Doug Mountjoy, certainly one of Wales’ biggest ever snooker gamers, has died on the age of 78.
Mountjoy was a World Championship runner-up, certainly one of solely six Welshmen to achieve snooker’s greatest contest.
The previous coal miner might need received much more tournaments, however didn’t flip skilled till he was 34.
Mountjoy started his skilled profession by profitable the 1977 Masters match and can be certainly one of solely 4 Welsh gamers to win the UK Championship.
Mountjoy was born in Tir-y-Berth close to Caerphilly on Eight June, 1942 and was introduced up simply exterior Ebbw Vale in Blaenau Gwent.
In his youth Mounjtoy was a well known beginner snooker participant across the golf equipment, however the sport couldn’t be the complete focus on account of a profession as a coal miner.
Mountjoy received many beginner tournaments and was twice Welsh beginner champion earlier than taking the last word accolade, the 1976 world beginner title with a 11-1 thrashing of Paul Mifsud.
He turned skilled a yr later and as a late call-up for the 1977 Masters as a substitute, Mountjoy introduced himself within the skilled ranks with a shocking 7-6 win over reigning world champion Ray Reardon within the last.
Additional success would arrive in 1978 when he grew to become UK champion, beating David Taylor 15-9 within the last.
In 1980 Mountjoy received the champions of champions match, beating John Virgo 10-Eight within the last, whereas he additionally partnered with Terry Griffiths and Reardon to win the primary two snooker World Cups in 1979 and 1980.
A run within the 1981 World Championship noticed Mountjoy attain the ultimate at in Sheffield, however he was defeated 18-12 by a younger Steve Davis, who claimed the primary of his six Crucible titles.
Mountjoy dropped out of the world’s prime 16 as titles dried up for a spell, however he revitalised his recreation and profession within the late 1980s after working with famend coach Frank Callan.
Mountjoy was the shock winner of the 1988 UK Championship on the age of 46, beating future seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry 16-12 within the last.
Recognized with lung most cancers in 1993 he made his final look within the last levels of the World Championship that yr. He beat Alain Robidoux 10-6 within the first spherical a couple of weeks earlier than an operation to take away his left lung.
He recovered and stayed on the circuit till 1997 earlier than turning to teaching.
‘A real champion and gentleman’
Considered one of Mountjoy’s mates and a taking part in modern Cliff Thorburn mentioned: “So unhappy to listen to of Doug Mountjoy’s passing immediately.
“He was a real champion and gentleman. He had all of the photographs and the center of a lion. You knew he was within the room by his laughter and I spent many a contented time with Doug!
“My sympathies to his household and mates.”
One other former world champion, Dennis Taylor, mentioned: “Simply heard the unhappy news of the passing of certainly one of our legends.
“Doug Mountjoy a really particular Welsh man. RIP my pricey good friend.”
In a joint assertion, World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn OBE and World Skilled Billiards and Snooker Affiliation Chairman Jason Ferguson mentioned: “Doug was a at the beginning a stunning man, who had nice friendships with many gamers on the tour all through the 1970s and onwards.
“He had a improbable dedication to our sport, he merely cherished the sport and was at all times prepared to assist others to enhance, each as a participant and later as a coach.
“On the desk he was a fierce competitor and a positive champion who received a large number of tournaments.
“His revival late in his profession to win two occasions together with the UK Championship was an unimaginable achievement.
“Doug will likely be sadly missed by everybody who knew him, and our honest condolences go to his household.”
Tributes to Mountjoy additionally got here among the sport’s main figures have been posted on social media with Jimmy White amongst them.
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