Mickey Mansell hailed the support of his wife Eimear after finally breaking his World Championship duck at Alexandra Palace - at the age of 47 and at his sixth attempt.
Mansell set up the biggest match of his career thanks to yesterday's 3-0 Christmas cracker win over Haupai Puha in London.
The Tyrone arrow ace reeled off nine legs without reply against his outclassed New Zealand opponent - behind closed doors due to Covid restrictions - to secure his first ever win on the Ally Pally stage and will bid for a place in the last 32 when he takes on number 32 seed 'Rapid' Ricky Evans on Wednesday.
Mansell said: "It's unbelievable. It's a brilliant feeling.I'm disappointed the family's not here, lucky enough my wife is here. At the start of every year I make a promise to my wife and three children, that if I get to the World Championship we're all going.
"They've come here the last few years or whatever and there have been big, big disappointments. The biggest thing for me is that Eimear is here, thankfully. But my two boys and my daughter weren't able to witness it.
"They've gone through all the emotions, they get all the stick. I can suck a lot of things up, the kind of things that happen whenever you get beaten but they're not prepared for all of those situations. I can get over it, dust myself down and play another game."
The man known as the 'Clonoe Cyclone' will be boosted by yesterday's festive whitewash - the first of this year's event - in which he averaged 93.94 and hit 56.25% of shots at doubles as he prepares to face Englishman Evans.
Mansell's victory makes it two Northern Ireland wins out of two in the £2.5m showpiece following number 11 seed Daryl Gurney's 3-2 success against Limerick's Willie O'Connor on Thursday.
Fermanagh's Brendan Dolan will attempt to make it a hat-trick when the number 30 seed tackles Japan's Edward Foulkes on Tuesday.
Cork's Ciaran Teehan was beaten 3-2 by Wayne Jones yesterday, while Adam Hunt stunned Jamie Hughes 3-0.
World number one aMichael van Gerwen starts his campaign tonight against Ryan Murray.