Here's what Steve Davis told the Kerryman newspaper this week about his infamous black ball defeat to Dennis Taylor in the 1985 World Championship final:

"It's only now you can look back on it and realise you were a part of sporting history. I would rank it above the six world titles I won."

Such sentiment seemed unlikely in the immediate aftermath of the final when he struggled to speak at all when faced with David Vine and his microphone.

John Virgo tells a story about putting his head round Steve's dressing room door to commiserate and finding him in floods of tears.

Time is a great healer and Davis can be content enough with his career to accept that this was one that got away, but that it's fondly remembered not just among snooker people but further afield.

There were 18.5m viewers still watching at midnight after all.

There will be much spoken about the 1985 final at this year's World Championship as it's the 25th anniversary.

In truth, though, it has come to be something of a millstone around the sport's neck because it gives feature writers the chance to trot out the tired old line that 'snooker never gets 18m any more.' As if any other sport does outside of really, really big occasions like an England match in the World Cup.

I'm surprised Steve ranks that final above his six Crucible victories, although he may mean it in terms of moments rather than triumphs.

I certainly hope it's not what he's remembered for because he was a great player - the best ever until Stephen Hendry came along - and should be celebrated for his achievements, which were many and glorious.

You can read the Kerryman's report of his exhibition with Taylor here.


Anonymous said...

very true dave. he was the greatest and still is one of the all time greats, only surpassed by the best player of all time, Stephen Hendry.

I doubt i will ever see a snooker player who takes over the title of best player from hendry in my lifetime.

Davis still plays a good role in snooker behind the scenes...

jamie brannon said...

I have heard there will be a BBC documentary on this, which is a little surprising considering they did one for the 20th. In the last six years only England games in major tournaments and the 2006 World Cup final have exceeded 18.5 million. In fact the last time a sport outside football, beat that particular figure was when? I cant think of one that has to be honest.

Anonymous said...

Torvill & Dean, 1994 Winter Olympics

Greg P said...

I hope the BBC documentary is better than the usual fluff that they produce. I really hope they show the amazing brown, blue and pink that Taylor potted too because they are always overlooked.

But I get the feeling half the running time is going to be just Z-list celebrities who don't even really like sports offering their opinions of Dennis Taylor's glasses. No doubt I will get attacked for that remark because snooker needs to "reach out" to the people who read Heat magazine, or something.

Anonymous said...

Jamie England winning the world cup in rugby?

IanW said...

Surely Mr Hey Hum's The Fine Fart (copyrighted of course) has been watched by 18 million ???

trophymad said...

I will remember Steve for tow things:
1) He makes me laugh like no one else when he does his trickshots
2) this horrible straight pink that he potted at the first TV MAX ever. It looked so effortless... Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Ian W i don't know if it has been watched by 18 million, but it must be pretty close to being read by it.... ;)

Anonymous said...

I would take Davis over Tiger Woods and Roger Federer as the greatest sportsman ever debate.
Just behind Cassius Clay in the all time list.

Anonymous said...

Is that a wind up 11:02AM? :@

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hi Dave How’s tricks!
Thanks lad for the posts. You seem to have adopted some Independent Thinkers that are actually interested more in the “Purity” of the game as opposed snooker personalities.
The many world champions and the folks in Hazels Corner are all important to snooker and choosing favourites keeps the word “Snooker” in the news.

Even the adverse comments Dave are good for the game, it is sad really that we never hear the familiar voices of “Snooker People” to comment and criticise with posts to create discussion.

Snooker the “Fine Art” method is taking some stick and stealing all the thunder. It is tragic really Dave that there is not a “Jack Jones” or a “Katie Smith” method to share this wonderful attention.

Thanks to all the Dave Den bloggers. The “Fine Art” snooker © method may have reached the ears of a “Snooker Business Person” with a few bob.

All business men dream of creating a multi million pound industry; while others only need to see the potential in a Concept. Mr hey you

jamie brannon said...

The Rugby on TV pulled about 13.8 million.

Davis is not even greater than Hendry so how he could be ahead of Woods and Federer is a little baffling.

I still can't understand how a loss like he suffered in 1985 could be ranked abbove his title wins, surely they are moments as well as being triumphs.

The BBC actually do far better sports documentaries than most commercial broadcasters. The one on Alex Higgins was excellent a few years ago, plus Inside Sport is a really good show.

Anonymous said...

gladly you would be in the very small minority with that opinion 1102, at least with folk with all their own marbles.

Anonymous said...

To reiterate,my top three of all time:

1) Cassius Clay
2) Steve Davis OBE
3) Linford Christie

I believe this to be the final word on the matter.

Anonymous said...

Davis and Christie would'nt get in the top 50!!

Witz78 said...

1 Faldo
2 Mansell
3 Redgrave
4 Davis
5 Henman
6 Bruno
7 Christie
8 Eubank
9 Hill
10 Torville and Dean

Anonymous said...

Witz that's your list of the top sportsmen ever???
Have you not heard of Federer, Cassius Clay, Bradman, Woods, Pele, Nicklaus, Michael
Jordan, Carl Lewis, Lance
Armstrong and Michael

jamie brannon said...

A touch xenophobic that list if it is meant to be worldwide, and also a bit off topic especiallly when I was banned from talking tennis once, probably rightly so.

Do the likes of Barry West receive prize money for going out in the preliminaries? Are there any other players who could play in qualifying that don't for the World's?

Dave H said...

They don't receive money. You have to be a member of the WPBSA to be eligible for entry.

moondan said...

I would be surprised if Steve Davis could manage 18.000 viewers in todays game.

The parrot/Davis presentation is exactly what snooker doesnt need but given snookers track record, and the bbcs habit of keeping people on for years and years unfortunately for snooker it will be a case of "until death do us part".