John Spencer player profile
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John Spencer – Player Profile, Career Summary, Stats

John Spencer Player Profile

John Spencer Stats
Date of birth: 18 September, 1935
Nationality: England
First turned professional: 1968
Highest ranking: 2
Ranking titles: 1
Triple Crown titles: 4
Crucible best: champion
Masters appearances: 10
147 breaks: 0

SHQ Stars:



John Spencer turned professional in 1968, just around the time the sport was entering its modern era.

Already a winner at the prestigious English Amateur Championship, Spencer duly won the World Snooker Championship at his very first attempt.

The 1969 edition marked the return of a knockout format after years of just challenge matches.

John Pulman had dominated those encounters throughout the 1960s, but he was beaten by Spencer in the first round of the new structure in 1969.

Spencer subsequently overcame Rex Williams and Gary Owen to claim the world title for the first time and added a second two years later.

In 1972, the Englishman looked to defend his crown but lost to an up-and-coming star named Alex Higgins.


Throughout the 1970s, however, Spencer was a regular presence at the business end of tournaments and forged rivalries with the likes of Higgins and Ray Reardon.

He triumphed at the inaugural Masters in 1975 at Reardon’s expense, clinching a classic battle 9-8 on a respotted black in London.

By this point, Spencer had already emerged victoriously from the popular BBC tournament Pot Black, an event he’d win for a third time in 1976.

But his crowning and most memorable achievement came a year later, when in 1977 he captured his third world title – the first World Championship to be staged at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Spencer won titles in Ireland, Canada, and Australia, and he was part of the English team that prevailed in the World Team Classic (a forerunner to the World Cup) in 1981.

At the 1979 Holsten Lager International, Spencer compiled the first ever 147 break in a tournament – a feat that was ultimately cursed in more ways than one.

The television crew was resting following a long match earlier in the day, meaning the feat wasn’t filmed, and the maximum never counted officially as the table wasn’t ratified.

His latter years on the circuit were blighted by illness, and he reluctantly called time on a wonderful career in 1992.

Away from the table, Spencer was a regular commentator and he was also the chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association for a spell in the 1990s.

After being diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2003, Spencer died three years later at the age of 70.

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Ranking Event Victories

  1. 1977 World Snooker Championship

Other Notable Victories

  • World Snooker Championship (1969, 1971)
  • The Masters (1975)
  • The Classic (1980)
  • Pot Black (1970, 1971, 1976)
  • Canadian Open (1976)
  • Irish Masters (1975, 1976, 1978)
  • Australian Masters (1980)
  • Pontins Professional (1977)
  • Castle Professional (1978)
  • Holsten Lager International (1979)
  • World [Cup] Team Classic (1981)

John Spencer Player Profile

SHQ Stars: How it works

RatingSHQ StarsCareer Requirements
Black★★★★★★★multiple world champion; 30+ ranking titles; career triple crown; world no.1 (at least 3)
Pink★★★★★★world champion; 10+ ranking titles; multiple winner of triple crown events; member of top 2; 15+ seasons in top 16 (at least 3)
Blue★★★★★winner of triple crown event; 5+ ranking titles; member of top 4; 12+ seasons in top 16 (at least 2)
Brown★★★★2+ ranking titles; member of top 8; triple crown event finalist; 8+ seasons in the top 16 (at least 2)
Green★★★ranking title; member of top 16 (at least 1)
Yellow★★member of top 64

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