Forced to concentrate on snooker, Fred first played in the World Snooker Championship in 1937 but lost 17–14 to Welshman Bill Withers in the first round, a defeat that Davis put down to ignoring his worsening eyesight.His brother Joe considered this defeat an affront to the family honour and hammered Withers 30–1 in the very next round.
Fred played professionally well into old age, making his last appearance in the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in 1984 aged 70, where he lost to Bill Werbeniuk 10–4.
Davis only retired in 1993, aged 79, having lost to future world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan (62 years his junior) 5–1 in the Grand Prix qualifying during his last season. Davis lost 10–1 to Peter Daubney in the first round of qualifying for the 1992 World Championship, an effort which still netted him £500. Just four months later he would lose 6–0 to Mark Davis in the sixth round of qualifying for the 1993 event; it would be Davis' last World Championship match.
On 14 August 1993 Davis turned 80, and still held a ranking of 259. Even then he stated that he would have loved to continue playing, but was prevented from doing so by the severe arthritis in his left knee which made it painful to walk. Indeed, it was Davis' attempt to redistribute his stance which contributed to such heavy defeats in his final snooker matches
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