Snooker legend Cliff Thorburn has warmed up for his first high profile playing engagement in a decade by taking a trip down memory lane.
Thorburn, a former world champion and world no.1, came through the pool and snooker hustling scene in North America in the late 1960s/early 70s.
And the 61 year-old Canadian revealed that it could sometimes be a dangerous way to make a living.
“I was 25 before I turned professional but I’d been banned from shooting pool in Victoria, then banned from Vancouver, then banned from Ontario. So we moved to San Francisco," he said.
“Then one night I won a lot of money but then had to lose it all – and a bit more – back to the guys I had taken it from in the first place when one of them opened his jacket and flashed a gun.
“I knew then I’d gone as far as I could go and the only place left after that was to come to the UK where the audience and sponsors would pay you to play.
“After the gun incident, suddenly wet, windy Tuesday nights in Blackpool, Derby and the likes seemed quite attractive.”
Thorburn is among the eight man field for the 110sport Legends event at Glenrothes this weekend.
He tackles Alex Higgins, who he beat 18-16 to win the 1980 World Championship.
And the ‘Grinder’ exploded the myth often propagated that snooker was all just a bit of fun in the boom years of the 1980s.
“It would be fair to say that Alex and I were not always on speaking terms way back then but that was the same as a lot of players because it was serious business,” he said.
“Look at some of the pictures before finals and you would often see the two players looking as if they really had no time for their opponent because it meant so much.
“Nowadays the players are asking how the wives and kids are, where they went on holiday. I don’t think it has the same intensity as it had back then.”
You can read a typically entertaining interview with Higgins in today’s Scottish Sun here.