||Eddie Charlton AM
||31 October 1929. Merewether, New South Wales, Australia
||8 November 2004
||1963 - 1995
||129 (1983 Benson & Hedges Irish Masters)
||3rd (1976/77 60 1979/80)
Although he never won a major ranking tournament, ‘Steady’
Eddie Charlton was one of the most consistent and hard to beat players from the
late 1960s to mid 1980s being ranked at number three for five successive
seasons and three times runner-up in the world championships at both snooker
Eddie was born in Merewether,
New South Wales in Australia and came from a sporting
family. His brother Jim was also a professional snooker player but never joined
the world ranks. Eddie himself was a senior grade footballer, a champion
surfer, a good cricketer and boxer. One of his proudest moments was when he
carried the Olympic torch on part of its journey to the 1956 Games in Melbourne.
Having been a coal miner, he turned professional in 1963 at
the age of 34 and the following season he won the Australian Professional
Championship, a title that he went on to win, with one exception, for the next
20 years. That one defeat was at the hands of Warren Simpson in 1968. In that
year he first came to play in England
and challenged John Pulman for the world title, losing 34-39.
He did not play in the first of the newly organised knock
out world championships in 1969, nor the next, in April 1970. When, however, in
November of that year, they were held in Melbourne,
he was one of the favourites but to everyone’s surprise, lost in the semis to
Warren Simpson. He would not lose again to a fellow countryman, on level terms,
for ten years.
1972 he reached the world semi-final again losing to John
Spencer and won the BBC Pot Black title which he retained the following
setting a high break record for that event of 110 which was never to be
bettered until 2006 after the event was revided with a slightly changed
format . In 1973 he reached the world final only to lose to Ray
In the next season he only reached the second round.
1975 saw him in the semi-finals of the first Benson &
Hedges Masters and he followed this with another world final, again losing to
Ray Reardon, this time only in the deciding frame, 30-31. The next season he
reached the semis of both the Masters and the world championship but did win
one title. This was the World Professional Match-Play Championship held in Melbourne. Eddie beat Ray
Reardon 31-24. That tournament was never held again although the name was
revived in an event promoted by Barry Hearn in the late 1980s.
He reached four more world semi-finals, the last in 1982 and
two other world ranking semis, the 1982 Professional Players Tournament and
1983 Jameson International. A third Pot Black title came in 1980 and
semi-finals of the World Doubles in both 1982 and 1983 with Alex Higgins and
Bill Werbeniuk respectively. He also reached another Masters semi-final in
1983. He then began to slide down the rankings but was still in the top 16 in 1985/6
at the age of 56 and did not drop out of the top 32 until 1992/3. By then he
was 63 and finding it more and more difficult to beat the host of new players
coming on the scene. He played for a few more seasons but, after a dispute,
resigned from the WPBSA and did not play on the circuit after the 1994/5
In the meantime he was runner-up to Cliff Wilson in the
World Seniors championship held in 1991.Eddie had been the captain of every
Australian team in the early World Cups but when this was event was revived in
1996, he declined to take part. By then he was 67.
Also proficient at billiards, he twice, unsuccessfully,
challenged Rex Williams for the world title in 1974 and 1976 and reached a
third final only to lose to Mark Wildman in 1984. He was always active in the
organisation and promotion of the game and formed the Australian Professional
Players Association as well as being responsible for bringing many of the top
players to play in Australia.
He was last seen in the UK
in 2000 when he returned to play in the World Seniors Masters.
Eddie died on 8 November 2004 in Palmerston, New
Zealand where he had flown to fulfil some
exhibition engagements. He was awarded the Australian Order of Merit in 1980.
|World Professional Snooker Championship Runner up
||1968, 1973, 1975.
|World Professional Matchplay champion
|Pot Black champion
||1972, 1973, 1980
|Australian Professional Champion
||1964-1967, 1968-1984 (13 times)
|World seniors Championship runner -up
|World Professional Billiards Championship runner up
||1974, 1976, 1984
© Chris Turner 2009
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