|List of snooker tournaments dates|
The World Matchplay tournament was established in the 1950s as an alternative to the Billiards Association and Control Council/World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association professional snooker world championship by some of the professional players following a dispute with the governing body. Following a decline in the popularity of snooker the event was discontinued after 1957.
A one-off event was staged in 1976, this time sanctioned by the WPBSA. Held in Melbourne, the uninformed media had the public believing Eddie Charlton had won the World Professional Championship after he beat Ray Reardon 31–24 in the final.
In 1988 Barry Hearn resurrected the event as an invitational tournament for the provisional top 12 players, and it ran for five years. The event was held in Brentwood between 1988 and 1990, before moving to Doncaster for the last two years. The 1988 event was the first snooker tournament to offer a top prize of £100,000.
It was sponsored by Everest in 1988 and 1989, and Coalite from 1990–1992. It was televised between 1988 and 1992 by ITV as a replacement for the World Doubles Championship.
|1952||Fred Davis||Walter Donaldson||38–35||n/a|
|1953||Fred Davis||Walter Donaldson||37–34||n/a|
|1954||Fred Davis||Walter Donaldson||39–21||n/a|
|1955||Fred Davis||John Pulman||37–34||n/a|
|1956||Fred Davis||John Pulman||38–35||n/a|
|1957||John Pulman||Jackie Rea||39–34||n/a|
|1976||Eddie Charlton||Ray Reardon||31–24||n/a|
|1988||Steve Davis||John Parrott||9–5||1988/89|
|1989||Jimmy White||John Parrott||18–9||1989/90|
|1990||Jimmy White||Stephen Hendry||18–9||1990/91|
|1991||Gary Wilkinson||Steve Davis||18–11||1991/92|
|1992||James Wattana||Steve Davis||9–4||1992/93|