Liang Produces Magical 147

Joe Johnson

  • Title

    1986 World Champion
  • Nationality

    English
  • Turned Pro

    1979
  • Highest Tournament Break

    141
  • Location

    Bradford
  • D.O.B

    29 July 1952
  • Money List Earnings

    £0
  • Nickname

    -

Forget Joe 90, it was Joe 86 when former pipe layer and trainee mechanic Joe Johnson became one of snooker’s most popular ever world champions.

Popular, because he was a complete outsider, when he became King of the Crucible in 1986.

And popular because he beat Steve Davis who, at the time, was the player the public loved to hate. How times have changed!

There was certainly nothing to suggest the 150-1 outsider would go all the way to the trophy.

He was National Under 19 champion when he beat Tony Knowles in 1971 and runner-up to Terry Griffiths in the English Amateur seven years later.

Johnson was a finalist in the 1983 Professional Players’ event and a semi-finalist in the 1985 Mercantile Credit Classic.

But few outside the Morley Snooker Centre reckoned he had a chance at Sheffield in 1986.

Dave Martin, Mike Hallett, Terry Griffiths and Tony Knowles were his victims en route to the final. And he refused to settle for second best in the final, beating Davis 18-12 and leaving the ‘Nugget’ runner-up for a second successive season.

Johnson’s victory came just a week before the first anniversary of the Valley Parade fire tragedy in his native Bradford.

Johnson reached the final again 12 months later and threatened to become the only first time champion to defend his trophy.

Instead, Davis got his revenge 18-14 and Johnson won only one other major title, the 1987 Scottish Masters.

He did reach the UK  Championship semi-finals and a number of ranking tournament quarter-finals.

Joe’s love of a late night curry did nothing for his health and he suffered heart problems towards the end of his career.

Still living in Yorkshire, he continues to play in seniors events, coach young players and commentate on snooker for Euosport.