Snooker's historic maximum breaks

  • Last Updated: December 7 2013, 18:58 GMT

Mark Selby made snooker's 100th official maximum break during his UK Championship semi-final against Ricky Walden on Saturday.

Steve Davis won a car for the first official 147.
Steve Davis won a car for the first official 147.

Here, we look back at some of the game's historically significant 147s.

THE FIRST - Steve Davis, Lada Classic, 1982

The 'Nugget' won a car from the sponsors for his historic achievement against John Spencer, in contrast to the likely £59,000 won by Selby for Saturday's effort. He potted a good first red to the middle and doubled the fifth and after the next, commentator David Taylor foresaw the maximum and was warned by colleague John Pulman "that's a dangerous thing to predict". Davis, though, potted a good long last red and later a difficult blue and pink. The black followed and a stunned-looking Davis perched against the table to savour the moment.

THE CRUCIBLE FIRST - Cliff Thorburn, World Championship, 1983

The Canadian's second-round match with another famously dogged competitor, Terry Griffiths, looked unlikely to provide free-flowing entertainment - but a fluked opening red in frame four set Thorburn up for a 15-minute journey into snooker immortality. Again the commentary is famous in its own right, Ted Lowe's impartiality set aside as he marked the final black with the words "good luck mate... oh, wonderful!" Thorburn sank to his knees in celebration and was embraced by both Griffiths and Bill Werberniuk, who was playing on the adjacent table. Thorburn eventually won 13-12 at 3.51am and came through similarly hard-fought games against Kirk Stevens and Tony Knowles before losing 18-6 to Davis in the final.

THE FASTEST - Ronnie O'Sullivan, World Championship, 1997

Nobody has come close to the five minutes, 20 seconds it took the 'Rocket' to clear the lot against Mick Price in the 14th frame of his first-round clash in Sheffield. A mid-length first red saw him nudge the black towards a pocket and further well-judged cannons off the seventh and 12th blacks developed the chance. The century came up in four minutes as former world champion Dennis Taylor mused: "I've never commentated on a maximum before, I'm starting to get a bit excited." O'Sullivan cleared up, threw his chalk into the crowd in celebration and shook hands with Price and with several spectators. He won 10-6 but lost 13-12 to Darren Morgan in round two.

THE YOUNGEST - Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon, European PTC Event Three, 2010

The Thai was beaten 4-1 by Barry Hawkins in the last 32 in Russelsheim, Germany but, at just 16 years and 312 days old, the one frame he won brought him the consolation of becoming the youngest player to make a competitive 147.

THE 148 - Jamie Burnett, UK Championship qualifiers, 2004

The highest break technically possible is 155, if a player is awarded a free ball when snookered after a foul. Jamie Cope has reportedly achieved the feat in practice but the highest competitive break is Burnett's against Leo Fernandez in Prestatyn. A brown as the extra red, the brown again, 15 reds, 12 blacks, two pinks and a blue, followed by what venerable snooker commentator Clive Everton described in the Guardian as "an adventurous clearance of the colours" took Burnett one beyond the conventional maximum.

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