Monday, 26 April 2021

1986: Snooker Loopy

Looking back to 1986 and the time snooker made an attack on the pop charts.

"A record called 'Snooker Loopy' is released today. It is an unexceptional example of public bar sing-along, but Barry Hearn is confident that events in Sheffield's Crucible Theatre over the next 17 days will ensure that it gets into the hit parade." It was clear that the Telegraph's Michael Calvin was not a big fan of the forthcoming collaboration between Chas and Dave and Barry Hearns' Matchroom Mob. But one man's meat is another man's poison.

Everything Hearn touched in snooker back in the 1980s seemed to turn to gold. "Snooker is the most successful modern sport and no one has exploited its commercial potential more successfully than Hearn," Calvin continued. "Hearn's Matchroom Company stars - Davis, Taylor, Terry Griffiths, Willie Thorne, Tony Meo and Neal Foulds - will gross £2 million this year." But could Hearn and the sport of snooker really break into the pop charts back in April/May 1986?

Monday, 19 April 2021

The European Super League

Strictly speaking this is not a 1980s blog. But I had to have my say on these mad proposals for a European Super League.

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be. But the events over the past weekend have left me looking back to the 1980s with a tinge of sadness. Forget the violence, decaying stadia and declining attendances. At least there seemed to be some form of attempts at playing the sport on a level (muddy) field.

Of course, there were incidents of club chairman attempting to make the relatively rich that little bit richer. After all, this was the decade where greed is good became a mantra for many. The change in gate receipt sharing, the rows that led to a television blackout, and the first murmurings of a Super League were signposts pointing heavily towards the formation of the Premier League in 1992.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

1981 World Snooker Championship

Although Steve Davis was priced as the 7/2 favourite for the 1981 World Snooker Championship, his path to title glory would be littered with obstacles. After facing a future star of the sport in the first round, three world champions then lay in wait. Securing a first world title was going to be earned the hard way.

With seedings at the Crucible based on the last three World Championships, Davis was seeded 13th for the event that started on Tuesday April 7. Yet the 23-year-old was clearly the man to beat after winning the Coral UK Championship, the Wilson's Classic, the Yamaha Organs Trophy, and the John Courage English Professional Championship in the 1980/81 season.