Ray REARDON (1932-)

Ray Reardon
related pages...

Pot Black

A cue to review the stars of snooker


Alex Higgins

THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Ray Reardon, snooker player, was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the Holiday Inn hotel in London's Swiss Cottage.


Ray, a keen snooker player in his youth, won the Welsh amateur title from 1950 to 1955, and the English amateur title in 1964. This led to an invitation to tour South Africa, which proved so successful that Ray was offered the chance to tour it again as a professional. On the back of this, Ray resigned as a policeman and turned professional in 1967.


Ray’s first appearance at the World Championship was in 1969, and he won his first title the following year. Now in big demand for exhibitions and on the holiday camp circuit, he won the first ever Pot Black in 1969 made him instantly recognisable.


Reardon also became popular because he added a touch of humour and entertainment to his game. A deadly long potter and tactician in his prime, he played seventeen World Championship matches without defeat and won the title four years in succession.


“I’m glad that worked! You shouldn’t do that to me – it’s very naughty!”

Screenshots of Ray Reardon This Is Your Life (click images to enlarge)

Ray Reardon's autobiography

Ray recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography...


The following January I was involved in a recording session at Thames Television Ladbroke international series at the Holiday Inn in London when I heard Eamonn Andrews say, ‘Ray Reardon, This Is Your Life.’ Many times I have heard people discuss whether the ‘victim’ is really surprised when this happens, but I can assure you that I had no inkling of what was about to happen. I felt as surprised as I looked.


John Pulman, John Spencer, and Graham Miles were there, along with Cliff Thorburn, of Canada, Jackie Rea and Alex Higgins, of Ireland, Eddie Charlton, from Australia, Joe Davis and seven-times women’s champion Joyce Gardner. Eamonn Andrews had arranged for my brother Ron to fly over from Johannesburg, and old colleagues from my mining and police days were there to add their reminiscence. I lived it over again: marbles on the kitchen table, threats of a spanking for playing for money, Jack Window chauffeuring me around in the old Gutless Wonder, my pit accident and my police service. At home I have a video recording of the show and savour all the emotions again.


Being featured in such a programme is an experience you never forget and I think I am fortunate to have access to this and other television highlights at the flick of a switch.

programme details...

  • Edition No: 424
  • Subject No: 421
  • Broadcast: Wed 14 Jan 1976
  • Broadcast time: 7-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 7 Jan 1976
  • Venue: Euston Road Studios
  • Series: 16
  • Edition: 10
  • Code name: Break

on the guest list...

  • Sue - wife
  • John Pulman
  • Eddie Charlton
  • Cliff Thorburn
  • Jackie Rea
  • John Spencer
  • Graham Miles
  • Alex Higgins
  • Joyce Gardner
  • Ben - father
  • Dan Reardon – uncle
  • Johnny Reardon – uncle
  • Bryn Reardon - uncle
  • Lena Reardon - aunt
  • Ron - brother
  • Jack Ray
  • Derek Tooth
  • Wilf Shingler
  • Percy Wright
  • Sam Latham
  • Jack Winnard
  • Jack Parks
  • Alan Ratchell
  • Frank Shepherd
  • Jack Window
  • Joe Davis
  • Darren - son
  • Melanie - daughter

external link...

production team...

  • Researchers: Debbie Gaunt, Marilyn Gaunt
  • Writer: John Sandilands
  • Director: Royston Mayoh
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
Series 16: Ronnie Dukes > Ray Milland > Mike Hailwood > Frank Windsor > Magnus Pyke > Bill Tidy > Gladys Mills > Andy Stewart > Windsor Davies > Ray Reardon > Patrick Mower > Alberto Remedios > Susan Masham > Betty Driver > Henry "Shrimp" Davies > Gwen Berryman > Vince Hill > Arnold Ridley > Beryl Reid > Alan Mullery > Percy Thrower > Gareth Edwards > June Whitfield > Terry Fincher > Richard Dunn > Norman Croucher