SILVINO FRANCISCO (South Africa)
Years as professional: 1978-1996
Ranking titles: 1
Ranking finals: 1
Other titles: 0
Highest ranking: 10
Years in top 16: 4
Crucible appearances: 8
Francisco was a tough, bushy-eyebrowed South African who found himself embroiled in several controversies during his 18 year professional career.
His greatest moment came at the 1985 British Open when he beat Kirk Stevens 12-9 to win the title. He had suspected Stevens was on drugs during the match and confronted him at the interval.
He was fined £6,000 by the WPBSA after his off the record comments were secretly recorded and reported by a newspaper but this punishment was reversed following Stevens’s admission of addiction to cocaine.
Hey, it was the 80s.
Francisco’s career was also dogged by controversy over allegations involving match fixing, none of which were ever proven.
In 1997, he was jailed for three years after he admitted attempting to smuggle cannabis with a street value of £155,000.
He later worked in a fish and chip shop.
None of this should cloud the fact that he was a very effective, if hard-nosed, player in an era before everyone went for everything.
Francisco reached the World Championship quarter-finals at his first attempt in 1982 and is one of only six non-British or Irish players to win a ranking title.