Terry Griffiths

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Terry Griffiths
Born (1947-10-16) 16 October 1947 (age 70)
Llanelli, Carmarthenshire
Sport country  Wales
Professional 1978–1997
Highest ranking 3 (1981/82)
Career winnings £1,209,054
Highest break 140: 1983 Hong Kong Masters
Century breaks 86
Tournament wins
Ranking 1
Non-ranking 17
World Champion 1979

Terrence "Terry" Griffiths, OBE[1] (born 16 October 1947) is a retired Welsh snooker player and current snooker coach and pundit. He won the World Championship in 1979 at the first attempt, and reached the 1988 final. He also won the Masters in 1980 and the UK Championship in 1982, making him one of ten players to have completed snooker's triple crown. He was known for his slow, cautious yet elegant style of play.

Early years

Griffiths was born in Llanelli. A former postman,[2] insurance salesman, miner and bus conductor, he had a long amateur career, winning the Welsh Amateur Championship in 1975 and the English Amateur Championship in 1977 and 1978 before turning professional.


In his first professional match, at the 1978 UK Championship, he lost 8–9 to Rex Williams after leading 8–1.[3] However, he could hardly have expected what would come in the 1979 World Championships. After qualifying he beat Perrie Mans and Alex Higgins. Interviewed after beating Eddie Charlton in a long semi-final, it suddenly dawned on him what he had done, and he said "I'm in the final now, you know!" in his broad Welsh accent.[4] He went on to beat Dennis Taylor 24–16 in the final, becoming world champion at the first attempt.[5] In the same year he was part of the Welsh team that won the inaugural World Cup of snooker: he, Ray Reardon and Doug Mountjoy beat England 14–3 in the final. But at the end of 1979, he lost 13–14 in the UK Championship final to John Virgo.

1980 started well for Griffiths as he won the Masters, beating Alex Higgins 9–5 in front of 2,323 spectators at the Wembley Conference Centre. It was his first appearance at the Masters and turned out to be his only win there. He then won the Irish Masters also at the first attempt, beating Doug Mountjoy 9–8, but the Crucible Curse struck at the World Championships that year, as he lost his second-round match (which was then a 'first round' for the top eight players, who had byes) to Steve Davis.

He retained the World Cup later on in 1980 for Wales and again won the Irish Masters in 1981 before losing to eventual winner Steve Davis again in the World Championship.

He also lost 3–16 to Davis in the UK Championship final in 1981, beginning a six-month period in which he and Davis faced each other in almost every major tournament final. Although Davis had the better of their exchanges, winning three finals, Griffiths triumphed twice, in the Classic in early 1982 and later the Irish Masters (becoming the first player to win three consecutive titles) beating Davis on both occasions (the Classic 9–8 and the Irish Masters 9–5). Unsurprisingly, after Davis was sensationally beaten by Tony Knowles in the first round of the World Championship that year, Griffiths was immediately installed as the bookmakers' favourite for the title. However, a second surprise followed as Griffiths was beaten, also in the first round, by Willie Thorne. At the end of 1982, he won the UK Championship, beating Alex Higgins in a classic 16–15 final. It was still a non-ranking event at that time.

He never again won a ranking event, although he won several major invitational events; the 1984 Malaysian Masters, where he topped a round robin group (Tony Meo was the runner up), the 1984 Singapore Masters, where he also topped a round robin group (Davis was runner up), the 1985 Hong Kong Masters, where he beat Davis 4–2; the 1986 Belgian Classic, where he beat Kirk Stevens 9–7 in the final, in an event featuring 8 of the top 9 in the year's rankings.

He did take the Pot Black title in 1984 and the Welsh Professional Championship between 1985, 1986 and 1988. He reached the final of the World Snooker Championship again also in 1988, defeating Steve Longworth, Willie Thorne, Neal Foulds and Jimmy White but he lost to old rival Steve Davis 11–18. During the final session of the championship, he accidentally knocked over a globe on the Crucible set, denting part of it with his foot: he was awarded the globe at the end of the match. He achieved the notable feat of reaching at least the quarter-finals of the World Championships for nine consecutive years between 1984–1992.

By the 1990s he began to struggle in the rankings but he still reached the semi-final of the 1992 World Championship, with victories over Bob Chaperon, Neal Foulds and Peter Ebdon before losing to Stephen Hendry. Having lost at the Crucible in 1996 against his old rival Steve Davis (whom he never beat at the Crucible in 7 attempts) in the last 16 (after beating the young Scottish player Jamie Burnett in a final frame decider 10–9 in the first round, having trailed 0–6 and 5–9), he immediately announced his retirement from the game.

Unusually for a snooker player Griffiths retired whilst still inside the top 32 and 23rd in the rankings.[6] This was despite only entering the 1997 world championship qualifiers in his final season as a professional.[7] He won this match and qualified to play at the Crucible one last time. He lost that match to fellow countryman and debutant Mark Williams, in another final-frame decider, 9–10. This meant that he played a total of 999 frames at the Crucible.[8]

Coaching career

Griffiths is well known as a coach and has coached many top players. Having retired from professional play in 1997, he currently coaches top players such as Mark Williams, Marco Fu, Mark Allen, Ali Carter, Joe Perry, Barry Hawkins and Ding Junhui,[9] and in the past has coached Stephen Hendry and Stephen Maguire. He is the Director of Coaching at the South West Snooker Academy.[10] He also frequently commentates on snooker for the BBC.

Performance and rankings timeline

Tournament 1978/
Ranking[11] [nb 1] 8 5 3 14 9 8 8 10 6 5 5 6 11 6 8 14 15 23
Ranking tournaments
Asian Classic[nb 2] Tournament Not Held NR A QF 2R QF 2R 2R QF A
Grand Prix[nb 3] Tournament Not Held QF 3R 1R QF 3R 3R QF 1R 2R QF SF 1R 2R 1R A
UK Championship Non-Ranking Event 1R QF 3R QF SF SF 2R 3R 1R QF 3R 2R A
German Open Tournament Not Held 1R A
Welsh Open Tournament Not Held 3R 2R 1R 1R 2R A
International Open[nb 4] Not Held NR QF SF 2R 3R 3R 2R 1R 2R Not Held 3R 3R 3R 1R A
European Open Tournament Not Held F 1R 2R SF 2R 1R QF 2R A
Thailand Open[nb 5] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event Not Held SF 1R 1R 1R 2R 1R 1R A
British Open[nb 6] NH Non-Ranking Event 2R QF 3R 2R 1R 2R 3R QF 1R 1R 1R 1R A
World Championship W 2R QF 1R 2R QF QF QF QF F QF QF QF SF 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R
Non-ranking tournaments
Scottish Masters Not Held A SF QF QF A A F NH F F A 1R A A A A
Charity Challenge Tournament Not Held SF 1R A
The Masters A W F F QF F SF QF 1R QF QF 1R SF 1R 1R 1R QF WR A
Irish Masters A W W W SF F 1R 1R SF SF QF SF 1R 1R 1R 1R A A A
European League[nb 7] Tournament Not Held A Not Held RR RR RR A A A A A A A A
Former ranking tournaments
Canadian Masters[nb 8] Non-Ranking Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking QF Tournament Not Held
Hong Kong Open[nb 9] NH Ranking Event NH 2R Tournament Not Held Ranking NH
Classic NH Non-Ranking Event QF QF 1R QF QF 3R 1R 1R 3R Tournament Not Held
Strachan Open Tournament Not Held 2R MR NR Not Held
Former non-ranking tournaments
Champion of Champions A NH RR Tournament Not Held
International Open[nb 10] Not Held QF Ranking Event Not Held Ranking Event
Northern Ireland Classic Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
Classic NH SF QF W 1R Ranking Event Tournament Not Held
UK Championship 1R F SF F W SF Ranking Event
British Open[nb 11] NH RR RR F 2R 2R Ranking Event
Australian Masters[nb 12] NH A A A A A A A SF A NH R Tournament Not Held A A NH
Thailand Masters Tournament Not Held SF F F F Not Held Ranking Event
Canadian Masters[nb 13] A F F Tournament Not Held QF A QF R Tournament Not Held
Asian Classic[nb 14] Tournament Not Held QF Ranking Event
Welsh Professional Championship NH SF SF F SF SF W W SF W F QF QF Tournament Not Held
World Seniors Championship Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
Pot Black A RR A A A W QF 1R Tournament Not Held 1R QF QF Not Held
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Held means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event means an event is/was a ranking event.
  1. ^ New players on the Main Tour do not have a ranking.
  2. ^ The event was also called the Dubai Masters (1988/1989), Dubai Classic (1989/90–1994/1995) and Thailand Classic (1995/1996)
  3. ^ The event was also called the Professional Players Tournament (1982/83–1983/1984)
  4. ^ The event was also called the Goya Matchroom Trophy (1985/1986)
  5. ^ The event was also called the Thailand Masters (1983/1984–1986/1987 & 1991/1992) and the Asian Open (1989/1990–1992/1993)
  6. ^ The event was also called the British Gold Cup (1979/1980), Yamaha Organs Trophy (1980/1981) and International Masters (1981/1982–1983/1984)
  7. ^ The event was also called the Matchroom League (1986/1987–1991/1992)
  8. ^ The event was also called the Canadian Open (1978/1979–1980/1981)
  9. ^ The event was also called the Australian Masters (1979/1980–1987/1988) and Australian Open (1994/1995)
  10. ^ The event was also called the Goya Matchroom Trophy (1985/1986)
  11. ^ The event was also called the British Gold Cup (1979/1980), Yamaha Organs Trophy (1980/1981) and International Masters (1981/1982–1983/1984)
  12. ^ The event was also called the Hong Kong Open (1989/1990) and Australian Open (1994/1995)
  13. ^ The event was also called the Canadian Open (1978/1979–1980/1981)
  14. ^ The event was also called the Dubai Masters (1988/1989)

Career finals

Ranking finals: 3 (1 title, 2 runner-ups)

World Championship (1–1)
Other (0–1)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1979 World Championship Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 24–16
Runner-up 1. 1988 World Championship England Steve Davis 11–18
Runner-up 2. 1989 European Open England John Parrott 8–9

Non-ranking finals: 40 (17 titles, 23 runner-ups)

UK Championship (1–2) [nb 1]
The Masters (1–3)
Other (15–19)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1979 Canadian Open Canada Cliff Thorburn 16–17
Runner-up 2. 1979 UK Championship England John Virgo 13–14
Winner 1. 1980 The Masters Northern Ireland Alex Higgins 9–5
Winner 2. 1980 Irish Masters Wales Doug Mountjoy 10–9
Runner-up 3. 1980 Canadian Open (2) Canada Cliff Thorburn 10–17
Runner-up 4. 1981 The Masters Northern Ireland Alex Higgins 6–9
Winner 3. 1981 Irish Masters (2) Wales Ray Reardon 9–7
Winner 4. 1981 Pontins Professional England Willie Thorne 9–8
Runner-up 5. 1981 UK Championship (2) England Steve Davis 3–16
Winner 5. 1982 The Classic England Steve Davis 9–8
Runner-up 6. 1982 The Masters (2) England Steve Davis 5–9
Runner-up 7. 1982 Welsh Professional Championship Wales Doug Mountjoy 8–9
Runner-up 8. 1982 International Masters England Steve Davis 7–9
Winner 6. 1982 Irish Masters (3) England Steve Davis 9–5
Winner 7. 1982 UK Championship Northern Ireland Alex Higgins 16–15
Runner-up 9. 1983 Tolly Cobbold Classic England Steve Davis 5–7
Runner-up 10. 1983 Hong Kong Masters Wales Doug Mountjoy 3–4
Winner 8. 1984 Pot Black England John Spencer 2–1
Runner-up 11. 1984 The Masters (3) England Jimmy White 5–9
Runner-up 12. 1984 Irish Masters England Steve Davis 1–9
Runner-up 13. 1984 Thailand Masters England Jimmy White 3–4
Winner 9. 1984 Malaysian Masters England Tony Meo [nb 2]
Winner 10. 1984 Singapore Masters England Steve Davis [nb 2]
Winner 11. 1985 Welsh Professional Championship Wales Doug Mountjoy 9–4
Winner 12. 1985 Pontins Professional (2) England John Spencer 9–7
Winner 13. 1985 Hong Kong Masters England Steve Davis 4–2
Runner-up 14. 1985 Thailand Masters (2) Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 0–4
Runner-up 15. 1985 Singapore Masters England Steve Davis 2–4
Winner 14. 1986 Belgian Classic Canada Kirk Stevens 9–7
Winner 15. 1986 Welsh Professional Championship (2) Wales Doug Mountjoy 9–3
Winner 16. 1986 Pontins Professional (3) England Willie Thorne 9–6
Runner-up 16. 1986 Thailand Masters (3) Thailand James Wattana 1–2
Runner-up 17. 1986 China Masters England Steve Davis 0–3
Runner-up 18. 1987 Tokyo Masters Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 3–6
Runner-up 19. 1987 Scottish Masters England Joe Johnson 7–9
Winner 17. 1988 Welsh Professional Championship (3) Wales Wayne Jones 9–3
Runner-up 20. 1989 Welsh Professional Championship (2) Wales Doug Mountjoy 6–9
Runner-up 21. 1989 Scottish Masters (2) Scotland Stephen Hendry 1–10
Runner-up 22. 1990 Scottish Masters (3) Scotland Stephen Hendry 6–10
Runner-up 23. 1997 Seniors Pot Black England Joe Johnson 0–2

Team finals: 5 (2 titles, 3 runner-ups)

Outcome No. Year Championship Team/partner Opponent(s) in the final Score
Winner 1. 1979 World Challenge Cup  Wales  England 14–3
Winner 2. 1980 World Challenge Cup (2)  Wales  Canada 8–5
Runner-up 1. 1981 World Team Classic  Wales  England 3–4
Runner-up 2. 1982 World Doubles Championship Wales Doug Mountjoy England Steve Davis
England Tony Meo
Runner-up 3. 1983 World Team Classic (2)  Wales  England 2–4

Pro-am finals: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1977 Pontins Spring Open Northern Ireland Alex Higgins 4–7
Winner 1. 1983 Pontins Spring Open Wales Ray Reardon 7–3

Amateur finals: 4 (3 titles, 1 runner-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1972 Welsh Amateur Championship Wales Geoff Thomas 2–6
Winner 1. 1975 Welsh Amateur Championship Wales Geoff Thomas 8–7
Winner 2. 1977 English Amateur Championship England Sid Hood 13–3
Winner 3. 1978 English Amateur Championship England Joe Johnson 13–6

Trickshot events


  1. ^ The UK Championship did not become a ranking event until 1984
  2. ^ a b No play-off. Winner decided via a league format.


  1. ^ "Terry Griffiths receives an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours". Retrieved 16 June 2009
  2. ^ "1979: Griffiths creates miracle". BBC. 12 April 2002. Retrieved 15 July 2008. 
  3. ^ "Where are they now? – Terry Griffiths". Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on 15 August 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2008. 
  4. ^ "Hall of Fame – Terry Griffiths". BBC. Archived from the original on 6 March 2005. Retrieved 14 July 2008. 
  5. ^ "A Profile for Terry Griffiths". Terry Griffiths Snooker. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "Still POTTY after all these years. – Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Interview with Terry Griffiths (part 1 of 2) " Snooker Island Blog". Snookerisland.com. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Crucible 2008 – some potential milestones". BBC. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Griffiths to coach six players". World Snooker. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Coaching". South West Snooker Academy. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 7 November 2017. 

External links

  • Profile at World Snooker
  • Terry Griffiths' Official Site
  • http://www.worldsnooker.com/players/terry-griffiths/
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