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International Open
Goya Matchroom Trophy
World Ranking Event from 1982

Brief History of the International (Open)

When the Irish whiskey distillers sponsored the first Jameson Whiskey International Open in the autumn of 1981 it attracted what was for those days, a huge field of 95 players to Derby’s Assembly Rooms. The event was also memorable for a 9-0 whitewash in the final of Dennis Taylor by Steve Davis. For 1982 it became the first tournament, apart from the world championship, to be given world ranking status. For once the favourites failed to make through and Tony Knowles beat David Taylor 9-6 in the final.
Now established as the season’s opening ranking event with regular TV coverage, The Jameson moved to Eldon Square, Newcastle for 1983 where Steve Davis collected the £24,000 winner’s cheque, beating Cliff Thorburn 9-4 for his second title. He made it three in 1984 when, at the same venue, he overcame Tony Knowles 9-2.
That marked the end of Jameson’s four-year sponsorship of the event and for 1985 Barry Hearn’s Matchroom Group joined with cosmetics firm Goya to provide the backing and it was renamed the Goya Matchroom Trophy. There was also a new venue as the final stages were played at Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent. Cliff Thorburn took the title with a 12-10 victory over Jimmy White. The name ‘International’ was restored for 1986 with sponsorship from table manufacturers, B.C.E.  Cliff Thorburn got to the final again but on this occasion it was Neal Foulds who beat him 12-9 to collect his only ranking title.
Fidelity Unit Trusts began a two-year sponsorship in 1987 which saw Cliff Thorburn in the final for a third successive year but he was on the losing side again. Steve Davis won for a fourth time 12-5. Davis made it three in a row and six all with final victories over Jimmy White 12-6 in 1988 and Stephen Hendry 9-4 in 1989 when B.C.E. returned to sponsor the event.
It was not held for the next two seasons but then it was restored in 1992/93 with Sky Sports as the sponsors but now moved to the spring and played at Plymouth Pavilions. Stephen Hendry took the title for the first time with a 10-6 victory over Steve Davis. Another change of venue came in 1994 when Bournemouth staged the tournament at the International Centre. John Parrott was the victor on this occasion, 9-5 over James Wattana.
Sweater Shop, who already backed many of the Cuemasters team of players, stepped in as new sponsors for 1995 and 1996 and on both occasions John Higgins was the champion. His final victim in the first of these was Steve Davis who he beat 9-5 and in the second, Rod Lawler was the surprise finalist, losing 9-3. The final staging of the event as the International, in 1997, was at the Exhibition Centre in Aberdeen with Highland Spring as the backers. This first ranking event to be held in Scotland was won by Stephen Hendry who beat Tony Drago 9-1 in the final.
Having moved north of the border, the event was then renamed as the Scottish Open and continued at the Aberdeen venue with sponsorship from Regal.


Roll Of Honour             

Year Venue Sponsor Winner
Runner Up Score 1st Prize
1981/2 Assembly Rooms, Derby Jameson Whiskey Steve Davis Dennis Taylor 9-0 £20,000
1982/3 Assembly Rooms, Derby Jameson Whiskey Tony Knowles David Taylor 9-6 £22,000
1983/4 Eldon Sq., Newcastle-upom-Tyne Jameson Whiskey Steve Davis Cliff Thorburn 9-4 £24,000
1984/5 Eldon Sq., Newcastle-upom-Tyne Jameson Whiskey Steve Davis Tony Knowles 9-2 £30,000
1985/6 Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent Goya Matchroom Cliff Thorburn Jimmy White 12-10 £35,000
1986/7 Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent BCE Neal Foulds Cliff Thorburn 12-9 £35,000
1987/8 Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent Fidelity Unit Trusts Steve Davis Cliff Thorburn 12-5 £40,000
1988/9 Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent Fidelity Unit Trusts Steve Davis Jimmy White 12-6 £45,000
1989/90 Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent BCE Steve Davis Stephen Hendry 9-4 £40,000
1990/1 not held 121 121 121 121
1991/2 not held 121 121 121 121
1992/3 Plymouth Pavilions Sky Sports Stephen Hendry Steve Davis 10-6 £25,000
1993/4 Bournemouth International Centre none John Parrott James Wattana 9-5 £27,000
1994/5 Bournemouth International Centre Sweater Shop John Higgins Steve Davis 9-5 £60,000
1995/6 Bournemouth International Centre Sweater Shop John Higgins Rod Lawler 9-3 £60,000
1996/7 Aberdeen Exhibition Centre none Stephen Hendry Tony Drago 9-1 £60,000

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© Chris Turner 2008