30 Facts About Cliff Thorburn


Clifford Charles Devlin Thorburn was born on 16 January 1948 and is a Canadian retired professional snooker player.


At the 1983 tournament, Thorburn became the first player to make a maximum break in a World Championship match, achieving the feat in his second-round encounter with Terry Griffiths.


Cliff Thorburn won the invitational Masters in 1983,1985, and 1986, making him the first player to win the tournament three times and the first to retain the title.


Cliff Thorburn retired from the main professional tour in 1996.


Cliff Thorburn retired from competitive snooker after the 2022 UK Seniors Championship.


Cliff Thorburn was born on 16 January 1948 in Victoria, British Columbia.


Cliff Thorburn's parents separated when he was eighteen months old.


Cliff Thorburn was abandoned by his mother, and after spending about two years in an orphanage during a custody dispute, was raised by his father and his paternal grandmother.


Cliff Thorburn was told that his mother had died, but, aged twenty, learnt that she was still alive.


Cliff Thorburn played pool and lacrosse in his youth, and set a one-game scoring record of ten goals in the Greater Victoria Minor Lacrosse Association "midget division" in 1958.


Cliff Thorburn left school at the age of 16, and travelled across Canada playing pool and snooker money matches, taking jobs as a dishwasher and working on a garbage truck to help earn money for his stakes.


Cliff Thorburn spent time with Fred Davis and Rex Williams when they toured Canada in 1970, and afterwards became a resident professional at the House of Champions club in Toronto.


Cliff Thorburn made six century breaks in winning the North American Amateur Championship in 1971, equalling the record, jointly held by Joe Davis and George Chenier, for most century breaks in a single tournament.


Cliff Thorburn played John Spencer in a series of three exhibition matches in 1971; although he lost all three, he was recommended by Spencer to the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, and he was accepted as a professional in 1972.


Cliff Thorburn, receiving 28 points start in each frame, claims to have beaten Higgins in every frame they played, and that Higgins refused to pay up.


Cliff Thorburn won the first frame, and Higgins won the next five.


Cliff Thorburn noted that each player had accused the other of distracting them during the match.


Cliff Thorburn is generally regarded as the first player from outside the United Kingdom to win the world championship, Horace Lindrum's victory in the 1952 World Snooker Championship usually being disregarded.


In 1983, Cliff Thorburn became the first player to make a maximum break at the World Championship, during the fourth frame of his second-round match against Griffiths, and only the second player to make an official maximum in professional competition.


Cliff Thorburn fluked a pot on the in the deciding frame, to leave White requiring snookers to win.


Cliff Thorburn failed to hit the pink, which gave White the points he needed, and White then potted the pink and black to win the title.


Cliff Thorburn became the first player ever to retain the Masters title, and the first to win it three times.


Cliff Thorburn experienced success in the Scottish Masters, an invitational event which opened the snooker season, in 1985 and 1986.


The Association's disciplinary committee had decided that Cliff Thorburn had brought the sport into disrepute, as a drug test that he took at the 1988 British Open showed that he had "minute traces of cocaine in his urine sample".


Cliff Thorburn compiled another maximum break in the 1989 Matchroom League, during a match against White.


Cliff Thorburn won over one million pounds in prize money during the course of his professional career.


Cliff Thorburn competed on the inaugural Snooker Legends Tour in 2010.


Cliff Thorburn is the father of one son and one daughter, the latter of whom is transgender.


Cliff Thorburn was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1984.


Cliff Thorburn was added to the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1995, and inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.