FOR every Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry, snooker also boasted others players who left their own small but indelible mark upon the sport.

They include Bolton’s own Tony Knowles, who made headlines in and out the Crucible Theatre during his colourful sporting career.

Snooker’s World Championships should be underway but have been postponed while the country due to the current crisis. So instead The Bolton News looks back at the Knowles’ career, a real Bolton legend.

Non-snooker fans, may remember the Tony Knowles Suite from Peter Kay’s comedy series Phoenix Night,in honour of the player. But fans of the game will remember his legendary match against great Steve Davis in the eighties.

Leading 8-1 after the first session of his first round match against defending champion Steve Davis in 1982, Knowles headed for a nightclub until the early hours. Upon his return to the Crucible the following morning, the 26-year-olc duly polished off the two frames required to cause one of the sport’s biggest upsets, and his reputation as a mullet-haired lothario was born.

Knowles won two ranking titles, reached the World Championship semi-finals three times, and briefly peaked at number two in the world rankings.

But he is best remembered for a series of lurid tabloid exclusives, not least the story he sold for £25,000 prior to the 1984 Championships, in which he described himself as “the hottest pot in snooker”.

Knowles was fined £5,000 by the WPBSA for the expose, of which more would follow. Veteran commentator and author Clive Everton reported in his “Black Farce and Cue Ball Wizards” that a roaring trade developed among female followers in “I Said No to Tony Knowles” pin badges.

Knowles dropped off the main tour but remained involved in the game, serving briefly as a WPBSA board member and continuing to attempt to qualify for the Crucible well into the new century.

Knowles retired to run a hotel in the Lake District.