Snooker legend Cliff having great time

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Cliff Thorburn reckons he’ll need plastic surgery to wipe the smile off his face. He’ s just having such a great time on the Snooker Legends tour which is heading for the Brighton Centre for a date on

Sunday, June 19 (0844 8471515).

Cliff joins Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor, John Parrott, John Virgo and Michaela Tabb on the road for a night certain to delight.

It kicks off with a champagne reception for VIP guests, and then John Virgo warms up the crowds, after which a series of games kicks off.

“I must admit, it’s a lot of fun,” says Cliff. As for the level of competition, Cliff likens it to losing a fiver over a game of golf with a mate.

“You don’t like losing it, but you shake hands and you get over it! There is certainly a pride in performing but winning isn’t the only thing. Actually, it’s slightly a Jimmy White love-in. But I am happy with that. I am just happy to be breathing!”

Cliff Thorburn’s World Championship victory in 1980 made him a national hero in Canada and endeared him to millions of fans in the UK. In 1983 he achieved the first-ever 147 in the tournament. In 1983 he was awarded the Order of Canada.

“I certainly don’t play as much as I used to,” says Cliff. “I certainly don’t practice as much. The greatest player that has ever played, Stephen Hendry, would still practice five or six hours a day for a month before the world championships.

“So I suppose you do lose something if you are not playing all the time. But I like to think my practice is all about the quality now!”

The fascination certainly endures: “Every game is different. It’s almost like an artist when you are painting away your own picture as you clear up the table!”