John was born in Salford in 1946 and he first started to play snooker at 15 because his father was a keen player. John made his mark as one of the country’s leading amateurs in 1962/3 when he captured the British under 16’s title after four months of playing and the under 19’s title in 1964/5 and went on to represent Great Britain.
In 1976 John turned professional and became a member of the elite top 16. Three years later he went on become the UK champion in a nail-biting final beating Terry Griffith 14 -13. The victory was even more remarkable as he had forfeited two frames for arriving late for the final session after building an 11-7 lead. En route to that final John beat Tony Meo, Steve Davies and Dennis Taylor, who had denied him a place in the final of the World Championships seven months earlier. John was also the former Chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.
After the semi final of the Embassy World Championships between Denis Taylor and Steve Davis finished with a session to spare, the BBC asked John if he would perform some trick shots and impersonations of his fellow snooker professionals and therefore John’s ability to amuse and entertain was exposed.
In 1990 he was asked to do the award winning TV game show ‘Big Break’ with Jim Davidson. The show became one of the most popular quiz series the BBC has ever produced, in is height peaking at 13.99 million viewers.
John’s partnership with Jim was a big hit and it came with not only a chance to wear the outrageous waistcoats that he became so famous for but also to display his skills on the Snooker table with Virgo’s sensational trick shots
John continues to commentate for all the major Snooker Tournaments, and is available for After Dinner Speaking, Guest Appearances, Snooker Exhibitions with Jimmy White and celebrity Golf Days.