GRAHAM MILES, one of the early stars of television snooker, has died at the age of 73.

Miles reached the 1974 World Championship final, losing 22-12 to Ray Reardon, and gained prominence as a late replacement for that year’s staging of the BBC series Pot Black, at the time one of the few outlets for the sport on TV.

Miles, who was drafted in after Fred Davis was taken ill, won the tournament and successfully defended it in 1975. He reached a highest placing of fifth when the ranking system was instituted in 1976, remaining in the top 16 until 1981.

In 1976, Miles defeated Alex Higgins and John Spencer to reach the Masters final, where he was beaten 7-3 by Reardon. Spencer beat him 11-7 in the final of the 1979 Holsten International.

In 1981, Miles defeated Cliff Thorburn 5-1 to win the Tolly Cobbold Classic, an invitation event.

He played eight successive times at the Crucible, starting in 1977 when the World Championship relocated there.

Miles was well known for his distinctive action, in which he cued under his left eye. He remained a professional until 1994.

A twice Midland amateur champion, he latterly ran Sandwell Snooker Centre. He returned to action in 1997 for Seniors Pot Black and in 2000 for the World Seniors Masters.

Miles had recently been suffering from lung disease and had been in and out of hospital. He died on Sunday at his home in Walsall and is survived by his wife, Heather, and son, Tony, to whom we send our condolences.