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Doug Mountjoy

Doug Mountjoy
Doug Mountjoy (born 8 June 1942) is a retired Welsh snooker player, at the peak of his fame in the 1970's. Although he only won two ranking titles, he did so in successive tournaments. In more recent years he was the coach to the United Arab Emirates snooker association between 1997 to 1999.

Early life
Originally a coal miner, Mountjoy was brought up just outside Ebbw Vale. A well known player in the valleys as a youth and young man, he won many amateur tournaments including 2 Welsh Amateur titles and the World Amateur title in 1976, beating Malta's Paul Mifsud 11-1. After the World Amateur victory, he turned professional.

Turning professional
Mountjoy's first success was in the 1977 Masters at the New London Theatre as a late replacement. He beat former world champions Fred Davis, Alex Higgins and the then current champion Ray Reardon 7-6.

At the world championship a couple of months later, he beat Higgins again in the first round but lost to Dennis Taylor in the quarter-final 11-13. At the end of 1977, he made the final of the first ever 1977 UK Snooker Championship losing to Patsy Fagan 9-12.

Winning titles
He did win the title a year later beating David Taylor 15-9, and in the same season he beat Ray Reardon to win the Irish Masters 6-5.

Setback overcome
After winning the first two World Cups for Wales in 1979 and 1980, he suffered an illness which partially paralyzed his face.

With the problem cleared, he reached the final of the World Snooker Championship in 1981. He beat Eddie Charlton, Dennis Taylor and Ray Reardon in the semi-final (in which he made 145 break, a championship record at the time). He then played Steve Davis in the final but lost 12-18.

Further titles
After that run at the World Championship, he only had a short run of titles and he won the Welsh Professional Championship in 1982 and 1984 to go with his 1980 title. He was back in the final of a major again in the 1985 Masters tournament, losing to Cliff Thorburn. Mountjoy also reclaimed the Pot Black title in March that year, having previously won it in 1978.

He won another Welsh title in 1987, but his career struggled including a 1-9 defeat to Steve Longworth in the 1986 UK Snooker Championship. By 1988, he was out of the top 16 in the World Rankings.

Turning point
The 1988/89 season was to be a turning point for Mountjoy, when he made it to the final of the 1988 UK Snooker Championship meeting the young pretender Stephen Hendry in the final. He won 16-12, giving him his first major ranking tournament victory and after the match praised Hendry as a future talent.

In January, he won the Classic beating fellow Welshman Wayne Jones in the final. All in two months, that gave him his second ranking title during his twelve years as a professional. He then won his fifth Welsh Professional title the following month. He was back in the Top 16 the season later and by 1990, he was No. 5 in the world. He stayed in the Top 16 until 1993.

Beating cancer
In 1993 not long after dropping out of the Top 16, Mountjoy was diagnosed with lung cancer after being a smoker for many years, but later beat it and continued to play snooker until 1997.

Tournament wins

  • UK Championship (1988)
  • Mercantile Credit Classic (1988)
  • Other tournaments
  • UK Championship (1978)
  • Benson & Hedges Masters (1977)
  • Irish Masters (1979)
  • Pot Black (1978, 1985)
  • Welsh Professional Championship (1980, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1989)
  • World Cup (1979, 1980) with Wales team

145 Break by Doug Mountjoy VS Reardon (1981 WSC)


 

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