|Name||Date of Birth||Country|
Name – Ray Reardon
Highest Ranking – 1 (1976-1980, 1982-83)
Highest Break – 146 (1972 Park Drive 2000)
Century Breaks – 52
Ray Reardon, MBE (born 8 October 1932) is a Welsh retired snooker player who dominated the sport in the 1970s, winning six World Championships, and is remembered as one of the best players of the 20th Century. Despite being a genial figure, his darkwidow’s peak and sharp-toothed grin earned him the nickname “Dracula”.
Reardon was born on 8 October 1932, in the coal mining community of Tredegar in Monmouthshire. Wanting to play snooker, he turned down a place at Grammar School to become a miner at Ty Trist Colliery, aged 14, following in the footsteps of his father. After a rockfall in which he was buried for three hours, he quit mining and became a police officer when his family moved to Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
Aged 15, Reardon beat fellow Welshman Jack Cowey in the British youth championship. Having won the Welsh amateur title from 1950–1955, Reardon failed to win the English title when he entered the event in 1956 and 1957. Finally upon re-entering the 1964 event, he won the English Amateur title, defeating John Spencer 11–8 in the final. This victory led to an invitation to tour South Africa. This proved to be so successful that Reardon was offered the chance to tour it again as a professional. On the back of this, Reardon resigned as a policeman and duly turned professional in 1967.
Reardon’s first appearance at the World Championship was in 1969, and he won his first title the following year, beating John Pulman 37–33 in London. After winning the title, Reardon was in big demand for exhibitions and on the holiday camp circuit. Winning the first ever Pot Black in 1969 made him instantly recognisable; Reardon and John Spencer were the first to capitalise on the snooker boom in the early 1970s.