Calendar of Events in the History of English Billiards and Snooker
January 4th 1771.
Birth of François Mingaud, credited with inventing the leather cue tip in 1807 while imprisoned in a French jail. Documentary proof seems to exist of leather being used to protect the "tip" end of the cue before this date, so it may be more accurate to say Mingaud perfected the tip, being the first to shape it into a rounded dome. It was this apparently simple innovation allowing a more reliable contact between tip and ball that made true control over the cue-ball possible.
January 6th 2009. Snooker.
Death of John Street, one of snooker's most well known and respected referees. After 20 years travelling the world refereeing the finals of many major tournaments, he retired in the late 1990's; and in 1998, with Peter Rook, co-authored "The Billiards & Snooker Referee's Handbook".
January 11th 1982. Snooker.
Steve Davis compiled the first televised maximum 147 break in a match against John Spencer in the Lada Classic, at Oldham Civic Centre, Lancashire.
January 12th - 13th 1881. English Billiards.
Joseph Bennett won the championship for the third time by beating Tom Taylor by 90 points in a match of 1000 up.
January 13th 1979. Snooker.
John Spencer compiled the first maximum 147 break in competitive play in a match against Cliff Thorburn in the Holsten Lager Tournament at the Fulcrum Centre, Slough. This would also have been the first televised maximum, but the camera crew had left their posts for a tea break.
January 13th 2015. Snooker.
Ronnie O'Sullivan equalled Stephen Hendry's record of 775 competitive century breaks in the last frame of his 6 - 4 win over Ricky Walden, in the first round of the Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace in London. The break of 116 could easily have ended at 89 as the yellow was close to the baulk cushion, but a crashing hit-and-hope sent it round the table off three cushions into a middle pocket, and the cue-ball up and down the table to land perfectly on the green. This win also equalled Stehen 's record of winning 42 matches at this tournament.
January 14th 2007. Snooker.
Ding Junhui became the youngest player to score a maximum 147 break on live television at the age of 19 years and 9 months. It was also the first 147 by a Chinese player and came in the seventh frame of his first round 6 - 3 win against Anthony Hamilton during the Saga Insurance Masters at Wembley Arena.
January 15th 1985. Snooker.
Stacey Hillyard became the first female to record a competitive century with a break of 114 during a local league match in Bournemouth.
January 15th 2015. Snooker.
Ronnie O'Sullivan overtook Stephen Hendry's record of winning 42 matches at the Masters, by winning his 43rd with a 5 -1 win over Marco Fu. In the first frame Ronnie made a break of 101, to set a new record of 776 centuries in competitive play
January 16th 2009. Snooker.
Stephen Maguire and Neil Robertson made five consecutive century breaks in their quarter-final match at the Masters. Maguire's breaks of 128, 105, and 113 against Robertson's breaks of 122 and 100 helped him to win 6 - 3.
Only Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan had previously achieved this feat, during the 2003 British Open.
January 17th 2014. Snooker.
Ronnie O'Sullivan set a new record in professional competition by scoring 556 points without reply in his 6 - 0 win over Ricky Walden in his second round match in the Dafabet Masters, at Londons' Alexandra Palace. The six frames lasted just 57 minutes and 48 seconds.
January 18th 1844. English Billiards.
Date of a match between a Mr. Mardon and a Mr. Porker. The winner to be the first to reach 500 points. Towards the end of the game Mr. Porker led by 496 points to 475, but Mardon ran out with a break of 25. This was considered such an achievement that Mardon published his book, "Billiards:Game 500 Up" showing each stroke of the winning break.
January 19th 1913.
Birth of Rudolf Walter Wanderone Jnr., who in later life claimed to be the 'real' Minnesota Fats, and the inspiration for the character of the same name in Walter Tevis's "The Hustler." Tevis denied this to his dying day.
January 19th & 20th 1932. English Billiards.
Walter Lindrum compiled the world record break of 4,137 in 2 hours 55 minutes against Joe Davis, who immediately replied with a break of 1131.
January 19th 2014. English Billiards.
Ronnie O'Sullivan won the Dafabet Masters for the fifth time in his record breaking tenth appearance in the final of this tournament, by beating Mark Selby by 10 frames to 4.
January 22nd (Saturday), 1955. Snooker.
Date of Joe Davis's record break of 147 against Willie Smith in an exhibition at Thurston's Leicester Square Hall. The break was officially recognised in March 1957.
January 24th 2002. Snooker.
Stephen Hendry claimed a record 550th competitive century with a break of 101 against Jimmy White during the Regal Welsh Open in Cardiff.
January 25th 1886.
Birth of Willie Smith. Twice Professional Billiards Champion - 1920 & 1923. Twice runner-up to Joe Davis in the Professional Snooker Championship - 1933 & 1935.
January 27th 1982. Snooker.
In four consecutive frames Jim Meadowcroft made breaks of 105, 115, 117 and 125 (total 462) at the Connaught Leisure Centre, Worthing.
January 28th 1984. Snooker.
Kirk Stevens of Canada made a maximum 147 break against Jimmy White in the Benson and Hedges Masters, at the Wembley Conference Centre, London.
January 30th 1871. English Billiards.
John Roberts Junior won the championship for the third time by beating Joseph Bennett by 363 points in 3 hours and 29 minutes.
January 30th 2007. Snooker.
Stephen Hendry set yet another record by scoring a 127 break, his 700th competitive century. It came in the 3rd frame of his match against Robert Milkins which Hendry won 5 - 1, during the Malta Cup at the Hilton Conference Centre, Portomaso.
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February 2nd 2014. Snooker.
Ding Junhui beat Judd Trump 9 - 5 to win the German Masters in Berlin, to add to his wins in the Shanghai Masters, the Indian Open, and the International Championship. In doing so he became the first player to win four ranking titles in the same season since Stephen Hendry in the 1990/91 season.
February 8th 1587.
Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringay Castle. The cloth was torn from her billiard table to cover the body.
February 11th 1870. English Billiards.
The first Professional Championship was held between John Roberts Senior and William Cook. Cook won by 117 points in a match of 1200 up.
February 11th 1873.
John Roberts Junior appointed Court Billiard Player to the Maharaja of Jeypur during his second tour of India.
February 13th 1872. Pyramids.
Playing the best of 21, and owing a ball, John Roberts Junior beat William Cook by 11 games to 7 for £50.00, in a match held at the "White Bear", Manchester.
February 13th 2011.
Death of Agnes Davies (nee Morris). Won the Women's Amateur Championship when 17 at her first attempt, and the Women's Professional title in 1949 by 10 frames to 5, after having lost the first 5. At the age of 60 reached the final of the Women's World Open Championship, but lost to the Australian Lesley McIlrath. Played for Wales in the home international series until 1999, before retiring from competitive play at the age of 81 after a playing career of 64 years. Her highest break was an 84.
February 14th 2007. Snooker.
Shawn Murphy became the first player to make four consecutive century breaks in a best-of-nine professional tournament during the Welsh Open at the Newport Centre, Kingsway, Newport. His breaks of 135, 123, 102, and 101 helped defeat Jamie Cope 5 - 0 to earn a place in the last 16.
February 16th 2014. English Billiards.
Peter Gilchrist became the first player in the modern game to have made two competitive breaks of 1000 or more. It was made against Northern Ireland's Christian Kirk during their quarter-final match in the The Irish Open, at the Ivy Rooms in Carlow. The break was exactly 1000 points.
February 17th 2011. Snooker.
Stephen Hendry equalled Ronnie O'Sullivan's record of ten competitive maximum breaks in the first frame of his second round match against Stephen Maguire in the Welsh Open. Despite this he lost the match by 4 frames to 2.
February 21st 1988. Snooker.
Geet Sethi of India became the first amateur player to make a 147 in competition during the Indian Amateur Snooker Championships.
February 24th 1874. English Billiards.
William Cook won the championship for the fourth time by beating John Roberts Junior by 216 points in a match of 1000 up, in 3 hours 10 minutes.
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March 2nd 2014. Snooker.
Ronnie O'Sullivan overtook Stephen Hendry's record of 11 maximums in competitive play, by making his 12th 147 in the last frame of his 9 - 3 victory over Ding Junhui in the final of the BetVictor Welsh Open at the Newport Center, Newport.
March 4th 1872. English Billiards.
William Cook won the championship for the third time by beating John Roberts Junior by 201 points in a match of 1000 up, in 3 hours 30 minutes.
March 13th 1991. Snooker.
Ronnie O'Sullivan became the youngest player (aged 15 years and 97 days) to make a competitive maximum 147 break during the Southern Area quarter-finals of the 1991 English Amateur Snooker Championship. He held this record for 13 years, see the next entry.
March 13th 2004. Snooker.
Judd Trump made a maximum break against Chris Peach in an Under-16 tournament at Coalville, Leicester, and became the youngest player in history to compile a 147 in an official tournament at the age of 14 years and 197 days.
March 16th 2003. English Billiards.
At the age of 70, Tony James became the oldest winner of the English Amateur Billiards Championship by beating his 20 year-old opponent, Mathew Sutton, by 899 points to 694.
March 23rd 1894. English Billiards.
Birth of Tom Newman. Professional Champion 1921, 1922, 1924, and 1925.
March 25th 1886.
A.J. Aspinall obtained a patent for a spring-loaded billiard cue.
March 26th 2008. Snooker.
Shaun Murphy and Dave Harold claimed the record for the longest televised frame of snooker in the last frame of their first round match in the Honghe Industrial 2008 World Snooker China Open. The frame lasted 93 minutes and 12 seconds, Murphy won the match 5 - 3.
March 28th 1888. English Billiards.
Mr. H.A.O. Lonsdale became the winner of the first Amateur Billiards Championship.
March 30th - 31st & April 1st, 1885. English Billiards.
John Roberts Junior won the championship for the seventh time by beating William Cook by 92 points in a match of 3000 up.
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This section last updated 15th January 2015 Site designed, created, and maintained by Mike Stooke. © All Rights Reserved.