Snooker: Legends recreate epic 1985 final
Dennis Taylor strode out with oversized glasses and Steve Davis emerged with a ginger wig as they replayed the final frame of their classic 1985 World Championship final today.
Twenty-five years to the day from the match Taylor won on the black in the early hours, he and Davis mocked each other relentlessly during a light-hearted re-run of the most famous frame in the history of snooker.
"You're taking it seriously!" said Davis with incredulity as Taylor played a safety shot early on.
Then, as his opponent struggled at the table, Davis mimicked the voice of the commentator Ted Lowe, growling: "That's a bad miss."
Inevitably the frame went to the wire, with Davis potting the pink to make the scoreline 38-37 in his opponent's favour.
"And so it came to pass that the match ended on the black," Davis told the audience.
The rules were discarded as the players began picking up the ball and moving it around the table to recreate the flow of their 1985 meeting.
Taylor was more successful with his daring attempts than he proved in the legendary meeting, potting it three times prematurely, twice with doubles which had gone astray in the original.
"So this is what I played," Taylor twice told the appreciative crowd, before playing far better shots than he had under pressure all those years ago.
Taylor then missed the shot into the top corner which won him his world title, and instead fired it into the middle pocket.
Davis, who had warned he would be playing the rematch with a hangover after his quarter-final defeat to Neil Robertson yesterday, blamed one of his misses on "alcohol poisoning" and another on his strength being sapped by removing the wig, which had given him the look of a young Malcolm McLaren.
"Since I've taken my hair off I've lost a lot of strength," said the man who knocked John Higgins out in the Crucible tournament proper.
Watching on was John Parrott, the 1991 champion, who was in fits of giggles along with hundreds of others as the former rivals, now great friends, brought a comic twist to the legendary match which had 18.5million viewers on the edge of their seats in the heyday of the game.
Parrott shouted out "Red" as Taylor considered his options at one stage, suggesting the 61-year-old had forgotten the routine.
"John Parrott, stop laughing," Taylor barked.
After the black went down for the fourth time, Taylor said of the final: "I just never get tired of people talking about it. It's something I'll never forget for the rest of my life."
Davis joked a psychoanalyst was still helping him through the heartbreak, as the packed theatre savoured the final moments of the nostalgia trip.