Joe Davis (1901 -1978)
Joe Davis grew up on Whittington Moor winning his first billiards contest at the age of 13.
Although born in the village of Whitwell in 1901, Joe Davis soon moved with his parents to the Queens public house on Whittington Moor. There was a full size billiard table there and Joe started playing at a very young age. He made his first billiard century break at 11 years of age and became a local billiard champion at 13.
At the age of 18, after developing his skills at the Victoria Billiards Hall in Chesterfield, he turned professional. He went on to win the World Billiards Championship four times.
His interest shifted to snooker and he won the first ever World Snooker Championship in 1927 and went on to win it a record 15 times. In 1955 he made history by achieving the game’s first ever maximum break of 147 while playing against Willie Smith.
Joe’s brother, Fred, was also a champion snooker player, and just before he died in 1978, Joe was able to watch him playing in the semi-final of the Embassy World Snooker Championship.
Joe raised large sums of money for various charities and in 1968 was awarded the OBE.
Crowds greet Davis at Chesterfield train station after winning the 1928 World Billiards Championship.