So we can finally say it: Jimmy White is a world champion.
OK, so winning the Wyldecrest Park Homes World Seniors Championship will not soften the blow of losing in six Crucible finals.
But Jimmy was rightly proud of his victory in Bradford and at the manner in which it was achieved.
He was a ball from losing 3-0 to John Parrott in the semi-finals but after Parrott missed a tricky blue in the third frame, White dished up and ran through the last two frames.
He looked sharp and composed from the off against Steve Davis in the final and, with just the colours left in the fourth frame, looked a certainty to win 4-0.
But needing the extended rest, White feathered the cue ball, immediately owned up to the foul, and Davis dished to make it 3-1. Long time fans of the Whirlwind were already picturing the scene an hour later when Davis was stood holding the trophy a 4-3 winner.
Not a bit of it. Jimmy comfortably won the fifth frame to secure the £20,000 first prize.
It was my great pleasure to commentate with him on Saturday and it was clear to me just how pure a love he has for snooker.
You need one to have taken as many knocks as he has and still come out smiling. He’s practising hard and enjoying the new set up this season with more tournaments, more snooker.
Davis and White are the two oldest players on the professional circuit so it was fitting that they should reach the final from a strong field.
The first staging of this event was a huge success in terms of crowd numbers. Spectators were able to mingle with the players, all of whom were a credit to the game in the way they patiently signed autographs, posed for pictures and stopped to chat to fans.
These people will have gone away with a positive image of snooker and that can only be good.
The tournament had just the right mix of fun and serious action. This was no exhibition. There was the odd bit of laughing and joking but in the main the play was hard fought.
The Sportsmans’ Dinner on Friday and an evening of entertainment – including John Virgo’s impressions – on Saturday was a fun way for all involved to wind down.
The World Seniors Championship was promoted in partnership between World Snooker and Joe Johnson and his business partner, Dave Shipley.
I’d imagine all parties will be delighted with how it went. Now they have run the first one they can look at any tweaks required for next year.
I would suggest longer matches – certainly in the first round – and possibly an increased field.
But before you try an event out you can’t be sure what works and what doesn’t,
This was a superb first effort, much enjoyed by all the players and those who came to watch.
Much enjoyed by me as well. Snooker is often slated in parts of the media but we have some very classy people involved in our sport and the veteran brigade did themselves proud this weekend.