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Podcast With Joe Johnson

With the annual Crucible marathon just days away, Joe Johnson looks back to his extraordinary 1986 World Championship triumph in the new episode of the WST Podcast.

Johnson recalls the moments when he beat Steve Davis in the final, and reflects on how it changed his life forever.

“Going into the final, I’d already won more money than I had ever seen before,” he said. “Even if I lost, I could buy my house. Plus I had all the ranking points. It was wonderful. I had played Steve as an amateur and always won, and we had never played as professionals. So I had no fear of him. If I lost, it was what everyone expected, and if I won…wow! What a day. At the end there was thunderous applause after every ball I potted, and I couldn’t hold my emotions in.

“After the final I went with my wife  to the snooker club, there were hundreds of people there to greet us. We were there until about 4.30am then went home. The next morning, about 8am, we heard a tapping on the window. There were press boys, on ladders, knocking on the bedroom window, trying to get pictures through the curtains. We got up and invited everyone into out little house, made them a cup of tea and talked about winning the world title. At that time, everyone in England knew who you were.

“In the quarter-finals, Terry Griffiths missed a green when he had a chance to beat me 13-9. I came back to win 13-12. All these years later, I put so much of what has happened to me down to Terry missing that green. If I’d never been World Champion I probably wouldn’t have ended up working for Eurosport for the last 15 years. I am proud and privileged to do that.

“I feel fortunate that people remind me about 1986 most days – I bump into someone and they will mention it. It’s amazing how many people know so much about me, when it happened so long ago. Snooker fans are very knowledgeable. I feel blessed all the time. I have enjoyed myself and made great friends.”

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