Terry Griffiths, the 1979 world champion, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
"I'm very proud to get an OBE and my family is proud too," he said. "It was very much a surprise when, about a month ago, I got a letter telling me.
"I stopped playing in 1997 so I feel this has come for my coaching work rather than my playing career.
"Coaching is so rewarding for me. It gives me the adrenalin rush I miss from playing. When the player I'm coaching loses I feel the same as they do. When they win I feel a part of that."
Griffiths, a former postman and bus conductor, turned professional in 1978 after twice winning the English amateur title and became the only player to win the Crucible event at his first attempt.
On beating Eddie Charlton in the semi-finals, he famously told BBC viewers: 'I'm in the final now, you know.'
Throughout the 1980s, the Welshman was one of snooker's top stars but, like everyone else, was in the shadow of Steve Davis, who beat him all seven times they played at the Crucible, including in the 1988 final.
Despite Davis's dominance, Griffiths won several titles, the most dramatic of which was his 16-15 defeat of Alex Higgins in the 1982 UK Championship final.
Griffiths also won the 1980 Wembley Masters and captured three successive Irish Masters titles from 1980 to 1982.
He spent 17 successive seasons in the top 16 and continued to play until 1997, retiring at the age of 49.
Griffiths, by now suffering from a back complaint, had dropped out of the top 16 and only entered the World Championship in his final season. He qualified and led his compatriot Mark Williams 9-7 at Sheffield before losing 10-9.
Since retiring, he has taken a leading role in developing grass roots snooker through coaching programmes for young players and has also coached Stephen Hendry, Williams and Stephen Maguire among several others.
Griffiths, one of the great stars of the 1980s snooker boom, is widely respected within the game. This award recognises his continuing contribution to the sport.