Steve Davis is a retired professional snooker player from England. He has won six world titles and was the world’s top ranked snooker player from 1983 to 1990. His match against Dennis Taylor in the 1985 World Championship finals can be considered the most memorable match in his career. Three years later, he was also named as BBC’S Sports Personality of the Year, in 1988, making him the only snooker player to win this award. He dominated the sport for several years, but it ended after Stephen Hendry’s emergence. Over the next two decades, he completed at a higher level, and in 1997, he won the Masters. In 2005, he also reached the final of the UK Championships. Throughout his career, he has also published several books such as ‘Successful Snooker’, and ‘The Official Matchroom’, and ‘Frame and Fortune’. He was also honored with the Order of the British Empire. He currently serves as honorary president of the Snooker Writers Association as well.
Childhood & Early Life
Steve Davis was born on 22 August 1957, in Plumstead, London, England. His father Bill introduced him to snooker at an early age.
Steve read the book ‘How I Play Snooker’, at the age of 12. He developed his own technique and began playing at the Lucania Snooker Club. He toured the country and took part in various challenge matches against well-established professionals like John Spencer and Ray Reardon.
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Steve Davis gained popularity after he performed quite well at the World Championship in 1980, where he was able to reach the quarter-finals, after he defeated champion Terry Griffiths. The same year, he also won the UK Championship, after beating Griffiths in the semi-finals, and Alex Higgins in the finals.
In 1981, he won the Classic as well as the International Masters and English Professional titles. He also won the 1981 World Championship for the first time, after beating Doug Mountjoy in the finals. He also won in the International Open after beating Dennis Taylor, and retained his UK Championship, after beating Jimmy White.
Despite his brilliant performances in 1981, in 1982, Steve Davis was defeated in the first round of the World Championship. He was also unable to retain his UK title as he was beaten by Griffiths in the quarter finals. However, he was able to win the World Doubles Championship, along with Tony Meo.
In 1983, Davis emerged as the World Champion for the second time after defeating Cliff Thorburn. He was the number-one ranked snooker player in the world from 1983 to 1990.
Between these seven years, he won the World Championship four more times, in 1984, 1987, 1988 and 1989. He was also the Runner-up in the 1985 and 1986 World Championship, after being defeated by Dennis Taylor and Joe Johnson. He also won the UK Championship, Grand Prix, as well as the International Open multiple times. However, after 1989 and 1990 seasons, Stephen Hendry emerged as the world’s number one player.
Though Steve Davis was able to win other titles, he was not able to enter the finals of the World Championship again. His last ranking title was the Welsh Open title which he won in 1995. Even though he continued playing in tournaments, his rankings eventually lowered. In 1997, he won the China International tournament. He also won The Masters the same year, and the Red Bull Super Challenge in 1998.
In 2010 and 2011, he was runner-up in the World Seniors Championship, and became the winner in 2013. In 2018, he emerged victorious again the Seniors Irish Masters Championship. He had announced his retirement from professional snooker in April 2016, due to his father’s recent death.
Steve Davis also played at professional nine-ball pool events between 1994 and 2007. He had also played a key role in the creation of the Mosconi Cup. He reachED the final 16 at the 2003 WPA World Nine-ball championship, where he was beaten by Earl Strickland.
He is proficient in poker, and has appeared in several televised tournaments.
He is also a skilled chess player as well, and for a while he was also the president of the British Chess Federation.
He has published several books as well, five of which were about snooker. They are ‘Successful Snooker’ and ‘Frame and Fortune’ published in 1982, ‘Steve Davis: Snooker Champion’ published in 1983, ‘Matchroom Snooker’, published in 1988, and ‘The Official Matchroom’ in 1990. Two of them are related to chess, which he co-authored with David Norwood. They were ‘Steve Davis Plays Chess’, and ‘Grandmaster Meets Chess Amateur’.
Steve Davis was married to Judith Davis from 1990 to 2005. They have two sons named Greg and Jack.
He has received multiple honors throughout his career. He was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and made Member of the British Empire. In 2000, he was made an Officer of the British Empire. Currently, he is also the honorary president of the Snookers Writers’ Association.