Snooker Legends has been a successful series of exhibitions featuring players who helped make the game such a successful TV phenomenon.
Launched four years ago by Jason Francis, it has attracted large crowds to various venues around the UK.
Nostalgia tends to be the past with all the bad bits forgotten. However, the players in the legends really are that – players who have become household names through their success and popularity.
The Legends mixes fun with competition. One of its pulling powers is that it isn’t grimly serious like tournament play but neither is it a bash-up.
This weekend, the Legends will be televised for the first time, by Eurosport. The Rok Stars Cup features two star-studded teams: Dennis Taylor, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Steve Davis v Cliff Thorburn, Stephen Hendry, Neil Robertson and Tony Drago. So just the 21 world titles between them.
It will be O’Sullivan’s first outing since winning a fifth world title earlier this week. He was on good form at the World Snooker awards last night, reiterating that he would play next season without disclosing precisely which tournaments.
He did say that his preference was for smaller tournaments – and indeed the Legends – because they don’t carry the intense pressure of, say, the World Championship (though he coped admirably with this at the Crucible this year.)
In my experience, though, players like Ronnie and Jimmy love to put on a show, to entertain. This is why they are box office and it’s one of the reasons the Legends has been successful: people want to come back again.
Coverage starts at 5.30pm tomorrow on Eurosport2.