Dennis Taylor (recte Denis), born January 19, 1949 in Coalisland, County Tyrone, is a retired Irish snooker player. He was the 1985 World Snooker Champion, beating the then seemingly invincible Steve Davis on the last black in one of the sport's greatest finals.
Davis led Taylor 8-0 after the first session. Taylor then made a marvellous comeback, and after 34 frames the score was all square. In an incredibly tense final frame, the score was 62-44 to Davis with only the brown, blue, pink and black still on the table. While Davis needed only the brown, Taylor needed all the colours to win the trophy. He potted a long brown, which he says is one of his best ever under pressure. A tricky blue and a difficult pink also went in, bringing the score to 62-59. For the first time ever, the title would be decided on the final black. Taylor attempted two doubles on the black. On his first attempt, he doubled the black across the table and narrowly missed potting the black in the blue pocket. The black ran safe. After a superb safety shot by Steve Davis under extreme pressure, Taylor attempted to double the black up and down the full length of the table. He missed the double by quite some margin, yet the black ran safe fortuitously once more. Davis missed a tricky cut to the top left corner. Taylor then potted the black into the same pocket and, amid euphoric scenes, lifted the Joe Davis Cup at the relatively advanced age of 36. Steve Davis drily commented that the match had all been there "in black and white".
Taylor was renowned for the glasses he wore during matches, the large frame supposedly giving him a broader view of the table. Taylor sang a cameo line in the Chas & Dave song "Snooker Loopy". His line was "because I wear these goggles". In the song, it appears that Taylor actually says "gargles" not "goggles"!
He was also relatively successful using his left hand to play the game.
Alex Higgins once threatened to have Taylor shot. Taylor understandably took this threat seriously and the next time the two of them played, Taylor was determined to win, which he did. The match was attended by a young Ken Doherty. Taylor and Higgins were later reconciled.
Taylor now commentates on the four televised snooker tournaments each year for the BBC, often alongside Terry Griffiths, to whom he lost in the 1979 world final.
In 2005 he was one of the celebrities taking part in the third series of the successful BBC show Strictly Come Dancing, reaching eighth place with his partner Izabela Hannah.