Steve Davis, an ever present at the Crucible from 1979 to 2000, will appear at the game's most famous venue for the first time in three years after qualifying for the World Championship in Torquay last night.
Davis, six-times the world champion, said after beating the Welshman Ryan Day, 10-8: "It's great to be back. It means a lot to be at the Crucible and I love being involved in the build-up to the tournament. "You never know when your last appearance at Sheffield will be so I'm delighted to be going back."
The 45-year-old was cruising when he built an 8-5 lead with two centuries, but Day, the world No 140, responded with a run of 129 and turned the screw by drawing level at 8-8. Davis won the next and appeared certain to wrap up victory when he left Day needing a snooker on the pink.
But in the end Davis went through by knocking in a respotted black after Day had escaped from the snooker, potted a long pink and added the black. "It was getting very tense at the end," Davis said. "The snooker Ryan got on the pink was unbelievable and then he knocked in a great long pot."
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