Although both men were playing for third and fourth place in the Norwich Union World Snooker Championships, fans of the game had no hesitation in gathering for the clash between Eddie Charlton of Australia and Alex Higgins of Belfast, on Thursday (20 November).
CU PAN Piccadilly Hotel sign and signboard giving championship details
CU ZOOM OUT GV OF Higgins making potting red, brown and red
SV Higgins attempts to pot red but fails
SV Eddie Charlton pots red
SV Charlton attempts to pot black
SV Charlton pots red and attempts black but fails
SV Higgins attempts black
Initials AE/2.51 AE/3.19
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Background: Although both men were playing for third and fourth place in the Norwich Union World Snooker Championships, fans of the game had no hesitation in gathering for the clash between Eddie Charlton of Australia and Alex Higgins of Belfast, on Thursday (20 November).
The Piccadilly Hotel in London was the scene of the clash and the stake was a cash prize of GBP 300 (750 dollars U.S.) for the third and GBP 200 (500 dollars U.S.) for the fourth man.
While John Spencer, playing with an 80-year-old cue, and John Pulman, were battling for the world title, Higgins and Charlton played as if the world championship was still at stake for both of them.
First man at the table was Alex "Hurricans" Higgins, perhaps the best known player in this sport since Joe Davis, and widely regarded as the "Mohammed Ali of Snooker". It was the arrival of Higgins on the world snooker scene that did much to revitalise this sport. When he was 22 - Higgins made his first attempt at the world championship, and went through to win the final from John Spencer and establish himself as one of the world's leading players.
Showing the combination of speed and skill that has marked his play from the start, Higgins soon took command of the table in this game. Potting a red from the break, he went on to play a fast but delicate combination of reds and black to run up a break of 67 before a narrow error forced him to step back for Charlton.
This was not to be Charlton's game. The man who started the game at the age of nine at his Grandfather's billiards club in Swansea, New South Wales, and scored his first century on a snooker table when he was 17, could not command this game.
Despite some masterly strokes, Charlton could not dominate the game and Higgins finished 85 - 18 winner of the frame.
The clash was a repeat of the previous Park Drive World Championship when Higgins lost his world title in the semi-finals to Charlton, who, in turn went on to lose the final to Ray Reardon.
Charlton, one of the most popular players in Britain, holds an outstanding record in Australia where he turned professional in 1964 and has held the Australian title ever since with one exception when in 1968, he lost to Warren Simpson. he also won the last tow B.B.C. "Pot Black" series before a British television audience of millions.
But in the end it was Charlton, who had a poor start, who took third place, winning 8 frames to five. In the finals, John Spencer took the World Title. His winning score over John pulman - a close B frames to 7.