EDDIE CHARLTON (Australia)
Years as professional: 1967-1996
Ranking titles: 0
Ranking finals: 1
Other titles: 6
Highest ranking: 3
Years in top 16: 10
Crucible appearances: 15
Charlton may have been the hardest of all the grinders to have played professional snooker. You had to scrape him off the table and, even then, check underneath the table to make sure he wasn’t still there.
The player nicknamed ‘Steady’ had a sporting background having played cricket, been a surfer and a boxer and carried the Olympic torch in Melbourne in 1956.
He reached three World Championship finals with his best chance to win the title coming in 1975 where he led Ray Reardon 29-24 but lost 31-30.
Charlton made the first ever century at the Crucible and in Pot Black, an event he won three times, was a mainstay of the top 16 and last played in the televised stage of the World Championship at age 62, where he suffered the Sheffield venue’s only ever whitewash to John Parrott.
Few players were more determinedly stubborn but despite his gritty style, the Aussie also oozed charisma.
Charlton was a champion swearer and my favourite quote of his comes from his answer to a journalist’s question after he had battled until 2.40am to beat Cliff Thorburn 10-9 at the Crucible in 1989.
Asked if it might have been a bit of an ordeal for the crowd, Eddie replied: “F*ck the crowd, I’m here to win.”
Charlton died in 2004 at the age of 75. Bizarrely, he went up in the rankings after someone forgot to take him off the list.