Now the BBC is to screen a feature film dramatising the s rivalry between Steve Davis and Alex “Hurricane” Higgins – amid warnings that. He beat John Higgins in the second round but, down to Stephen Maguire in He directed it at Steve Davis and then me because Alex believed he made snooker. At exhibitions I have a couple of drinks before I play to relax. celebrates with Xherdan Shaqiri after scoring his side's fifth goal during the. Alex Higgins' contribution to snooker can be measured in many ways – but without him it is certainly possible that his two heirs as 'People's.
However, his four-year unbeaten run at the UK Championship came to an end in December with a 3—9 semi-final loss to Hendry. However, the prospect of Davis v Hendry World finals never materialised.
As with Ray Reardon and his successor Steve Davis, there was to be no World Final showdown between once and future kings. Instead, Hendry became the new king, with Jimmy White as his main rival.
In the World ChampionshipDavis was denied an eighth consecutive appearance in the final by Jimmy White, who won their semi-final 16— His successful defence of his Welsh Open title in was to be his last ranking title.
Trailing his opponent Ronnie O'Sullivan 4—8 in the final, he won the next six frames to secure a 10—8 win. His cue action, which was once regarded by his peers as the best in the game,  was now in tatters, with Davis seemingly unable to settle on a feathering up drill, going from slow and deliberate in some matches to randomly speeding up in others. He also soon brought comments from commentators with regard to his overreliance on safety play, and over thinking his shots.
It was clear that Davis had a serious problem and ultimately one he would never recover from. After the match he again dismissed talk of his retirement. In the quarter-final match against Australian Neil RobertsonDavis recovered from a 2—12 deficit to force the match into the third session, eventually losing 5— Taylor entered the arena wearing a pair of comically oversized glasses, while Davis arrived sporting a red wig.
After Cahill levelled the match at 2—2, Davis won the next three frames in a row, along with a break in the penultimate frame, to book his place for the main stage of the tournament in Wuxi where he lost 1—5 against Andrew Higginson in the last Given an invitational tour card to participate in tournaments for the —15 season, Davis made his return to competitive snooker in the Riga Open in Augustlosing 1—4 to Robert Milkins in the last Retirement[ edit ] On 17 April Davis announced his retirement from professional snooker during a live BBC broadcast, citing the recent death of his father Bill as the main reason.
Davis entered the Crucible Theatre holding the World Championship trophy and received a standing ovation by the audience. Then came the World Championship where he punched an official in the stomach. His win over a young future world champion Stephen Hendry at the Irish Masters was his last nod to the entire purpose of playing the game before his sense of self-harm finally began to eviscerate a once burgeoning career. Higgins, a Protestant from the Sandy Row area of Belfast, was banned for a season after threatening to have fellow player Dennis Taylor, a Catholic from the other side of the community, shot during a team event representing Ireland in A vexed Higgins signed the death warrant on his career at the highest level after the Taylor incident as he faded into relative obscurity at the outset of the 90s, still railing against officialdom during his last match at the Crucible, a loss to Ken Doherty in Time out was not time well spent as he could not find the elixir in the bottom of a pint glass to catapult himself back into the reckoning.
If snooker was a relic of the Raj, Higgins was a relic of the rage. Yet the public loved Alex simply for being Alex. There is a memorable scene at the World Championship after the year-old Davis dismantles Doug Mountjoy for the first of his six world titles. Hearn bounds down to almost ragdoll Davis with as much glee as a punter with a few bob on Bob Champion and Aldaniti to win the Grand National in the same year. Steve was very uncomfortable around him.
The matchroom was outside the main billiards hall. We put in a Riley Oak Imperial table, the best in my opinion, and benches to seat about people.
There were no windows, or fire exits. There was one tiny door to get in, and one tiny door to get out. It would fail every type of planning application these days. There was no air conditioning so everybody smoked, and you could hardly see across the room. It was like a Bangkok kick boxing venue. It was mayhem, but the people were daft about snooker.
Davis became almost unbeatable in the matchroom. I used to gamble a lot when I was younger.
When Alex Higgins gave snooker its greatest comeback story 35 years ago | Sport | The Guardian
Alex would walk in, and the first question he'd ask would be: It started by Alex giving Davis 14 points of a start because he had never heard of Steve Davis. After two or three games of Alex losing his money, it became an even match and eventually you could get decent odds on Alex.
Until this day, those lucky enough to be there will tell you they have never seen snooker like it. The table was quite tight which made it even more impressive. Davis would hit aAlex would come back with The crowd had been giving him stick, and Alex was on a short fuse. He turned and said: We went downstairs where Alex was having a drink. It ended up with me and him having a row, and I had him up against a wall. It was chaos because Alex would have a fight with anyone. Taking away his ability to entertain the crowd was the worst thing you could have done to him.
He would go for flash shots because he was a crowd pleaser. Davis respected him for that, but realised in longer matches he was very beatable. The victories were always sweeter when they were against each other. Of course, it was uncomfortable to be in their presence together, but it sold tickets: One of the biggest crowds ever to watch snooker because it was Davis v Higgins, it was the ultimate game of snooker.
It remains the ultimate game of snooker. In the semi-finals against White, he trailed and when he came to the table. On the cusp of defeat, he produced a series of unbelievable pots despite appearing to have as much control of the white ball as a drunk.
Steve Davis - Wikipedia
Which he could have been. The clearance of 69 on his way to a win over White is widely regarded as one of the finest, a totem of the times, at the Crucible before he usurped Reardon in the final. There is a pot on the blue to a baulk bag when he has made only 13 which is particularly fearsome. In days of heavier balls and slower clothes, Higgins shaped the table against the odds with more bottle than a glassblower. There were about four shots he played that were amazing.
His name was on the trophy that year. Did it cost me the World Championship? At that time I didn't care if I won or lost because I was having such fun. In andI went to Australia to play in the amateur World Championship which cost me two years of experience at the Crucible. Maybe it was meant to be because I'm still playing now. We toured the Middle East together, and I loved him as a guy.
He could be quite eccentric: But that is the enigma of Alex Higgins. I loved him, and I thought his snooker was unbelievable.Alex Higgins vs Steve Davis - Masters - Part 4
What does such a term mean? From what we can detect, it means you are popular because you are more interested in entertaining than winning. You are a man of the people because you give the people what they want. Higgins and White, who won the world doubles title together inwere have-a-go heroes, and crowd pleasers who loved a slice of life away from the machinations of the sport, but White is best remembered for losing six world finals, one to Steve Davis inone to John Parrott in and another four to Stephen Hendry in, and Alex Higgins remains a national hero in Northern Ireland.
Not only is he popular with the public because of his voracious instinct to attack, but he is an out-and-out winner to encourage the theory that he is the greatest player to lift a cue. He made snooker what it was, and turned snooker players into rock stars. Looking back at it, if there was one player responsible for making snooker big in the s, it was definitely Alex Higgins. I think people gravitated towards Alex Higgins, he was a showman, he had something about him: The audience would feed off that.
It was sad in a way because he shouldn't have gone through that. Alex was master of his own downfall in many ways, but in many ways that's why you loved him because there no compromise.
He was anti-establishment, living life by Alex's rules. I admire that in a human. I spent time with him when I was only 16 in Blackpool. I practised with him at the time, and I used to run out to get him a Guinness.
I loved it at the time.
Blood On The Carpet: How Higgins and Davis made modern snooker
It gave me a buzz. Everybody wanted to get him a Guinness, but he chose me.
I remember watching him. He would say to the referee Len Ganley in those little cubicles in Blackpool when he was trying to play: He terrorised people, but thrived on it. He got a buzz out of it. I kind of copied his technique a little bit. He was a bit like the Ding Junhui on the shot, very compact, solid technique. He had a few bad habits where he moved on the shot, but he tended to move after the shot. He was a very good ball striker. If you had the option of going on a bender with Higgins or Davis, there would only be one winner.
Davis was deemed to own the title deeds to boredom, his willingness to play safe representative of his perceived character deficiencies. I wasn't going past 12 o'clock at night and the glass of hot milk before I went to bed was considered to be my drink of choice. Prone to moments of brilliance and bedlam, Higgins was feted by the public because of his seemingly carefree attitude to life.
Especially at the Masters in London.
But it didn't make him likeable. Higgins was viewed as the moral winner, and a genuine force of nature amid the saturated coverage. It is a phenomenon that the erudite cue sports commentator and writer Phil Yates, who began covering snooker incontributing heavily to The Times, continues to find baffling.
Just a normal working class bloke who by the majority of the people watching was demonised and victimised as being the baddie. On the other hand, you had someone who had every fault in the book, and every character flaw going, who was lionised and loved by the public. Would that happen anywhere else? What was coming into play was the underdog factor because everybody respected Davis and realised how good he was.
Why was the good guy not perceived as the good guy? Apart from pure snooker, I always wonder why was that the case? The bad boy-good boy divide was huge between those two. How can you relate to a robot? I'd rather have a drink with Idi Amin. Not bad for a robot. Up north, Higgins appeared to be heading south as he trailed to his foe.
In the same year, he had been largely outclassed by Davis in the semi-finals of the World Championship. Yet Higgins somehow managed to rally, winning eight of the next nine frames to level at He moved clear, but trailed before trousering the final two frames to the delight of his public.
There are dates that tend to stand out in your childhood. Such was the popularity of snooker, this onlooker recalls standing as a kid at a football match between Morton and Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League when the tannoy announcer felt the need to let the fans know Davis led Higgins in the UK final. Davis would find revenge with a win, but it was suspected the scars of losing a lead were a precursor for a bigger sense of dismay further down the line when he blew an advantage in losing the World Championship final to Taylor.
It was a contest full of ebb and flow watched by It remains a source of wonderful misery for Davis, who ironically earned more goodwill in defeat than any victory could have garnered. In parts of the UK, he was also desperately more unpopular than her.
Like Thatcher, Davis was very much an emblem of the UK establishment while Higgins railed against authority.
It was all utter nonsense of course, but why let the truth spoil a good pantomime. When Higgins stepped out at the Wembley Conference Centre for their match at the Masters in the round of 16, he was cheered into the venue with more fanfare then the boxer Frank Bruno.
Local lad Davis was roundly booed in a match he would lose after making a blunder on the final blue. Higgins would enjoy only one more win over Davis, in the last four of the Irish Masters later that year, before suffering 11 defeats out of their final 12 matches. There was a draw in league format match in when both made two centuries.
Davis was a much heavier scorer and more of a power player.