May 1, 2011 by markstani
As a kind of tribute to the legendary snooker commentator Ted Lowe, and to mark the culmination of yet another magnificent World Championships, here’s my resolutely non-purist version of the greatest guys to ever play the game:
1 Kirk Stevens
He wore a white waistcoat. He chose a stimulant to match. He made the world semis then walked away. “I was exhausted from fighting all the shit,” he said.
2 Bill Werbeniuk
To combat a medical condition, Werbeniuk drank an average of one pint of lager per frame. He split his trousers in a Crucible match with Dennis Taylor.
3 Alex Higgins
When he wasn’t compiling thrilling breaks, he was heading off down the bookies or head-butting officials. All in a day’s work for the Hurricane.
4 Jimmy White
This pale-faced kid came straight off the pages of a Dickens novel. Was famously denied the world title, mostly by Fagin-like characters called Steve.
5 Ray Reardon
With his oiled-back hair and perfectly perched cigarettes, Reardon was a nicotine-tinted throwback to the sport’s smoke-fugged Working Men’s Club origins.
6 Doug Mountjoy
He was a Welsh mining man to the core. Far more interestingly, his daughter once posed nude for Mayfair. What? Oh, okay then…
7 Silvino Francisco
Went bankrupt. Went to prison for smuggling marijuana. Went to work in his friend’s fish and chip shop in Chesterfield.
8 Quinten Hann
Challenged opponent Andy Hicks to a fight. Admitted playing with a hangover after a dismal loss to Peter Ebdon. Got done for deliberately losing.
9 Tony Knowles
Best known for shafting Steve Davis 10-1 in the 1982 first round. At least, he was until he sold shagging stories to the papers, and was fined for his, er, indiscretions.
10 Tony Drago
Drago once won a match by nine frames to nil in 81 minutes. Prone to angry outbusts, he hurled his cue at the table after an especially bad (and presumably quick) defeat.