JOE DAVIS (1.901-1.978)
With a flawless career of 15 World Champion titles, as well as 12 new break records (including the first hundred in 1.930 and the first 147 in competition in 1.955), Davis will always be remembered as one of the all-time greats of snooker.
Joe Davis was a professional English snooker and snooker player..
He became a professional billiard player at the age of 18 years, after having won the Chesterfield Championship at 13 years. In 1.926 reached his first final of the World Professional Billiards Championship, but was unsuccessful against champion Tom Newman, Defending champions.
He reached the final again the following year and was again runner-up against the same opponent. It was a case of "the third time is the charm", because he defeated Newman in 1.928 to become the Snooker World Champion for the first time. He would defend his title in the next three years (against Newman again in 1.929 Y 1.930 and against New Zealander Clark McConachy in 1.932). He played the final two more times, in 1.933 Y 1.934, losing both times to Australian Walter Lindrum.
Matching his peak like a billiard player, Davis' interests shifted to snooker and he helped organize the first World Snooker Championship in 1.927, winning the tournament by beating Tom Dennis. He then went on to win the World Championship every year until 1.940. Fred, Joe's brother and twelve years his junior, He was also a snooker player and multiple World Champion. When Joe confronted Fred, in the Final of the World Championship 1.940, Joe won 37-36.
After the outbreak of the Second World War, the World Championship was not held for the next five years. After the restart (in 1.946) Davis defended his title, thus becoming his fifteenth consecutive victory and holding the title for 20 years. To date, he is still the player who has won the most World Championships.. He withdrew from the event after this victory, becoming the only undefeated player in the history of the World Championships.
Davis proved that he was still the man to beat until the decade of 1.950, arriving to 5 finals of the “News of the World Championship” tournament and winning it three times during the decade (1.950, 1.953 Y 1.956). His closest rivals were his brother Fred, and future World Champion John Pulman, who managed to beat each of the brothers on two different occasions: to Joe in the end of 1.954 and Fred in the 1.957.
Made history in 1.955 by achieving the first official recognition of a maximum break of 147 and snooker, at an exhibition match at Leicester Square Hall, the country's mecca for billiards lovers. He had already made his first hundred in 1.930. Also during this decade Davis tried to popularize a new game called "snooker plus", that had two extra colored balls (one orange and one purple), but it never came to fruition.
He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (BOTH) in 1.963 and continued playing as a professional until 1.964.
He died two months after collapsing while watching his brother play Perrie Mans in the semifinal of the World Snooker Championship in 1.978.
His house, and Whitwell, (Derbyshire) has a plaque commemorating the great Joe Davis.
Here is a video of Joe Davis.