When the 1980s began, Steve Davis and Jimmy White were young men with the world at their feet.
At the start of the 1990s, they were top players and leading title contenders.
As the 2000s dawned, both Davis and White were staring decline in the face but, like the great champions they are, enjoyed memorable resurgences during the decade.
Davis dropped out of the elite top 16 in 2000 after 20 years as part of the elite group. People told him he should retire but his love for the game is such that that was never a possibility.
Instead, he rolled up his sleeves and headed for the qualifiers with mixed results.
Davis, by now part of the BBC television presentation team, missed out on the Crucible in 2001 and 2002 and must have wondered if he would ever return but he did so in 2003 and also earned promotion back to the top 16.
In 2004, he led Ronnie O’Sullivan 8-5 in the Welsh Open final but was edged out 9-8.
The following year he enjoyed an emotional run to the final of the UK Championship, which had been the first title he won as a professional some 25 years earlier.
This was Davis as good as he had ever been. He beat Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire – helped by a 145 total clearance, Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendry to reach his 100th career final.
There, he played the 18 year-old Ding Junhui, 30 years his junior.
There was to be no fairytale ending. Ding won 10-6 but Davis nevertheless authored one of the decade’s most heart warming stories.
White had done similar the previous year when he won his tenth career ranking title and his first in 12 years.
He beat Paul Hunter 9-7 in the Players Championship final in Glasgow and was joined in the arena by his most loyal supporter, his octogenarian father, Tommy, whose good humour and cheerfulness throughout all the setbacks he had endured watching his son had endeared him to everyone in the game.
White had already figured in two other finals, the 2000 British Open and 2004 European Open. His form came and went and his ranking yo-yoed.
In 2006, he was the world no.8 but a disastrous set of results cost him his top 32 place and he ends the decade in danger of dropping off the circuit.
They remain distinctly different characters. Earlier this month Davis played an exhibition at Buckingham Palace; White is currently undergoing hardship in the name of entertainment in the jungle on ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.’
These two legendary players have gone from young pretenders to the game’s elder statesmen.
Davis is now 52, White 47. Neither has anything left to prove but each loves snooker and will stick around for as long as is humanly possible.
Let’s hope it’s a while longer yet.