Joe Johnson claimed silverware for the first time in more than two decades after emerging victorious in the World Seniors Masters in Sheffield on Thursday.
The former world champion won all three of his matches on re-spotted blacks, on what was a dramatic day at the Crucible Theatre.
Johnson, who is more commonly known these days as a commentator for Eurosport’s snooker coverage, edged tournament favourite Jimmy White in the quarter-finals.
The 66 year-old subsequently denied reigning world seniors champion Aaron Canavan in the last four before etching his name on the trophy with a 2-1 defeat of Barry Pinches in the final.
Pinches had earlier knocked out Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendry, prolonging the latter’s wait for a maiden title at seniors level.
The Scot managed to overcome defending champion Cliff Thorburn at the beginning of the day but lost two tight frames against Pinches.
Pinches levelled the final showdown with a nice break of 72, forcing the title-deciding black.
But in the short and ruthless format for the World Seniors Masters it was Johnson, whose last trophy came in the Seniors Pot Black in 1997, who ultimately sank the winning ball.
It’s a fitting victory for the popular Bradford competitor, having been one of the main figures in the very early days of the seniors venture.
Johnson helped promote the World Seniors Championship when it was originally staged in 2010 and has been a regular participant on the World Seniors Tour since its official launch a couple of years ago.
The Englishman famously captured the 1986 World Championship at the Crucible as a rank outsider, beating Steve Davis in the final.
It was announced this week that the iconic venue, which will host this year’s edition of the blue riband event later in April, will also be the destination for the revamped World Seniors Championship in the summer.
Johnson will be hoping to get his hands on that increasingly prestigious crown but will surely first enjoy his return to the winners circle after this impressive World Seniors Masters win.
“I feel like a champion again….” makes the tough two days worth every second pic.twitter.com/Jl0BoCUS6d
— Jason Francis (@Snookerlegends) April 12, 2019
Needless to say absolutely gutted to lose , especially that black ! 😮 Well done to the 86 champion Joe Johnson on the victory .
Thanks to Rockit for sponsoring the event and for Jason Francis and all the team for a great tournament 🙂
— barry pinches (@barrypinches) April 11, 2019