Jimmy White usually drops in at the Masters at least once every year, but he was an even more regular face around the Alexandra Palace venue this year as an ambassador for tournament sponsors Dafabet.
In a large advert in the official programme the Whirlwind, who won the title 31 years ago at the Wembley Conference Centre with a 9-5 victory over Terry Griffiths, shared top billing with former Portugal, Barcelona and Real Madrid football legend Luis Figo – another of the company’s sporting figureheads.
It is not the first time Figo has cropped up in a snooker context. A couple of years ago at the Shanghai Masters a Real Madrid legends XI were staying at the same hotel as the snooker players the night Ding Junhui won in 2013. Ding, on his way to the celebration dinner, was keen to shake Figo by the hand and after some prompting from a lackey the player, realising the man in front of him was being as mobbed by fans as he was but none the wise as to his identity, happily obliged.
After this season’s inaugural Lisbon Open, perhaps a few more in Portugal are up to speed on their snooker stars.