Remember the days of tournaments sponsors such as Embassy cigarettes and the Benson and Hedges snooker masters during the 80’s and 90’s?
Its been many years since we have seen such sponsorship. Nowadays sponsors of tournaments tend to be from a betting background like BetFred and DafaBet etc.
I distinctly remember the gold colors surrounding the playing area of the tables during the Benson and Hedges snooker masters in London more so that the Embassy logo that was present at the crucible theater.
Alex the hurricane Higgins, Jimmy White, Terry Griffiths and so on used to be puffing away on their cigarettes with big cigarettes advertisements surrounding them, almost as though it was good for you!!
There was certainly a certain amount of rawness at the Benson and Hedges snooker masters. The top 16 players of the world were competing, the drama was high, the clashes of personalities and the spectators loved every moment.
The game has taken a new image in recent years though. The cigarette and alcohol advertisements are now gone, the players don’t smoke while playing and the likes of Bill Werbeniuk’s heavy drinking while playing have disappeared. The players of today are clean cut, rarely seen smoking or drinking and some even have special diets.
If i’m totally honest, even though today’s standard of snooker is far better than years ago, i actually prefer the rawness of the snooker played years ago just like the Benson and Hedges snooker masters and the Embassy world snooker championships.
Snooker started many years ago as a sport for the aristocrats in society but then in the 70’s and 80’s snooker became very raw where backstreet clubs were considered dangerous to enter etc. Almost as though shady dealings were taking place in them and the common man would hang out in them regularly.
For further reading on 80’s snooker check out the link below