JOHN PULMAN (1.923-1.998)
English professional snooker player who dominated the game during the 60.
Honours: 7 times World Champion, winner of the “News of the World” in 1.954 Y 1.957, winner of the “World Matchplay” in 1.957.
Having picked up the cue for the first time at 9 years, in 1.946 became the youngest winner of the English Amateur Championship, beating albert brown for 5-3. After this success he became a professional player and the following year he entered the World Championship for the first time.. Unfortunately for him, it was Brown who eliminated him in the first qualifying round for 21-14.
Although he would win matches in the tournament, reaching the semifinals of 1.949 Y 1.951, stayed in the shadow of players like Walter Donaldson and Fred Davis, who at that time had absolute dominance in this sport.
He managed to win the “News of the World” in 1.954 and reached the final of the “World Matchplay” the following two years, losing both against Fred Davis. All of that would change in 1.957, as he was able to defeat Rex Williams and Jackie Rea to take the title as the best player in the world for the first time in his career.. Unfortunately, due to the absence of other professionals, including defending champion Fred Davis, as well as low interest in sport as a whole, John didn't get the recognition he could have hoped for. After this edition the event was suspended.
But nevertheless, he could do nothing but win his matches and underlined his triumph with victory in the “News of the World” tournament in 1.957, cementing his status as the best player of the moment, at least officially.
Behind this, he had no chance to defend his world title until 1.964, in which the World Championship was reestablished with the new bases of the "challenge" system. Under this system, seven games were organized between 1.964 Y 1.968, in order to decide who would maintain the status of world champion. Pulman won all seven matches, winning 3 times to fred davis, 2 veces a Rex Williams, 2 times to Fred van Rensburg and the last, in 1.968, beating Australian Eddie Charlton.
In 1.969 the World Championship became a direct elimination tournament (which is generally regarded as the birth of the modern era of snooker) and Pulman was unable to successfully defend his title. He fell in the first round to John Spencer for 18-25. In 1.970 reached the final for the last time, being beaten by Ray Reardon. This defeat meant something like a "changing of the guard". Reardon took over and won the first of his six world titles.
Pulman reached the semifinals of the World Championship when it was first held at The Crucible, and Sheffield, in 1.977, narrowly losing to eventual winner John Spencer by 18 frames a 16.
After a depressing streak of results, Pulman filed for bankruptcy in 1.979. In this point, and recently divorced, suffered from serious motivation problems.
Pulman hung his cue on 1.982, at which point he joined the BBC as a commentator. A short time later he joined the ITV, where he worked alongside Dennis Taylor, Mark Wildman, Ray Edmonds y Jim Meadowcroft. He remained a main commentator until the sport was eliminated by the channel in 1.992.
John Pulman died on Christmas day, in 1.998, after a fall at home.