VIDEO: Six-time world champion Steve Davis announces his retirement from snooker at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre

0
Have your say

Six-time world champion Steve Davis has announced his retirement from snooker today, in an emotional press conference at the Crucible.

Davis, aged 58, lost to Fergal O'Brien in the first round of qualifying for this year's Betfred World Championship and decided that would be his final match.

Steve Davis, the six-time snooker world champion

Steve Davis, the six-time snooker world champion

"That was my last match as a professional," Davis said on the BBC. "So I'm calling it a day.

"I phoned up Barry (Hearn, his long-time manager) and told him it was on my mind to enter the World Championship and make that the last. I said, 'Barry, I think it's time to retire from professional snooker'.

"And he said, 'Steve, you retired 10 years ago we just didn't have the heart to tell you'."

An emotional Davis took a bow in front of the Crucible crowds with the World Championship trophy on Sunday.

Davis at his farewell press conference

Davis at his farewell press conference

The death of his father Bill, who introduced his son to snooker, in late March came after Davis had reached his decision. Davis said: "It came to my mind that perhaps it was the right time to stop.

"And my father wasn't very well. So I entered, for him, this year's World Championship. He was still alive when I entered, then he passed away so I played the match against Fergal. That was the only match I ever played without him."

Davis won world titles in 1981, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988 and 1989, but he rates his last Crucible match victory as his greatest.

He said: "My memory's not that great so the one five years ago beating John Higgins was the most amazing match I've ever played. When you're not supposed to win, then you do... I walked up from here (the Crucible) to the Winter Gardens to be interviewed and that was one amazing moment."

Despite his many trophies, Davis will be remembered by many as the man beaten by Dennis Taylor in the 1985 Crucible final, when his missed black at the end of the deciding frame was watched by a record TV audience of 18.5million viewers.

Taylor potted the black to win snooker's most famous match. Davis has previously spoken of that as being a highlight of his career, although at the time he was left mortified. He ends his career with 28 ranking titles, including six UK Championships to sit alongside his triumphs in Sheffield.

Davis also won the Masters three times, dominating the sport during an era when there was competition from the likes of Alex Higgins and Jimmy White. Davis told a press conference: "I think the best moment of my career was missing the black against Dennis Taylor.

"At one stage I was the strongest player in the game so I was expected to win, so those moments when everybody is excited are when you don't. With Dennis, that was the best and worst moment of my career because I think it just showed how greatly snooker had been appreciated by the public."

Davis began his career in the late 1970s, having been armed by his father with the book How I Play Snooker, written by his namesake Joe Davis. Based in Romford, he practised at the Lucania Club, where Hearn was involved, and the pair struck up a friendship in 1976 that has lasted the test of time. Hearn assumed the role of manager to Davis, and they became a great team. Hearn is now chairman of World Snooker, with Davis on the board.

"I do think I should have retired earlier, in a way. But if I had retired as quickly as Stephen (Hendry) I wouldn't have had one of my best moments, which was beating John Higgins when I wasn't supposed to," Davis added.

"The last couple of years have been tough because you don't get much success and I was definitely doing it for my father then."

Back to the top of the page