1986 World Champion
Bradford’s Joe Johnson secured his place in snooker’s hall of fame when he defeated the great Steve Davis 18-12 to win the 1986 World Championship at the Crucible Theatre.
A professional since 1979, Johnson reached his first ranking final three years prior at the Professional Players Tournament, before progressing to the world’s top 16 by the start of the 1985/86 season.
Famously labelled as a 150-1 outsider for the crown, Johnson shocked the snooker world by defeating Dave Martin, Mike Hallett, Terry Griffiths and Tony Knowles to reach his first Crucible final, before beating three-time king Davis to lift the crown.
The following year, Johnson would again reach the World Championship final, this time losing out to Davis by an 18-14 scoreline. Alongside Ken Doherty, he remains to this day one of only two first-time champions to reach to contest the title match the following season, with no player having come closer to defeating the ‘Crucible Curse’ by successfully defending their maiden crown.
Away from the Crucible, Johnson claimed victories at the 1987 Scottish Masters and the 1989 Norwich Union Grand Prix during his professional heyday.
He claimed his biggest title on the World Seniors Tour in 2019, when he defeated Barry Pinches 2-1 to win the Seniors Masters at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.