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1985 World Snooker Championship final

From Academic Kids

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Dennis Taylor just after winning the 1985 championship

The 1985 World Snooker Championship final is often cited as the most exciting game of snooker in history. It was played at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in the United Kingdom between Northern Irishman Dennis Taylor, appearing in his second final and Steve Davis, the then defending World Champion.

The event was in the eighth year of the BBC's coverage of the event, and snooker was reaching the zenith of its popularity. The climax of the final was watched by 18.5 million people which was a record for BBC2, the channel showing the event, a record post-midnight audience for any channel in Britain and, at the time, the record audience for any sporting event in the country. The total match time of 14 hours 50 minutes was the longest ever recorded for a 35-frame match.

Davis, who had been the world number one for four years, and would remain in that position for another four, was clear favourite going into the event. He whitewashed Taylor in the first session, and after the first frame of the second was leading 8 frames to 0. However a fightback punctured with fine breaks from Taylor saw him level the scores at 11-11 going into the final session. The five-hour marathon session saw Davis lead 17-15 in the first-to-18 final. Taylor clawed back to level at 17-17. The final frame, a very tense and nervous affair, lasted 68 minutes - three times as long as a typical frame between professional players, and the second-longest frame in ranking event history. Taylor almost sealed victory by potting the brown, blue and pink but missed the black. Each player had several shots with just the black and white balls on the table. Finally Davis missed a relatively easy cut shot and Taylor seized his chance to put an even easier pot away to win the frame.

Taylor's celebrations - foot-stamping, finger-wagging and holding his cue aloft whilst hundreds of camera flashes popped around him - have become part of snooker lore.

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