“I’ve got to put a pair of glasses on to see your pretty face but I’ve still got all the shots!”

The 'Ladies Man' from Bolton obviously hasn’t lost his charm.

As a star of the 1980s, when snooker was in its glory days, Knowles was a household name.

The recent BBC documentary ‘Gods of Snooker’ reminded us of how the mullet-haired pin-up, aged 26, burst onto the scene by sensationally thrashing defending champion Steve Davis 10-1 in the opening match of the 1982 World Championship.

Away from the table he caused controversy with tabloid exposés, being pictured with topless women and was once fined £5,000 by the WPBSA for bringing snooker into disrepute.

“I couldn’t tell you the most outrageous thing I did! We didn’t really take any notice of what was going on at the time, we just got on and played snooker, enjoying the razzmatazz of the Crucible," Knowles said. "We’d turn up and there’d be two or three hundred people at the stage door, trying to get in.”

Now, aged 65, he’s been retired for 20 years and running a wine bar in the Lake District. So why has he decided to enter Q School in the hope of becoming a professional on the tour again?

“I like being competitive, having something to play for," he said. "I’ve been practicing, I can still play all the shots, I have the experience to find my way around the table and although my eyesight’s not what it used to be, I have been knocking in a lot of long balls in recently.”

One big inspiration for Knowles has been his good friend, fellow 80s legend Jimmy White, who still plays professionally. The 59-year-old is famous for being the best player to have never won the World Championship, losing in six finals.

Knowles said: “His love for the game is still second to none, despite the devastation of those finals. I’ve been practicing with him a bit and Ronnie O’Sullivan and it’s rekindled something in me because we have similar styles of play.

"I speak to Ronnie all the time and he might even come up to Q School and watch me if he can get in!”

Life is far calmer now for the former world number two, who won two ranking titles in his career.

“My business is well looked after and I’m coming up to my pension," he said.

"I’m actually at the point now where I can go and play snooker and enjoy it. If you win you win and if you don’t, it doesn’t matter. I’ll be trying to win but Q School is gruelling. I’ve done it before and you’re facing top players who’ve just dropped off the tour. So it’s down to getting a good draw and playing consistently.”

Knowles will be competing in the three Q School events which offer 14 places on next season’s professional tour, starting today, Thursday. More than 200 players will compete at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.