Name: Neal Foulds
DOB: July 13th, 1963
Pro Career: 1983-2004
Highest Ranking: #3 (1987-89)
Highest Break: 142 (Matchroom League 1992)
Career Highlights: 1986 International Open Champion, 1992 Scottish Masters Champion, 1981 National U-19 Champion, 1988/9 World Cup Winner, 1987 World Championship Semi-Finalist, 1988 Masters Finalist
Following in the footsteps of father Geoff, Neal began playing snooker at the age of 11 and by the early 1980’s was already one of the strongest players in his area. Following victory in the national under-19’s Championship, Neal then turned professional in 1983 and at the end of the season qualified for final stages of the World Championship at the first attempt. Even more impressively however, he then defeated twice-champion Alex Higgins 10-9 in the first round before going down 13-9 to Doug Mountjoy in the last 16, a run that saw him enter the rankings at number 30.
The next two seasons saw steady improvement to 23rd and then to 13th as he reached the semi-finals of a ranking event for the first time, but it was not until 1986/7 when he would really make a mark. There he started off his campaign with what would be his only ranking event title at the BCE International, before reaching the finals of the UK Championship and British Open, as well as the semi-finals at the World Championship and the Grand Prix. His performance at the Crucible was particularly impressive as he defeated John Virgo, Dennis Taylor and Mike Hallett, only to lose to defending champion Joe Johnson.
Starting the following season up in a career high position of number three, 1987/88 was not to be quite as successful, though another strong run to the quarter-finals at the Crucible before losing to Terry Griffiths ensured that he would retain his spot at third in the rankings.
From here however he started to struggle, dropping 17 places to 20th in the rankings and finding himself having to qualify for events in the following season. Still, 1989/90 was to see a revival and despite a round one exit at the World Championship to Wayne Jones, he did enough to regain a place in the top 16 before moving up to number seven at the end of 1990/1.
Though he was able to maintain a top 16 place until the end of the 1993/4 season, and a place on the tour until 2004, from the mid-90’s Neal struggled for form and eventually retired from the sport in 2004.
Since his retirement, Neal has moved up to the commentary box, most notably for the BBC at tournaments such as the World and UK Championships. In addition Neal has also been involved with the Premier and Championship League competitions for Matchroom Sport, as well as the smaller ranking event tournaments for Eurosport.
Ranking Event wins (1)
|BCE International Open||1986|
Non-Ranking Event wins (6)
|Regal Scottish Masters||1992|
|Fesina Windows World Cup (England)||1988/9|
|National U-19’s Championship||1981/2|