Ray Reardon was snooker’s greatest player of the 1970s.
The former policeman and miner won the Welsh amateur title six years in succession, enjoying a great rivalry with Cliff Wilson.
The decline in the mining industry saw the Reardon family move to the Potteries in search of work.
But it didn’t prevent Reardon hitting a rich seam of form including an English amateur triumph over John Spencer in 1964.
Three years later he turned professional and at the start of the 1970’s the Tredegar born star soon came into his own.
He enjoyed great battles with Spencer and Alex Higgins but usually emerged on top. He won his first world title in 1970 and added further crowns in 1973, 74, 75, 76 and lastly in 1978 when he defeated South African Perrie Mans.
He became a less prolific winner in the 80’s but still showed he could mix it with the best.
At the age of 49 he reached the 1982 world final only to lose 18-12 to an inspired Higgins.
Reardon gained two more professional victories-both at the expense of Jimmy White-and in 1985 went all the way to the world championship semi-finals.
One of his greatest moments came in 1988. Aged 56, he thrashed Steve Davis 5-0 in the British Open; Davis, by that stage, having won five world crowns.
In 1985 Reardon received the MBE and more recently he coached O’Sullivan to the 2004 world title.
He now lives in Devon and still plays golf and snooker.