Today marks the 80th anniversary of the start of the World Professional Snooker Championship.

The very first frame in World Championship history was won 97-23 by Melbourne Inman against Tom Newman on November 29, 1926.

They were in no hurry back then. The match took seven days to complete as it was played in two frame spells after a Billiards session on each day.

Inman eventually won 8-5 but was beaten 8-3 in the quarter-finals by Tom Carpenter, who in turn lost the last two frames of his semi-final against Tom Dennis to be denied a final place 12-10.

Joe Davis was untroubled in defeating Joe Brady 10-5 and Albert Cope 16-7 to reach the final and breezed into a 7-0 lead over Dennis on the first day of their 31 frames final, played on May 9, 1927.

At the end of day two, he was 12-4 ahead and on winning the first four frames of the third day had achieved a winning lead.

The dead frames were nevertheless played out, so the final result was 20-11, misleadingly close for what was effectively a walkover.

The trophy Davis won was bought using half the entry fees and is the same one presented at the Crucible today.

80 years ago, the modern circuit we are so used to today would have been unimaginable – these were the days before a television service had been introduced.

But snooker owes those early pioneers a great debt of gratitude.

Happy birthday to the World Championship!

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