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Top 10 Greatest ever snooker players


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Old 01-05-2007, 10:42
Darren Lethem
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Here's a topical one for you.

Something I was thinking myself at home. Who is the greatest ever snooker player ? Well here is my top 10. Not based on personal favourites but oustanding achievements and contributions to the game. One other thing to take into account is the different era's players played. I am not saying that number 9 wouldnt beat number 3 for instance, because you can only beat what is put in front of you and snooker times and advances change.

1. Stephen Hendry - 7 times world champion and won more titles than any other plus made more century breaks than any other.

2. Steve Davis - 6 times world champ and the man who made snooker what it is today. Revolutionised the game in the 1980's and was simply untouchable.

3. Joe Davis - did in the 1930s and 40's what Steve Davis did in the 1980s. Multi World Champion ( 15 times ) amd could do things with a snooker ball that others had only dreamt of in that era.

4. Ray Reardon - Boy, could he control the cue ball. Another 6 time world champ and possibly the biggest crowd favourite of his time. Affable, creative and a superb potter.

5. Ronnie O'Sullivan - For me, the best player in the world right now. Never mind what his ranking is, he is the one player others fear. Genius, multi skilled and a real enigma.

6. Fred Davis - Like his older brother Joe, helped bring the game to the masses. May not have had his brother's talent but his longevity gets him in my list. Made the World semis at the age of 64 and won the World Billiard crown at the age of 67.

7. John Spencer - was always my favourite player when I first started watching the game. His cue power and potting ability made him ahead of his time. 3 time world champion and the first Crucible winner.

8. Alex Higgins - So much talent, so much ability, so much wasted. Could be much higher up the list had his demons not overtaken his natural skill.

9. Jimmy White - The only non world champion on my list, but a man with so much under achieved talent. 6 times runner up, 5 in a row, you don't do that unless you can play. Arguably the most popular player ever, with both fans and players alike.

10. John Pulman - Was the main man during the 1960's. 8 times world champion and another whose career certainly lasted longer than anticipated.

I know some will argue and disgaree but that's the beauty of opinion isnt it ?

Notable mentions for John Higgins, Mark Williams, Walter Donaldson and Horace Lindrum.
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Old 01-05-2007, 13:20
Verence
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Originally Posted by Darren Lethem
Here's a topical one for you.

Something I was thinking myself at home. Who is the greatest ever snooker player ? Well here is my top 10. Not based on personal favourites but oustanding achievements and contributions to the game. .
If this was based on favourite players than IMHO Steve "Interesting" Davis would be #1
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Old 01-05-2007, 13:33
Terrence Chant
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That's a very good and fair list, spanning the decades as it does........

But Fred Davis and John Pulman better than (John) Higgins and Williams? Naah!! The immediate thought is that the latter day players would stuff 'em!!

But then we've got to take into account evolution - would Pulman etc. have had the game to play in today's climate if required? One of life's imponderables........
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Old 01-05-2007, 19:57
Faxy Fowler
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Nice thread. Can I go for a top five please based on those I'm young enough to have seen, though to be frank, I would purely be basing anything earlier on conjecture, hence these names.

1. Stephen Hendry
2. Steve Davis
3. Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Williams I can't seperate them
5. Jimmy White

Most all time lists are obviously going to include Joe Davis, Ray Reardon, John Spencer etc.

But I never did see them other than the odd mideighties PotBlack when sent to bed to watch the black and white portable...useless as it was for snooker!

Last edited by Faxy Fowler : 01-05-2007 at 19:59.
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Old 01-05-2007, 20:20
footygirl
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These ratings are going to come as a slight surprise

1. Steve Davis, at his peak, unplayable
2. Stephen Hendry, if he went head to head with a top form Davis, Steve's superior tactical play would see Hendry lose, but only just
3. Joe Davis, not enough challengers to test his greatness
4. Ray Reardon- a tactical genius who was a devastating potter
5. Alex Higgins- had it all but it was his temperament that let him down, but a great potter and safety player
6. Fred Davis-eight world titles but his greatest years were before the snooker boom
7. Ronnie O'Sullivan, tough one here but for his genius it's his consistency and temperament that puts him at 7 for me
8. John Spencer, a superb breakbuilder and safety player whos game took him to three world titles
9. John Pulman, one of the best cue actions in the game, the dominant figure of the 1960s
10. Jimmy White, would be higher if he had a world title, all the ability in the world
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Old 01-05-2007, 20:32
Terrence Chant
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Originally Posted by Faxy Fowler
Nice thread. Can I go for a top five please based on those I'm young enough to have seen, though to be frank, I would purely be basing anything earlier on conjecture, hence these names.

1. Stephen Hendry
2. Steve Davis
3. Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Williams I can't seperate them
5. Jimmy White

Most all time lists are obviously going to include Joe Davis, Ray Reardon, John Spencer etc.

But I never did see them other than the odd mideighties PotBlack when sent to bed to watch the black and white portable...useless as it was for snooker!
That's the trouble with these kinds of topics, unless you're Ted Lowe or somebody you're in no position to make comparisons.......and crusties like Lowe are always going to favour the old guard anyway...........

Even the two greatest players, Davis and Hendry never played each other when they were both at their peak - they crossed each other in opposite directions really.......

I can clearly remember when I thought the tide was turning, Hendry who had lost heavily in a best of 17 semi final previously beat Davis for the first time in a best of nine in the Rothmans Grand Prix circa 1989......from then on he never looked back.......
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Old 01-05-2007, 20:37
Faxy Fowler
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Originally Posted by Terrence Chant
That's the trouble with these kinds of topics, unless you're Ted Lowe or somebody you're in no position to make comparisons.......and crusties like Lowe are always going to favour the old guard anyway...........
Yes, if I tried to argue that Dixie Dean was our greatest ever striker, it would only be based on the record books, not obviously having seen him.

In saying that, I'd have thought Mark Williams must be there or thereabouts. Had we been doing this 3/4 years ago I bet he would have been included.

Countless titles including 2 world crowns and in regard to his qualities, I think widely recognised as the best single ball potter in history.
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Old 01-05-2007, 20:45
Terrence Chant
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Yes, Williams would definitely have been in most peoples top tens a couple of years or so ago........

Originally Posted by Faxy Fowler
Mark Williams... widely recognised as the best single ball potter in history.
Wonder how happy he is to be labelled with that one.....could be misconstrued as the 'greatest one break builder of all time'...........
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Old 01-05-2007, 20:56
Darren Lethem
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Originally Posted by footygirl
These ratings are going to come as a slight surprise

1. Steve Davis, at his peak, unplayable
2. Stephen Hendry, if he went head to head with a top form Davis, Steve's superior tactical play would see Hendry lose, but only just
3. Joe Davis, not enough challengers to test his greatness
4. Ray Reardon- a tactical genius who was a devastating potter
5. Alex Higgins- had it all but it was his temperament that let him down, but a great potter and safety player
6. Fred Davis-eight world titles but his greatest years were before the snooker boom
7. Ronnie O'Sullivan, tough one here but for his genius it's his consistency and temperament that puts him at 7 for me
8. John Spencer, a superb breakbuilder and safety player whos game took him to three world titles
9. John Pulman, one of the best cue actions in the game, the dominant figure of the 1960s
10. Jimmy White, would be higher if he had a world title, all the ability in the world

exactly the same 10 as me, just slightly different order. I did um and ar over number 1 to be honest. Davis was the choice of my heart and you say that he was unplayable but for me the fact that Hendry has scored more ( and to be honest a hell of a lot more ) century breaks in tournament play says to me has to have been the better player.
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Old 01-05-2007, 21:00
footygirl
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Point taken Darren, but big breaks do not necessarily mean you are going to win a title, for Steve's superior safety play puts him at No 1
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Old 01-05-2007, 21:25
SULLA
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The competion is the past 25 years has been a lot harder.

In no particular order I would go for

Joe Davies
Ray Reardon
Alex Higgins
Jimmy White
Stephen Hendry
Steve Davies
Ronnie O' Sullivan
John Spencer
John Higgins
One other.
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Old 01-05-2007, 21:29
Darren Lethem
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Originally Posted by footygirl
Point taken Darren, but big breaks do not necessarily mean you are going to win a title, for Steve's superior safety play puts him at No 1

They did for Hendry. He has won more titles that Davis. He has won 36 ranking titles to Davis 28. Sorry, I have never been a Hendry fan but he is the better player.
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Old 01-05-2007, 21:31
footygirl
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What about his safety play though. Looks like you and me will have to agree to differ
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Old 01-05-2007, 21:40
Darren Lethem
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Originally Posted by footygirl
What about his safety play though. Looks like you and me will have to agree to differ
Well to win 7 world titles and more money than any other player in history, you need to be able to do more than pot. If I was letting my heart rule my head I would say Davis, I cheer for him more than any other player still. But when I look at the facts, Hendry is supreme. Even Davis himself would have to agree that he has been surpassed.
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Old 01-05-2007, 21:45
footygirl
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The money has increased substantially over the years. I think the only way we'd ever resolve this is if both Steve and Stephen played each other when both at the peak of their powers.

Now that would be interesting
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Old 01-05-2007, 22:12
JIMO96
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I honestly believe that standards now are higher than ever before, so my list is based on pure ability. The last serious "upping" of the standard was in the mid 90's when Higgins, O'Sullivan & Williams all turned pro. Hendry had to find a new level, and to his credit, he did.

My list is:

1. Stephen Hendry
2. John Higgins
3. Ronnie O'Sullivan
4. Mark Williams
5. Steve Davis
6. Peter Ebdon
7. Ken Doherty
8. Jimmy White
9. John Parrott
10. Paul Hunter
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Old 01-05-2007, 22:20
JIMO96
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I've had numerous discussions with people who (rather ignorantly) state that Graeme Dott is the worst world champion ever.

Firstly, (a) you can't have the words "worst" and "champion" in the same sentence

and (b) as the most recent champion, and in an era when standards are at an all time high, Graeme is arguably the BEST champion of all time

As far as I can see a good world champion is one who took the game to a new level (Joe Davis, John Spencer, Ray Reardon, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Williams).

Then there is a category for world champions who went on to show that their success was no fluke, either by winning more titles or by doing well in a modern World Championship again: (Fred Davis, Walter Donaldson, Alex Higgins, Cliff Thorburn, Terry Griffiths, Dennis Taylor, Joe Johnson, John Parrott, Peter Ebdon, Shaun Murphy, Graeme Dott)

I think that just leaves John Pulman. Legend of the game that he is, he won the title when the game was at it's lowest ebb. Plus most of his titles were "challenges" against single opponents, unlike the 100+ fields that have been common from the '80s onwards. When Reardon, Spencer and to a certain extent Higgins came along, he couldn't compete.
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Old 01-05-2007, 22:29
Faxy Fowler
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Originally Posted by JIMO96
Then there is a category for world champions who went on to show that their success was no fluke, either by winning more titles or by doing well in a modern World Championship again: (Fred Davis, Walter Donaldson, Alex Higgins, Cliff Thorburn, Terry Griffiths, Dennis Taylor, Joe Johnson, John Parrott, Peter Ebdon, Shaun Murphy, Graeme Dott
Personally, I think its a bit early to judge the legacy of the latter two. Murphy has a lot of championships in him, and I imagine has a big chance of winning it again, Dott suffered the curse of first time champions this year, going out in round one, albeit he was a finalist as well in 2004, and still has some good steady years to come I'm sure.
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Old 01-05-2007, 22:30
Katiya
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Im shocked no one has mentioned Joe Johnson, Bill Werbenuik, Silvino Fransisco, Kirk Stevens, Steve James, Tony Meo, Tony Knowles or David Taylor yet. Eash of them was unique in their own crap way.
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Old 01-05-2007, 22:51
ash132
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I personally belive snooker now and in recent years to be at its highest ever standard, so me list is ever so slightly weighted towards the present day.

1. Stephen Hendry
2. Steve Davis
3. Ronnie O'Sullivan
4. Joe Davis
5. John Higgins
6. Ray Reardon
7. Alex Higgins
8. John Spencer
9. John Pulman
10. Mark Williams

Tbh i'd have Ronnie even higher if the list was based purely on natural ability, I do think at his best he's the best snooker player ever, and at his best Higgins is probably the second best player ever. However the ability to consistently produce is what makes champions and what makes great champions, so Hendry and Davis have to be the top two.
Williams would make the top 10 because of what he's won and because for 12-18 months a few years ago he was incredible, winning tournament after tournament.
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:51
biggeral
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My Top 10 is as follows:

1) Stephen Hendry
2) Steve Davis
3) Ray Reardon
4) Joe Davis
5) Ronnie O'Sullivan
6) Jimmy White
7) Mark Williams
8) Fred Davis
9) Cliff Thorburn
10) Paul Hunter or John Higgins
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Old 02-05-2007, 12:01
Sloopy
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Off the top of my head I'd say:

1 Stephen Hendry
2 Steve Davis
3 Joe Davis
4 Ray Reardon
5 Alex Higgins
6 Ronnie O'Sullivan
7 Jimmy White
8 John Spencer
9 Mark Williams
10 Fred Davis
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Old 02-05-2007, 13:37
JIMO96
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I re-thought my list from above, and to be honest, only the top 6 of my choice are accurate in my opinion. Positions 6-10 could be filled, in any order, by any of my 4 choices, or indeed any 4 from: Doherty, White, Parrott, Hunter plus Ding Jun Hui, Stephen Maguire & Neil Robertson.

Players such as Stephen Lee, Neal Foulds, James Wattana and Gary Wilkinson have matched this standard in bursts, but not with any great consistency.
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Old 02-05-2007, 13:42
Faxy Fowler
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Originally Posted by JIMO96
Players such as Stephen Lee, Neal Foulds, James Wattana and Gary Wilkinson have matched this standard in bursts, but not with any great consistency.
Noone in their right mind would even consider these in an all time top 10. They were hardly even top 10 players at their best, or at least not for long.
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Old 02-05-2007, 17:52
JIMO96
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Originally Posted by Faxy Fowler
Noone in their right mind would even consider these in an all time top 10. They were hardly even top 10 players at their best, or at least not for long.
I didn't, Faxy. I said they almost did enough. And they were all top 5 players FYI.
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