Oldham Civic Centre seems an unlikely venue to play host to sporting history but 30 years ago today it staged a notable snooker first.
Steve Davis, who would dominate the decade, compiled snooker’s first officially ratified 147 break on January 11, 1982 during the Lada Classic.
His opponent was John Spencer, who had himself made a maximum in a televised tournament three years earlier. There were, however, two reasons why the break was not a TV first.
The most obvious was that the TV cameramen had decamped to McDonalds for a break of their own and so did not record it.
Also, the pockets were judged not to be of regulation size and so the 147 was ruled unofficial.
But Spencer himself knew the importance of what he was doing. After potting the pink, he staged a mock faint before getting back up to slot home the final black.
By 1982, Davis and his manager, Barry Hearn, were cleaning up on the table and through myriad off table activities.
Snooker was big TV business in Britain and Hearn exploited the many earning opportunities and began to open up new markets around the world.
Hearn said recently that he made so much money by 1982 that he was considering retirement, indeed briefly tried it until realising that a life of leisure is no match for the thrill of the business world.
So it was that Davis arrived in Oldham off the back of an exhausting overseas promotional trip and was so tired that he was said to be falling asleep at the venue between matches.
His maximum remains a great watch and by no means straight forward. The importance of the occasion is obvious from the commentary, not the solemn punditry of the mellifluous John Pulman but in the over-excited tones of David Taylor, not a regular ITV commentator but drafted in to help out.
To be fair, you could hardly blame him. This was an historic moment and there were to be further iconic 147s from Cliff Thorburn at the 1983 World Championship and Kirk Stevens at the 1984 Masters.
There were eight maximums recorded in the 1980s but the hike in standard, number of players and number of tournaments has seen them become much more common. There have been eight this season alone among the 85 on the official list.
And there have been many, many near misses, none more famous than when Ken Doherty missed the final black during the 2000 Masters final.
Davis is of course still going strong. He was an apt figure to construct snooker’s first official 147 and remains a player so many others still look up to.
It was a slice of history, of snooker magic, and despite the passing of 30 years, remains timeless.
Watch it here.