(Rex Williams defeated John Barrie in the 1979 UK Championship final. Left to right – Willie Smith, Jim Williamson, Williams, runner-up John Barrie)

The history of the UK Championship dates back to 1934 with the legendary Joe Davis winning six times prior to the war. Originally a professional event, the event continued in the 1940’s and 50’s with Joe capturing the title once more in 1947, and emulated by his brother Fred in 1951.

After a gap of 27 years, the UK Professional Championship was resurrected in 1979. Jim Williamson was instrumental in this revival of the event and hosted it at his club, the Northern Snooker Centre. The NSC remains a frequent venue for Billiards to this day. Rex Williams was the first player to have his name etched on the new trophy. Willie Smith, one of giants of the game in the pre-war era who won the 1920 and 1923 World Championships and had a highest break of 2743, was Guest of Honour.

Robby Foldvari of Australia became the first overseas player to win the championship in 1992, and following David Causier’s second title in 2002 there was no contest for 12 years.

The championship was revived as a WBL event on an open basis in 2015 with a record 63 entries, where Roxton Chapman returned after several years away to lift the trophy for the second time. The event remains a popular fixture on the WBL calendar.


(The field for the 2015 UK Open in Leeds)

UK Open Roll Of Honour:

Year
Venue
Winner / Runner-Up
High Break

1934
Joe Davis

1935
Joe Davis

1936
Joe Davis

1937
Joe Davis

1938
Joe Davis

1939
Joe Davis

1940-45
Not Played

1946
John Barrie

1947
Joe Davis

1948
Sidney Smith

1949
Not Played

1950
John Barrie

1951
Fred Davis

1952-78
Not Played

1979
Leeds
Rex Williams beat John Barrie

1980
Jack Karnehm

1981
Rex Williams

1982
Fred Davis

1983
Mark Wildman

1984-86
Not Played

1987
Norman Dagley

1988
Ian Williamson

1989
Mike Russell

1990
Mike Russell

1991
Mike Russell

1992
Robby Foldvari

1993
Robby Foldvari

1994
Mike Russell

1995
Subhash Agarwal

1996
Mike Russell

1997 (Feb)
Mike Russell

1997 (Nov)
Geet Sethi

1998
Mike Russell

1999
Roxton Chapman

2000
David Causier

2001
David Causier

2002-14
Not Played

2015
Roxton Chapman beat David Causier
385 – David Causier

2016
Robert Hall beat Roxton Chapman
295 – Roxton Chapman

2017
Mike Russell beat David Causier
479 – David Causier

2018
Peter Gilchrist beat Robert Hall
440 – Peter Gilchrist

2019
David Causier beat Mark Hirst
450 – David Causier