Francisco comes from a snooker-playing family. His brother Mannie and nephew Peter both played at a high level, Mannie having been a runner-up in the World Amateur Billiards Championship on several occasions, and Peter having risen to the world ranking of number 14.
Francisco won the 1985 British Open, beating Kirk Stevens 12–9. Afterwards, he accused Stevens of playing under the influence of drugs, and was fined and penalised ranking points. When Stevens admitted a drugs problem, the penalty was reversed.
He was involved in another scandal after the 1989 Masters. After losing 5–1 to Terry Griffiths in the last-16, it was discovered that there had been heavy betting on that exact score. Francisco was arrested, but later released without charge. Gambling problems followed, to the extent of being declared bankrupt in 1996 due to income tax arrears, having split up from his second wife who claimed his £350,000 house, and having to pay maintenance for his 4 children. He later took to working evenings in a friend's fish and chip shop for extra cash.
In 1997, he was arrested for smuggling cannabis, and served three years in prison.