Dennis Taylor will mark the 35th anniversary of his legendary black ball World Championship final victory over Steve Davis in an unusual way - it will be the first time the Ulsterman has not been present at the Crucible in Sheffield as player or pundit for 43 years.
When the World Championship gets under way tomorrow, Taylor will be covering the tournament for the BBC from London due to Covid restrictions.
There will, though, be a limited number of spectators as the £2.5m tournament is one of the government's select band of test events in the bid to get fans back into venues.
"The big change for me is that the commentary team will be working from a studio in London due to the limited numbers and space at the Crucible, so it will be the first time I haven't been there either working or playing for a very long time," explained the 71-year-old.
"I am glad the tournament is going ahead, it's brilliant news.
"It's a good thing that some spectators will be allowed in, as long as social distancing is observed. The Crucible only holds about 970 spectators so the numbers will obviously be very limited.
"But it's a step in the right direction as I have been watching the snooker that's been played without spectators and it's not quite the same - sometimes it can seem like a practice session. It's a bit like the football - it works but it's not the same.
"The snooker authorities have been negotiating hard with the government for people to be allowed into the Crucible, with all possible safety precautions being observed.
"Snooker is a sport designed for television but it still needs fans to create some atmosphere."
When lockdown was starting, the final of the Gibraltar Open was played without spectators, so the sport received an early taste of what was to come.
"I must admit I found it very strange," Taylor added.
And he feels the end of the Premier League football season last Sunday will help propel snooker into the spotlight when the World Championship starts.
"I think we will see a very good World Championship with very high viewing figures, which can only be helped by the fact that there won't be a lot of other live sport going on during the first two weeks of August," he said.
"The standard will be very high because most of the top players have their own table at home or access to private facilities, so they have all been working hard during lockdown. That has been shown in the first tournaments played since lockdown where the standard has been top drawer.
"The fact that the Crucible will have far fewer people there than usual might help some players. Maybe they won't feel as much pressure."
Taylor would love to see Mark Allen become world champion on the 35th anniversary of his own Crucible triumph to bring the title back to Northern Ireland for the first time since the Tyrone titan's dramatic victory in 1985.
Allen, currently No.4 in the world, which is his highest ever ranking, goes in with a great chance of making the big breakthrough to add to his stunning Masters triumph in 2018, his sole Major success.
Taylor too landed the Masters - beating fellow Ulster legend Alex Higgins in the 1987 final - and feels 34-year-old Antrim ace Allen has the ammunition to finally conquer the world.
"I was the last Northern Ireland player to win the Masters until Mark did it, so it would be fitting if he did the same in the World Championship," he said.
"I would love to see Mark finally winning it. It's time Northern Ireland had another world snooker champion. This could be Mark's time. He certainly has the temperament and the ability to do it. He is the sort of player who fears no one. But it's a big ask, there are so many good players.
"I'm convinced that if the tournament had gone ahead in its usual April-May slot, Judd Trump would have broken the Crucible curse and would by now be the only first-time champion to have successfully defended the title.
"Judd still has to be the favourite having won six ranking titles this season and can still go on to make history by defending the title. I still fancy him to do it but other players are finding their form now. Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy and Stephen Maguire are winning tournaments."
But Taylor sees five-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan - who could move to within one win of Stephen Hendry's record tally of seven titles - as the biggest threat to Trump's history bid.
"Ronnie is just Ronnie. He has to be second favourite and I think his chances will come down to whether he can retain focus for the fortnight. It could be an O'Sullivan v Trump final - what a boost that would be for the sport. Ronnie should have a few more titles by now, he should have surpassed Hendry. He still could as the World Championship's longer matches suit Ronnie," he said.
And Taylor acknowledges that the pandemic will have a major bearing on snooker.
"There will be problems for players, a bit like the golfers are experiencing. It is more difficult for golfers to go to the States and other countries to play because of quarantining. There are several big tournaments in China and travelling is not as straightforward. Everything is changing but people cope," he said.
"I had been due to do a series of shows with Steve Davis but everything since March has been cancelled. I haven't played for about five months but I need to get back on the table soon as I'm playing in the World Seniors at the Crucible after the World Championship.
"In normal circumstances I would have got a bit of practice in in Sheffield during the World Championship but being in London for the first time for the tournament has changed all that. I'm just hoping there's a snooker club near our studio!"
World Championship Round One
Judd Trump v Tom Ford
Yan Bingtao v Elliot Slessor
Stephen Maguire v Martin Gould
Kyren Wilson v Anthony Hamilton
John Higgins v Matthew Stevens
David Gilbert v Kurt Maflin
Jack Lisowski v Anthony McGill
Mark Allen v Jamie Clarke
Mark Williams v Alan McManus
Stuart Bingham v Ashley Carty
Ding Junhui v Mark King
Ronnie O'Sullivan v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Mark Selby v Jordan Brown
Shaun Murphy v Noppon Saengkham
Barry Hawkins v Alexander Ursenbacher
Neil Robertson v Liang Wenbo
When the moment came it was relief, joy and vindication coursing through his body. "MaCullaaaa!!" roared the Japanese MC to confirm a split decision world title victory was to be celebrated by the little warrior from Belfast. Wayne McCullough, WBC bantamweight champion, July 30, 1995.
Marcus Kane is as honest off the pitch as he is on it. Renowned for his committed performances and a warm nature, the Glentoran captain's world fell apart in December when he and his wife Aimee lost their new baby son Harrie.