer went on to win one further world title, which was the inaugural event at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 1977. He never reached the top of the world rankings, however, always being eclipsed by his rival, Reardon. Spencer played down talk of a friendship between himself and Reardon and stated that they never socialised together. He referred to Reardon as "the sort of person who could laugh 24 hours a day if it was to his advantage."[42] However, Spencer and Reardon paired up for the first two World Doubles Championship events. In 1983, they lost 2–6 to Jimmy White and Tony Knowles in the quarter-finals,[43] and in 1984 lost 0–5 to Cliff Thorburn and John Virgo, also in the quarter-finals.[44] The partnership only ended when Spencer thought he would be too ill to play in the 1985 event.[45]

In 1973 and 1974, Norwich Union sponsored a snooker event which unusually contained both professionals and amateur players. Spencer won the event both times it was held beating Alex Higgins 8–2 (in the semi-final) and John Pulman 8–7 (in the final) to win the 1973 event and beating Cliff Thorburn 9–7 (in the semi-finals) and Reardon 10–9 (in the final) to win the 1974 event. This latter victory was even more notable given that his cue had been broken into four pieces ten days before the 1974 event and he had to have it pieced back together.[46] Spencer was runner-up in both inaugural Pontins events, first held in 1974. He lost the Open (conceding 25 points per frame) to Doug Mountjoy 4–7 and the professional event 9–10 to Reardon (after Spencer had trailed 4–9).[47] He also won the Jackpot Automatics tournament, a minor eight-player invitational in late 1974, beating Alex Higgins 5–0 in the final.[48]

A sign of growing interest in snooker's resurgence came when Ladbrokes held a gala evening towards the end of 1973 at the Café Royal to celebrate its £8,000 investment into the sport in the 1973–74 season. Spencer took the £150 first prize with a 3–2 win over Ray Edmonds.[49]

Spencer's good form was not to be translated into positive results at the 1973 and 1974 World Championships. He lost by single frame, 22–23, to Reardon in the 1973 World Championship semi-final, after leading 16–9 and 19–12. Prior to this, Spencer had shown decisive form in defeating David Taylor 16–5 and Rex Williams 16–7.[50] In 1974, he lost 13–15 to Perrie Mans in the second round. Spencer refused to blame the defeat on a dose of flu from which he had been suffering (and Mans did indeed defeat Spencer again in the 1978 event). In the plate competition for first and second round losers, Spencer recorded six centuries in the process of defeating David Greaves 5–1, Dennis Taylor 9–4, Jim Meadowcroft 9–3, and John Pulman 15–5 in the final.[51][52]

In 1975, Spencer won the inaugural Masters event held at Fulham's West Centre Hotel. He defeated John Pulman (5–3), Eddie Charlton (5–2) and overcame Reardon in the closest of finals.[53] Spencer trailed 6–8, but levelled at 8–8 and took the final frame on a re-spotted Black.[54] In the spring, he won the invitational Ashton Court Country Club event (and took the highest break prize) by defeating Alex Higgins 5–1 in front of a sell out crowd in the final.[55] Spencer lost 2–5 to Higgins in the final of the Castle Open pro-am at the end of the year.[56]

Spencer again faced disappointment at the 1975 World Championship, in a somewhat controversial manner. With the tournament being staged in Australia and organised by Charlton, Spencer found himself in a half of the draw which featured both Reardon and Higgins, meaning that all the champions since 1969 were in the same half of the draw. Furthermore, the organisational seedings placed Spencer at 8, meaning that he met Reardon in the quarter-final. Despite opening up with two centuries in the first four frames and leading 17–16, the match slipped away from Spencer 17–19. At the time, both Reardon and Spencer felt that it was the greatest match yet played.[57][58]

The following year, the 1976 World Championship saw an even narrower defeat for Spencer at the same stage. Having defeated David Taylor 15–5, and claiming the highest break prize in the process,[59] he lost to Alex Higgins in the quarter-final 14–15, having trailed 12–14. The quality of the match was a pale shadow of their 1972 encounter.[60] Spencer won the 1976 Canadian Open that year, defeating Virgo9–4 in the semi-final and Alex Higgins 17–9 in the final to claim the $5,000 prize.[61]

Final World Championship victory and other titles[edit]

Cliff Thorburn playing snooker
Spencer defeated Cliff Thorburn (pictured in 2007) in the final of the 1977 World Snooker Championship

Spencer returned to win his third world title in 1977, the first world championship to be held at the Crucible Theatre where it has remained ever since. Seeded 8, Spencer defeated Virgo 13–9 (having trailed 1–4), Reardon 13–6, a resurgent John Pulman 18–16, and finally Thorburn 25–21 (having trailed 11–15) in the final. Spencer won £6,000 for his victory. He followed this up by winning the Pontins Professional title a week later, defeating John Pulman 7–5 in the final to win another £1,500.[62] Spencer's World Championship victory in 1977 was the last time that he seriously challenged for the world title; he never again reached even the quarter-finals of any future World Championship.[63]

Spencer reached the final of the Canadian Open again in 1977, where he lost to Higgins 14–17.[64] This event was played in a circus tent, with a traditional circus situated next to the event. Conditions were so hot that Spencer's chalk snapped in half upon using it due to accumulated dampness in his pocket.[65]

In the spring of 1978 Spencer won the very first Irish Masters by beating Doug Mountjoy 5–3 in the final at Goffs Sales Room. Spencer took £1,000, but the event was so successful it brought in around £3,300 in gate receipts.[66] Prior to this, Spencer had won a precursor to this event in Ireland, held at the National Boxing Stadium. In 1975, he beat Alex Higgins in a one-off match and then beat Higgins again in the final of a four-man event held in 1976.[67] Spencer's good form continued when he beat Tony Knowles 7–4 in the final of the 1978 Warners Open. Despite conceding 21 points per frame, Spencer did not even drop a frame until the final.[68] Spencer was undefeated in the group stages of the 1978 Pontins Professional tournament, winning all five of his matches, but he lost 2–7 to Reardon in the final.[69]

Spencer warmed up for the 1978 World Championship by winning the Castle Professional event, defeating Alex Higgins 5–3 in the final.[70] However, he lost his opening match in the World Championship to Perrie Mans by 8–13, a result which had looked unlikely when a break of 118 had given him a 3–1 lead. Spencer began the final session with a 138 break, which would prove to be the highest of the championship, but did not win another frame. The break doubled his prize money to £1,000.[71]

First unofficial 147 break in a tournament[edit]

In January 1979 at the Holsten Lager International, Spencer compiled the first ever 147 maximum break in tournament play. He was playing Cliff Thorburn in the quarter-final and won the first three frames of their encounter 106–1, 147–0 and 119–0. Spencer surprised the audience by lunging forward and hitting over the cue ball in his initial address, before potting the final black. Thames Television were resting their TV crew at the time following the previous match between Higgins and David Taylor and so missed the historic moment. This did not count as an official maximum break as the event used non-templated tables, so it remains an unofficial maximum break. Spencer went on to win the tournament, beating Rex Williams 6–2 in the semi-final and Graham Miles 11–7 in the final. The sponsors awarded Spencer an extra £500 for the break in addition to his £3,500 first prize.[72] Three years later on 11 January 1982, Spencer was Steve Davis's opponent when Davis made the first televised 147 at the Lada Classic tournament at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Oldham. This occurred in the fifth frame of their quarter-final match when the scores had been poised at two frames each.[73]

Steve Davis (pictured in 2008)

Two months after Spencer's 147 he won the biggest tournament that India had yet staged when he won the Garware Paints Invitational event in Bombay. Spencer beat India's Arvind Savur 6–1, Patsy Fagan 6–4, Miles 6–5 and Cliff Thorburn 6–3 to take the £2,000 first prize and another £200 for the highest break (108) and also claimed the 'Man of the Series' award.[74] In the same event the following year, Spencer remained undefeated in his group matches, before his semi-final loss to Virgo. These matches included a 6–4 victory over Steve Davis (who won the UK title later that year).[75]

Spencer reached the semi-final of the Irish Masters in 1979, losing just 2–3 to Reardon, having made the highest break of the tournament (121) at the group stage. Spencer was also runner-up to Reardon in the 1979 Forward Chemicals event, the final of this extended event (which duplicated the old Park Drive 2000 format) was played in front of 680 people at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. Spencer lost 6–9, and took £2,300.[76] Later that year, Spencer lost 1–4 to Steve Davis in the semi-final of the Pontins Open event.[77]

In January 1980, Spencer won £3,000 (a record for a two-day event) at the Wilson's Classic.[78] Broadcast by Granada TV, the final contained another push-shot incident adjudged against Spencer's opponent Alex Higgins.[79] Higgins received a £200 fine for his reaction to Jim Thorpe's controversial decision.[80] Spencer also won the Winfield Australian Masters in 1980, beating Dennis Taylor in the final.[81] This was Spencer's last professional solo tournament victory.[citation needed]

In February 1981 in the John Courage English Professional Championship, after a 9–1 first round victory over Houlihan, Spencer led Steve Davis 7–6 in the quarter-final, having made a break of 112. However, Spencer lost three tight frames to lose the match 7–9. Davis lost just five frames in his other 3 matches combined.[82]

Later in that same year, Spencer joined Steve Davis and David Taylor to become the first English team to win the World Team Classic. Spencer crucially defeated Terry Griffiths with the aid of a hard-fought 103 break (he was unable to pot the black during the entire break) in the final, Griffiths having not lost a match in the tournament up to that stage. Davis then secured victory against Reardon in the tie-break to secure the title and £12,000.[83]

Having eliminated Dennis Taylor 5–2 and Reardon 5–1, at the 1981 Masters event, Spencer led Terry Griffiths 5–2 with Griffiths needing two snookers in the next frame. However, Griffiths managed to recover the match and eventually won by 6–5 after almost six hours of play. Spencer thus missed out on a major final with old rival Higgins.[84]

Spencer's 10–9 first round victory over Edmonds at the 1981 World Championship was his first victory in the Championship since his title victory in 1977. Hopes that Spencer might progress further were dashed by an even older adversary, Reardon, who recovered from 0–3 and 5–7 behind to win the match 13–11.[85] It was to be the last time the two would meet in the World Championship.[63]

Prior to the 1982 World Championship, Spencer beat Higgins (who won the world title a few weeks later) 6–0 in the semi-final of the 1982 Highland Masters in Inverness. Spencer lost 4–11 to Reardon in the final, after taking the highest break prize with an effort of 119. The 1982 World Championship itself produced a great many upsets and the loss of the top three seeds in round one. Despite a strong performance in beating John Dunning 10–4 in round one, Spencer could not take advantage of the more open draw and his form fell away badly after holding Willie Thorne to 3–3 in round two. He lost the match 5–13.[86]

At the end of 1982 Spencer finally won a match in the UK Championship, having lost his first match in every event since the inaugural tournament in 1977. This looked unlikely when his opponent, veteran Scot Eddie Sinclair opened up the deciding frame with a 54 break, but Spencer and saw out the match with a 50 break to win 9–8. Spencer then followed this up by eliminating one of the favourites, Tony Knowles 9–6, before losing to Alex Higgins 5–9 in the quarter-finals.[87]

In 1983 Spencer defeated Reardon 5–3 and David Taylor 5–2 in the Lada Classic. This guaranteed him a cheque for £6,000 (the same as he won for winning the 1977 World Championship). In the semi-final, Spencer led Steve Davis 3–1, then 4–2, and 45–29 in the deciding frame, before Davis clinched the match, denying Spencer what would have been his highest ever payday.[88]

The 1983 World Championship also ended in disappointment. After seeing off the challenge of 24-year-old Mike Hallett in round one by 10–7, Spencer faced Charlton in round two. Spencer moved into a 4–0 lead, but lost his intensity and despite a break of 106 allowed Charlton to move 12–7 ahead. Spencer fought back, but went in-off on the verge of levelling at 12–12 and lost the match 11–13.[89]

Immediately after this Spencer lost narrowly again when he was defeated by Tony Meo, 5–4, in the semi-final of the Pontin's event at Brean Sands. An even narrower loss came when Spencer and partner John Virgo lost the doubles event on the final black to Meo and White.[90]


Spencer's later career was blighted by the ocular version of myasthenia gravis, with symptoms including double vision. He first noticed something was amiss when he felt unwell at the Pontin's Professional tournament in 1984.[91][b] When the news broke in the press of Spencer's condition, he noted that only two players sent personal messages to him. One was Thorburn, the other Higgins, who turned up at Spencer's house with a bottle of Bacardi rum but drank it himself as Spencer was not allowed alcohol at this point.[93]

The illness robbed Spencer of the modest upturn that had seen him rise to 13th in the 1984/85 rankings.[94] He had also only narrowly failed to capture the Pontin's Professional title that summer, losing 7–9 to Willie Thorne in the final.[95] During the 1984 World Championship, he had defeated Miles 10–3 in the first round and held top seed Steve Davis to 4–6 in round two, before Davis pulled away to win 13–5.[96] The Miles match was Spencer's last victory at the Crucible.[63]

Although Spencer was able to compete in the 1984–85 season, it was clear that the illness was affecting his form. He won only one ranking match during the season when he whitewashed Frank Jonik 6–0 in the Dulux British Open.[97] There was some cheer when he partnered Tony Knowles to the semi-finals of the World Doubles Championship in December 1984 for which they won £11,250.[98] Spencer marked his final appearance in the Masters with a 5–3 win over Charlton. Although he lost 2–5 to Jimmy White in the quarter-finals, he picked up one of his highest pay cheques of £8,250. He was also part of the England 'B' team in the World Cup (with White and Thorne) which reached the semi-finals.[99] Spencer finished within the top 15 money earners for that season.[100] He narrowly lost in the 1984 Pot Black final to Terry Griffiths.[101]

Spencer's condition made him susceptible to eye strain under the bright TV lighting. When he competed in the 1985 Pontins Professional event under ordinary shaded lighting he once again reached the final, losing only 7–9 to Terry Griffiths.[102] It also proved to be his last tournament final.[citation needed]

He journeyed to Scotland ahead of the 1986 World Championship, for some concentrated practice. This paid off when he qualified for the Crucible to play Higgins in the first round. Higgins led 8–2 and eventually won by a reduced margin at 10–7.[103] It was to be Spencer's last visit to the Crucible as a participant in the World Championship. Gordon Burn relates that part of Spencer's Scottish practice involved playing a young Stephen Hendry. After two money-match defeats, Spencer had suggested to Hendry that they play the next match in casual clothes, which Hendry agreed to, with the result that Spencer won their third encounter 6–4.[104]

Spencer fell to a career-low 34th in the rankings for the 1986–87 season.[63] In the 1986 BCE International Open, he recorded breaks of 104 and 134 against Ian Williamson,[105] the 134 being the highest break of that year's event.[106] He also made a break of 129 in defeating Terry Whitthread 5–2 in the Dulux British Open a month later. In the final stages of this event, Spencer defeated then World Champion Joe Johnson 5–3 en route to the quarter-finals. In his last-eight match against Jimmy White, he compiled a century and captured the sixth frame after needing six snookers (in a frame that took just 18 minutes to play). Spencer lost the match 3–5 but gained his highest ever snooker payday with a cheque for £9,000 (equivalent to £26,932 in 2021).[107] Another late career highlight was his 5–0 victory over Fred Davis in the 1988 British Open, followed by a 5–0 televised win over Dennis Taylor on 27 February. Spencer lost 4–5 in the fifth round to Rex Williams, who thus recorded his first-ever tournament victory over Spencer.[108]

Retirement and final years[edit]

Spencer used steroids to reduce the symptoms of his illness, but the effectiveness of this treatment was inconsistent.[7] In the 1990 World Championship qualifiers, he eliminated Ken Owers 10–8,[109] before providing a tough test for rising star James Wattana, who won the penultimate frame on the final black and the last frame on the pink to seal a 10–8 victory in the fourth qualifying round.[110] In the 1991 World Championship, Spencer lost his first qualifying match to Ray Edmonds 4–10, giving Edmonds a long-awaited victory over Spencer in a rivalry that stretched back to the 1965 English Amateur Championship.[111] Spencer indicated a strong desire to carry on playing into the next season and stated that he was planning to enter all of the events on the calendar.[111] Reardon had announced his retirement following his defeat to Jason Prince in the second qualifying round.[112]

Due to a flare-up of his condition in June, Spencer was too ill to play in the first six events of the 1991–92 season.[113] He kept his playing hopes alive by joining the management group of Six Colours Promotions in February 1992, hoping that this might provide a much-needed 'morale boost'. Also involved was then-World Champion John Parrott, whom Spencer had advised ahead of his 1991 World Championship win.[114] When Spencer played in the four remaining events of the season, he was only able to win a single frame (against Euan Henderson in the British Open).[115] In his final World Championship appearance in 1992, he scored just 207 points against Bjorn L'Orange in the second round of qualifying and lost the match 0–10.[116]

Spencer continued to do some exhibitions and wrote in his 2005 autobiography that he was grateful to Stephen Hendry's manager, Ian Doyle, for arranging some exhibitions after Spencer had stepped down as chairman of the WPBSA. Soon after this, he began to have trouble with veins in his legs, making mobility an issue.[117] He took part in Seniors Pot Black in 1997 and lost to Dennis Taylor. He later wrote that he was suffering from severe depression caused by his illness when he played this match.[118]

Playing style and legacy[edit]

Spencer and Rardon were the two players that dominated professional snooker in the 1970s.[119] Spencer's cue action included an unusually long backswing which gave him immense cue power, and allowed him to develop shots using deep-screw from long-distance and maximum side spin.[7] Everton wrote that in his early career, Spencer "had an attractive, attacking style based on long potting, prodigious screw shots ... and the kind of confidence usually seen only in a much younger man."[3] Williams and Gadsby commented that Spencer was distinctive for his "immense zest for the sport and his perfection of a stoke few could master – the deep screw shot",[120] and "a fine judgement of lethal long-range pots, a tactic ... considered fairly risky at the time and nothing like as common as it is today."[121] His obituarist in the Daily Telegraph wrote that despite Spencer's cue power, "his unflappable temperment was perhaps his greatest asset."[119]

Spencer was one of the first major professional snooker player to use a two-piece cue,[119] and the first to win the world championship with one, in 1977.[3] Spencer was given the cue by Al Selinger of the Dufferin Cue Company during Spencer's victorious run in the 1976 Canadian Open. He did not use the cue straight away but switched to it a few weeks before the 1977 World Championship.[122][123] A few months later he changed his cue again to another 2 piece, this time from Japan.[124]

Personal life and non-playing career[edit]

In 1973, Cassell published Spencer on Snooker, an instructional book about the game by Spencer in which he also gave his opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of other leading players.[125][c] A revised version, edited by Everton, was published as Snooker in the Teach Yourself series in 1986.[127][d] He featured in a televised pro-am golf show in 1980,[128] and guested on the quiz show Pot the Question on BBC1 in 1984.[129] In 1991, 1992 and 1997 he appeared on the snooker-themed show Big Break.[130][131][132]

Following his defeat by Perrie Mans in the 1978 World Championship, Spencer was invited by producer Nick Hunter to try his hand at commentating on snooker for BBC television, a task he enjoyed for the next 19 years.[133][7]

He opened Spencer's, a snooker club in Bolton in 1985,[134] and opened another club in the city the following year.[135] Spencer and his wife Margot agreed to separate in 1987, after 18 years of marriage.[135] Poor health led to Spencer's departure from the role of commentator in 1998. In his memoirs, he wrote of struggling through the role before retiring back to his hotel room. He also related that he was deeply moved by the kindness of fellow commentators Ted Lowe and Edmonds.[136] He was also chairman of the WPBSA for seven years to 1996, despite periods of extreme ill-health. When he resigned from his position in November 1996, he had been a member of the governing board for 25 years.[137]

In early 2003, Spencer was diagnosed with stomach cancer[138] but he refused declined chemotherapy, choosing to enjoy the rest of his life without the effects of the treatment.[134][139] He attended the Crucible in May 2005 for the Parade of Champions, which took place before the final session of the 2005 World Championship final.[139][140] Despite his illness, he took part in a sponsored parachute jump in 2005.[134] His biography Out of the Blue and into the Black was published that same year.[141][7] In his review of the book, Everton concluded by writing "After a long spell of obscurity, Snooker needed new heroes and in that small cast he was at the forefront. He has an honourable place in Snooker's history."[7]: 6 

Spencer died on 11 July 2006 in a hospice in Bolton at the age of 70 from the effects of his stomach cancer.[1][7] He was survived by his partner Jean Sheffield.[119]

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tournament 1968/
Ranking[142] No ranking system 8 2 4 4 15 14 12 16 13 20 34 28 27 38 55 85 [143]
Ranking tournaments
Dubai Classic[e] Tournament Not Held NR 2R LQ WD [145]
Grand Prix[f] Tournament Not Held 3R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R 2R LQ LQ WD [145]
UK Championship Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 1R 2R 3R 1R 1R 1R LQ LQ [145]
Classic Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 2R 1R 1R 2R 2R 1R LQ LQ WD [145]
Asian Open[g] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event Not Held 1R LQ WD [145]
British Open[h] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 2R 1R QF 3R 1R 1R LQ LQ [145]
European Open Tournament Not Held WD 1R LQ LQ [145]
World Championship Non-Ranking Event 2R QF QF W 1R 1R 2R 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ [145]
Former ranking tournaments
Canadian Masters[i] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking 1R Not Held [145]
Hong Kong Open[j] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event NH 1R Not Held [145]
International Open[k] Tournament Not Held NR 2R QF 1R 2R 1R 2R 3R LQ Not Held [145]
Non-ranking tournaments
World Championship W SF W F SF Ranking Event [145]
Pot Black F W W LQ RR F ?? W RR RR RR RR A A A F 1R A Tournament Not Held A [151]
The Masters Tournament Not Held W SF QF SF QF SF SF 1R A QF QF A A A A A LQ A [145]
Irish Masters[l] Tournament Not Held W W A W SF RR 1R 1R A A A A A A A A A A [145]
Professional Snooker League[m] Tournament Not Held 7th Not Held A A A A A A [154]
Pontins Professional Tournament Not Held F F SF W F RR QF A A A F F QF A A A A A A [145]
Park Drive 2000 (Spring) Not Held W W Tournament Not Held [30]
Stratford Professional Not Held A W F Tournament Not Held [31][41]
Park Drive 2000 (Autumn) Not Held F W Tournament Not Held [30]
Men of the Midlands Not Held F RR Tournament Not Held [155][156][157]
World Masters Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held [158]
Norwich Union Open Tournament Not Held W W Tournament Not Held [159]
Watney Open Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held [145]
Canadian Club Masters Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held [145]
Dry Blackthorn Cup Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held [160]
Holsten Lager International Tournament Not Held W Tournament Not Held [161]
Forward Chemicals Tournament Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held [145]
Limosin International Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held [30]
Padmore Super Crystalate Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held [162]
Bombay International Tournament Not Held W SF Tournament Not Held [163][164]
Canadian Masters[i] Tournament Not Held A QF W F A A 2R Tournament Not Held A A A R Not Held [145]
International Open[k] Tournament Not Held 2R Ranking Event Not Held [145]
Highland Masters Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held [165]
Classic Tournament Not Held W QF QF SF Ranking Event [79][166]
Pontins Brean Sands Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held [167]
Australian Masters[j] Tournament Not Held A W F RR 1R A A A A NH R Not Held [169][170][171]
UK Championship Tournament Not Held 2R 2R 2R 1R 1R QF 2R Ranking Event [172]
British Open[h] Tournament Not Held RR LQ LQ RR LQ Ranking Event [145]
KitKat Break for World Champions Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held [145]
English Professional Championship Tournament Not Held QF Not Held 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R Not Held [145]
European Grand Masters Tournament Not Held QF NH [173]
World Seniors Championship Tournament Not Held 1R [174]
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
?? no reliable source available 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.

Career finals[edit]

Ranking finals: 1 (1 title)[edit]

World Championship (1–0)
Other (0–0)
Outcome Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Winner 1977 World Snooker Championship (3)  Cliff Thorburn (CAN) 25–21 [175]

Non-ranking finals: 48 (27 titles)[edit]

World Championship (2–1) [n]
The Masters (1–0)
Other (24–20)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Winner 1. 1969 World Snooker Championship  Gary Owen (WAL) 46–27
Runner-up 1. 1969 Pot Black  Ray Reardon (WAL) 0–1
Winner 2. 1970 Pot Black  Ray Reardon (WAL) 1–0
Winner 3. 1971 World Snooker Championship (2)  Warren Simpson (AUS) 37–29
Winner 4. 1971 Pot Black (2)  Fred Davis (ENG) 1–0
Winner 5. 1971 Park Drive 2000 – Spring  Rex Williams (ENG) 4–1
Runner-up 2. 1971 Park Drive 600  Ray Reardon (WAL) 0–4
Winner 6. 1971 Stratford Professional  David Taylor (ENG) 5–2
Runner-up 3. 1971 Park Drive 2000 – Autumn  Ray Reardon (WAL) 3–4
Runner-up 4. 1972 Men of the Midlands  Alex Higgins (NIR) 2–4
Winner 7. 1972 Park Drive 2000 – Spring  Alex Higgins (NIR) 4–3
Runner-up 5. 1972 World Snooker Championship  Alex Higgins (NIR) 31–37 [35][a]
Runner-up 6. 1972 Stratford Professional  Alex Higgins (NIR) 3–6
Winner 8. 1972 Park Drive 2000 – Autumn  Alex Higgins (NIR) 5–3
Winner 9. 1973 Norwich Union Open  John Pulman (ENG) 8–7
Winner 10. 1974 Ladbrokes Gala Event  Ray Edmonds (ENG) 3–2
Runner-up 7. 1974 Pot Black (2)  Graham Miles (ENG) Aggregate Score
Runner-up 8. 1974 Pontins Professional  Ray Reardon (WAL) 9–10
Winner 11. 1974 World Plate Championship  John Pulman (ENG) 15–5
Runner-up 9. 1974 World Masters  Cliff Thorburn (CAN) Aggregate Score [o]
Winner 12. 1974 Norwich Union Open (2)  Ray Reardon (WAL) 10–9
Winner 13. 1974 Jackpot Automatics  Alex Higgins (NIR) 5–0
Runner-up 10. 1974 International Park Drive Championship – Event 1  Ray Reardon (WAL) #
Runner-up 11. 1974 International Park Drive Championship – Event 2  Ray Reardon (WAL) #
Winner 14. 1974 International Park Drive Championship – Event 3  Ray Reardon (WAL) 3–2
Winner 15. 1975 The Masters  Ray Reardon (WAL) 9–8
Winner 16. 1975 Benson & Hedges Ireland Tournament  Alex Higgins (NIR) 9–7
Runner-up 12. 1975 Pontins Professional (2)  Ray Reardon (WAL) 4–10
Winner 17. 1975 Ashton Court Country Club Event  Alex Higgins (NIR) 5–1
Winner 18. 1976 Benson & Hedges Ireland Tournament (2)  Alex Higgins (NIR) 5–0
Winner 19. 1976 Pot Black (3)  Dennis Taylor (NIR) 1–0
Winner 20. 1976 Canadian Open  Alex Higgins (NIR) 17–9
Winner 21. 1977 Pontins Professional  John Pulman (ENG) 7–5
Runner-up 13. 1977 Canadian Open  Alex Higgins (NIR) 14–17
Winner 22. 1978 Irish Masters (3)  Doug Mountjoy (WAL) 5–3
Winner 23. 1978 Castle Professional  Alex Higgins (NIR) 5–3
Runner-up 14. 1978 Pontins Professional (3)  Ray Reardon (WAL) 2–7
Runner-up 15. 1979 Forward Chemicals Tournament  Ray Reardon (WAL) 6–9
Winner 24. 1979 Holsten Lager International  Graham Miles (ENG) 11–7
Winner 25. 1979 Bombay International  Dennis Taylor (NIR) Round-robin
Runner-up 16. 1979 Limosin International  Eddie Charlton (AUS) 19–23
Winner 26. 1980 The Classic  Alex Higgins (NIR) 4–3
Winner 27. 1980 Australian Masters  Dennis Taylor (NIR) Aggregate Score
Runner-up 17. 1981 Australian Masters  Tony Meo (ENG) Aggregate Score
Runner-up 18. 1982 Highland Masters  Ray Reardon (WAL) 4–9
Runner-up 19. 1984 Pot Black (3)  Terry Griffiths (WAL) 1–2
Runner-up 20. 1984 Pontins Professional (4)  Willie Thorne (ENG) 7–9
Runner-up 21. 1985 Pontins Professional (5)  Terry Griffiths (WAL) 7–9

Pro-am finals: 2[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Runner-up 1. 1974 Pontins Spring Open  Doug Mountjoy (WAL) 4–7 [177]
Runner-up 2. 1975 Castle Open  Alex Higgins (NIR) 2–5 [178]

Team finals: 3 (1 title)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Team/partner Opponent(s) in the final Score Ref.
Runner-up 1. 1975 Ladbroke International  England[p] Rest of the World[q] Cumulative score [180]
Runner-up 2. 1979 World Challenge Cup  England[r]  Wales[s] 3–14 [181]
Winner 1. 1981 World Team Classic  England[t]  Wales[u] 4–3 [182]

Amateur finals: 4 (1 title)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Runner-up 1. 1964 English Amateur Championship  Ray Reardon (WAL) 8–11 [183]
Runner-up 2. 1965 English Amateur Championship (2)  Pat Houlihan (ENG) 3–11 [183]
Winner 1. 1966 English Amateur Championship  Marcus Owen (WAL) 11–5 [183]
Runner-up 3. 1966 World Amateur Championship  Gary Owen (WAL) Round-robin [184]


  1. ^ a b Some sources give the score as 37–32. The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker: The Complete Record & History (2004) says "Higgins triumphed 37–31 (not 37–32 as so many publications have wrongly printed)".[36]
  2. ^ Spencer gives the date as 9 May 1985 and calls the day 'the worst of his life' in his autobiography (p.9); however, Snooker Scene reported his condition in their July 1984 issue[92] and published an update on his condition in the September 1984 edition.[45]
  3. ^ A second edition was published in 1978.[126]
  4. ^ A second edition was published in 1992.[127]
  5. ^ The event was also called the Dubai Masters (1988/1989).[144]
  6. ^ The event was also called the Professional Players Tournament (1982/1983–1983/1984).[146]
  7. ^ The event was called the Thailand Masters (1983/1984–1986/1987 & 1991/1992), and the Asian Open (1989/1990–1992/1993).[147]
  8. ^ a b The event was also called the British Gold Cup (1979/1980), Yamaha Organs Trophy (1980/1981) and International Masters (1981/1982–1983/1984).[148]
  9. ^ a b The event was also called the Canadian Open (1978/1979–1980/1981).[149]
  10. ^ a b The event was called the Australian Masters (to 1987), Hong Kong Open (1989/1990) and Australian Open (1994/1995).[168]
  11. ^ a b The event was also called the Goya Matchroom Trophy (1985/1986).[150]
  12. ^ The event was also called the Benson & Hedges Ireland Tournament (1974/1975–1976/1977).[152]
  13. ^ The event was later called the Matchroom League.[153]
  14. ^ The World Championship did not become a ranking event until 1974
  15. ^ aggregate points score across two frames[176]
  16. ^ The England team was Rex Williams, Fred Davis, Graham Miles, Spencer and John Pulman.[179]
  17. ^ The "Rest of the World" team was Cliff Thorburn (Canada), Ray Reardon (Wales), Eddie Charlton (Australia), and Alex Higgins and Jackie Rea (both Northern Ireland).[179]
  18. ^ Spencer, Fred Davis and Graham Miles[181]
  19. ^ Ray Reardon, Terry Griffiths and Doug Mountjoy[181]
  20. ^ Steve Davis, Spencer and David Taylor[182]
  21. ^ Ray Reardon, Terry Griffiths and Doug Mountjoy[182]



  1. ^ a b c d Everton, Clive (13 July 2006). "Obituary: John Spencer". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 24 May 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  2. ^ Everton, Clive (6 January 2011). "Spencer, John (1935–2006)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). OUP. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/97338. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b c Everton, Clive (August 2006). "Crucible's first champion dies aged 70". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. p. 16.
  4. ^ a b Everton 1981, p. 116.
  5. ^ Everton, Clive, ed. (March 1967). "Spencer turns professional". Billiards and Snooker. No. 553. p. 11.
  6. ^ Williams & Gadsby 2005, p. 61.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Everton, Clive (September 2005). "Good times, hellish times: John Spencer recalls both in his autobiography". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. pp. 4–6.
  8. ^ Everton, Clive, ed. (October 1967). "New pro Owen plays in new pro tournament". Billiards and Snooker. No. 560. p. 5.
  9. ^ Everton, Clive, ed. (December 1967). "Ray Reardon turns professional". Billiards and Snooker. No. 562. p. 4.
  10. ^ a b Everton 2012, pp. 38–42.
  11. ^ Everton 2012, pp. 42–43.
  12. ^ a b Everton 1986, pp. 72–73.
  13. ^ Everton 1986, pp. 43.
  14. ^ "Tough first round for Pulman". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. August 1968. p. 6.
  15. ^ "Spencer beats Pulman". The Times. 23 November 1968. p. 5.
  16. ^ "John Spencer 55 Rex Williams 18". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. March 1969. pp. 3–4.
  17. ^ "Spencer in Final". The Guardian. 17 February 1969. p. 16 – via
  18. ^ Turner, Chris (22 March 2010). "On this Week: Irish hat-trick success". Eurosport UK. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Owen and Spencer all square". Birmingham Daily Post. 18 March 1969. p. 13.
  20. ^ "Owen loses ground to Spencer". Birmingham Daily Post. 19 March 1969. p. 13.
  21. ^ a b Robinson, Keith (April 1969). "Blow by blow". Billiards and Snooker. Billiards Association and Control Council. pp. 3–6.
  22. ^ "Spencer now six ahead". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 20 March 1969. p. 28.
  23. ^ "Owen fights back to reduce leeway". Birmingham Daily Post. 21 March 1969. p. 15.
  24. ^ "Snooker". The Times. 22 March 1969. p. 6.
  25. ^ "Snooker". The Times. 24 March 1969. p. 12.
  26. ^ a b Everton 1981, p. 89.
  27. ^ Everton 1981, pp. 89–90.
  28. ^ Everton 2012, p. 44.
  29. ^ Perrin 1980, p. 91.
  30. ^ a b c d Everton 1981, p. 90.
  31. ^ a b "Snooker champion in top form". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 21 September 1971. p. 32.
  32. ^ a b Everton, Clive (April 1972). "How Alexander the great toppled king John". Snooker Scene. pp. 4–8.
  33. ^ Sandbrook 2019, p. 394.
  34. ^ Williams & Gadsby 2005, p. 84.
  35. ^ a b "Snooker: Higgins makes final flourish". The Times. 28 February 1972. p. 7.
  36. ^ Hayton & Dee 2004, p. 8.
  37. ^ Everton 2012, pp. 48–49.
  38. ^ Spencer 2005, p. 74.
  39. ^ Higgins 2007, p. 56.
  40. ^ Spencer 1978, p. 10.
  41. ^ a b ""Hurricane" again beats Spencer". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 9 September 1972. p. 14.
  42. ^ Spencer 2005, p. 106.
  43. ^ "Hofmeister World Doubles". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. February 1983. p. 7.
  44. ^ "Success for Hofmeister second time round". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. February 1984. pp. 17–21.
  45. ^ a b "Spencer's double vision". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. September 1984. p. 5.
  46. ^ Spencer, John, Spencer on Snooker, Cassell, Second Edition, 1978, p. 10, although Spencer listed the date as 1973 in his 2005 book, Out of the Blue into the Black, see p. 75, but photos of the broken cue appear in the February 1975 edition of Snooker Scene (p. 13).
  47. ^ "Pontins". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. July 1974. p. 9.
  48. ^ "Spencer hits the jackpot". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. December 1974. p. 20.
  49. ^ "Spencer comeback takes £150". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. December 1973. p. 9.
  50. ^ Everton 1981, p. 91.
  51. ^ "Second round". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. June 1974. p. 9.
  52. ^ "Plate". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. June 1974. p. 18.
  53. ^ Everton 1981, p. 92.
  54. ^ "The Benson and Hedges masters". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. February 1975. pp. 5–7.
  55. ^ "King John reigns as Ashton Court". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. May 1975. p. 5.
  56. ^ "Castle Open provides pre-Christmas treat". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. May 1975. pp. 5–8.
  57. ^ Everton 1986, pp. 102–103.
  58. ^ Everton, Clive (27 February 1975). "Seeding system is exposed as a farce". The Guardian. p. 20.
  59. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, May 1976, p. 15. The break was 138 and the prize £200.
  60. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene. June 1976, p. 15.
  61. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, November 1976, pp. 14–16.
  62. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, June 1977, pp. 14–24.
  63. ^ a b c d Kobylecky 2019, pp. 225–226.
  64. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, October 1977, p. 15.
  65. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, October 1977, p. 14.
  66. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, May 1978, p. 17.
  67. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, April 1976, p. 15. Spencer stated that the Waterford Crystal trophy he received was the only one he still possessed as of 2005. Spencer, John, Out of the Blue into the Black, Parrs Wood Press, p. 76.
  68. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, July 1978, p. 9.
  69. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, June 1978, p. 20.
  70. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, May 1978, p. 22.
  71. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, June 1978, p. 11.
  72. ^ Everton, Clive, Snooker Scene. February 1979, pp. 12–15. The figure is given as £50 in Out of the Blue in the Black, see p. 79.
  73. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, February 1982, p. 5.
  74. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, April 1979, p. 16.
  75. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, February 1981, p. 7.
  76. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, March 1979, p. 13.
  77. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, June 1979, p. 23.
  78. ^ Everton 1981, p. 100.
  79. ^ a b "Spencer beats Higgins to win Wilson's Classic". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. February 1980. pp. 16–17.
  80. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, March 1980, p. 21.
  81. ^ Spencer 2005, pp. 80–81.
  82. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, April 1981, pp. 22–28.
  83. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, December 1981, p. 11.
  84. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, March 1981, p. 11.
  85. ^ Everton, Clive (Ed.) Snooker Scene, June 1981, pp. 7 & 10/11.
  86. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, June 1982, pp.33, 15 & 20/21.
  87. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, January 1983, pp. 8–15.
  88. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, February 1983, pp. 11–16. A finalist was guaranteed £10,000.
  89. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, June 1983, pp.7 & 15.
  90. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, July 1983 pp. 10–11.
  91. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, July 1984, p. 3.
  92. ^ "(untitled article)". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. July 1984. p. 3.
  93. ^ Spencer 2005, p. 158.
  94. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, July 1984, p. 13.
  95. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, July 1984, p. 6.
  96. ^ Everton, Clive (June 1984). "Embassy world snooker championship". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. pp. 5–12.
  97. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, February 1985, p. 23.
  98. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, February 1985, p. 10.
  99. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, May 1985, p. 9. The semi-finalists received £12,500.
  100. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, July 1985, pp. 6–7.
  101. ^ Spencer 2005, p. 71.
  102. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, July 1985, p. 9
  103. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, June 1986, p. 5.
  104. ^ Burn 2008, p. 179.
  105. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, October 1986, p. 16.
  106. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene November 1986, p. 21; Spencer took an additional £875 prize money; the highest break in the main competition was 116 by Thorburn.
  107. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, May 1987, p. 11
  108. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, April 1988, pp.8 & 15.
  109. ^ "Third round". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. March 1990. p. 23.
  110. ^ "Wattana relieved to oust Spencer". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. March 1990. p. 27.
  111. ^ a b "Third round". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. May 1991. p. 7.
  112. ^ "Second round". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. May 1991. p. 5.
  113. ^ "McManus beats Higgins, Thorburn struggles through". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. October 1991. p. 13.
  114. ^ "Spencer joins Parrott camp". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. March 1991. p. 26.
  115. ^ Hayton & Dee 2004, p. 914.
  116. ^ Everton, Clive (ed.), Snooker Scene, May 1992, p. 7.
  117. ^ Spencer 2005, p. 183.
  118. ^ Spencer 2005, p. 72.
  119. ^ a b c d "John Spencer". The Daily Telegraph. 13 July 2006. p. 25.
  120. ^ Williams & Gadsby 2005, pp. 58–59.
  121. ^ Williams & Gadsby 2005, p. 62.
  122. ^ Spencer1978, p. 11.
  123. ^ Williams & Gadsby 2005, p. 63.
  124. ^ Everton 1979, p. 139.
  125. ^ Perrin, Reg (February 1973). "Books: Spencer on Snooker by John Spencer". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. p. 5.
  126. ^ Clarke 2008, p. 61.
  127. ^ a b Clarke 2008, p. 68.
  128. ^ "BBC2". Liverpool Echo. 1 February 1980. p. 9.
  129. ^ "BBC1". Aberdeen Evening Express. 24 May 1984. p. 2.
  130. ^ "BBC1". Daily Mirror. 18 May 1991. p. 34.
  131. ^ "BBC1". Daily Mirror. 22 February 1992. p. 26.
  132. ^ "BBC1". Daily Mirror. 14 June 1997. p. 34.
  133. ^ Spencer 2005, p. 79.
  134. ^ a b c "Then and Now: John Spencer". Eurosport UK. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  135. ^ a b Morrison 1988, p. 96.
  136. ^ Spencer 2005, p. 172.
  137. ^ "Spencer resigns as WPBSA AGM looms". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. December 1996. p. 3.
  138. ^ Spencer 2005, p. 184.
  139. ^ a b "John Spencer's tough decision". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. August 2005. p. 16.
  140. ^ Chowdrey, Saj (6 May 2005). "Crucible Diary". BBC Sport. The Crucible crowd were treated to a Parade of Champions prior to the last session of the final between Matthew Stevens and Shaun Murphy.
  141. ^ Spencer 2005.
  142. ^ "Ranking History". Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  143. ^ "Ranking History". Archived from the original on 19 December 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  144. ^ Turner, Chris. "Dubai Classic, Dubai Masters, Bahrain Snooker Championship". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012.
  145. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Hayton & Dee 2004, pp. 912–914.
  146. ^ Turner, Chris. "Professional Players Tournament, Grand Prix, LG Cup". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  147. ^ Turner, Chris. "Thailand Open, Thailand Classic, Thailand Masters". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  148. ^ Turner, Chris. "British Open Including British Gold Cup, Yamaha Organs Trophy and Yamaha International Masters". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  149. ^ Turner, Chris. "Canadian Masters". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  150. ^ Turner, Chris. "International Open, Goya Matchroom Trophy". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  151. ^
  152. ^ Turner, Chris. "Irish Masters". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  153. ^ Turner, Chris. "Premier/Matchroom League, Matchroom Championship League". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  154. ^ Everton 1984, pp. 91–92.
  155. ^ "Spencer plays Higgins again". Birmingham Daily Post. Birmingham. 15 March 1972. p. 18.
  156. ^ "Spencer puts on style". Coventry Evening Telegraph. Coventry. 25 January 1973. p. 50.
  157. ^ "Higgins takes Men of Midlands title". Birmingham Daily Post. Birmingham. 6 February 1973. p. 25.
  158. ^ "Snooker win to Thorburn". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 July 1974. p. 63.
  159. ^ Everton 1981, pp. 91–92.
  160. ^ "Fagan wins Dry Blackthorn cup". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. February 1978. p. 5.
  161. ^ "Spencer first in Holsten lager international". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. February 1979. pp. 12–15.
  162. ^ "1980 Padmore Super Crystalate International Results Grid". Snooker Database. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  163. ^ Turner, Chris (2011). "Other Non-Ranking and Invition Events". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012.
  164. ^ Hayton & Dee 2004, p. 147.
  165. ^ "1982 Highland Masters Results Grid". Snooker Database. Archived from the original on 8 February 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  166. ^ "Davis again in Wilson's Classic". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. January 1981. p. 17.
  167. ^ Hayton & Dee 2004, p. 149.
  168. ^ Turner, Chris. "Australian Masters". Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 30 September 2010.
  169. ^ Morrison 1987, p. 156.
  170. ^ Lowe, Ted (September 1982). "Ted Lowe reports on Australia's Winfield Masters". Cue World. Sheffield: Transworld Snooker. pp. 9–10.
  171. ^ Hale 1987, p. 201.
  172. ^ "Results: snooker". The Guardian. 3 December 1980. p. 20.
  173. ^ "Clark wins in Monte Carlo". Snooker Scene. Birmingham: Everton's News Agency. February 1991. p. 31.
  174. ^ "How Cliff Wilson became king of the golden oldies". Snooker Scene. Everton's News Agency. November 1991. pp. 17–19.
  175. ^ Everton 1993, pp. 47–50.
  176. ^ "Snooker win to Thorburn". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 July 1974. p. 63.
  177. ^ "pontins". 28 February 2012. Archived from the original on 28 February 2012.
  178. ^ "Higgins beats Spencer – lifts £500 prize". Belfast Telegraph. 22 December 1975. p. 18.
  179. ^ a b "ITV London". Reading Evening Post. Reading. 5 April 1975. p. 2.
  180. ^ Everton 1976, pp. 6–7.
  181. ^ a b c "A successful experiment". Snooker Scene. December 1980. pp. 3–9.
  182. ^ a b c "World Team Classic". Snooker Scene. December 1981. pp. 5–11.
  183. ^ a b c Morrison 1987, p. 37.
  184. ^ Hale 1987, pp. 296–297.
Cite error: A list-defined reference with group name "" is not used in the content (see the help page).


  • Burn, Gordon (2008) [1986]. Pocket money. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-23683-1.
  • Clarke, Gary (2008). A Billiards and Snooker Compendium. Rothersthorpe: Paragon. ISBN 978-1-899820-46-7.
  • Everton, Clive (1976). The Ladbroke Snooker International Handbook. Birmingham: Ladbrokes Leisure. pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-0-905606-00-2.
  • Everton, Clive (1979). The Story of Billiards and Snooker. London: Cassell. ISBN 978-0-304-30373-1.
  • Everton, Clive (1981). The Guinness Book of Snooker. Enfield: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. ISBN 978-0-85112-230-4.
  • Everton, Clive, ed. (1984). Benson and Hedges Snooker Year (First ed.). London: Virgin Books. ISBN 978-0-86369-051-8.
  • Everton, Clive (1986). The History of Snooker and Billiards. Haywards Heath: Partridge Press. ISBN 978-1-85225-013-3.
  • Everton, Clive (1993). The Embassy Book of World Snooker. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-1610-1.
  • Everton, Clive (2012). Black Farce and Cue Ball Wizards. Edinburgh: Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-78057-568-1.
  • Hale, Janice (1987). Rothmans Snooker Yearbook 1987–88. Aylesbury: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 978-0-356-14690-4.
  • Hayton, Eric; Dee, John (2004). The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker: The Complete Record & History. Lowestoft: Rose Villa Publications. ISBN 978-0-9548549-0-4.
  • Higgins, Alex (2007). My Story: From the Eye of the Hurricane. London: Headline. ISBN 978-0-7553-1659-5.
  • Kobylecky, John (2019). The Complete International Directory of Snooker Players – 1927 to 2018. Kobyhadrian Books. ISBN 978-0-9931433-1-1.
  • Morrison, Ian (1987). The Hamlyn Encyclopedia of Snooker (Revised ed.). Twickenham: Hamlyn Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-600-55604-6.
  • Morrison, Ian (1988). Hamlyn Who's Who in Snooker. London: Hamlyn. ISBN 978-0-600-55713-5.
  • Perrin, Reg (1980). Pot Black. London: BBC. ISBN 978-0-563-17789-0.
  • Sandbrook, Dominic (2019). Who Dares Wins: Britain, 1979–1982. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-1-846-14737-1.
  • Spencer, John (1978) [1973]. Spencer on Snooker (Revised ed.). London: Cassell. ISBN 0304301191.
  • Spencer, John (2005). Out of the Blue – Into the Black: The Autobiography of John Spencer. Manchester: Parrs Wood Press. ISBN 978-1-903158-63-0.
  • Williams, Luke; Gadsby, Paul (2005). Masters of the Baize. Edinburgh: Mainstream. ISBN 978-1-84018-872-1.

External links[edit]