The Dafabet Masters usually attracts a sprinkling of celebrities and other sportsmen and women, and Celtic captain Scott Brown pitched up at Alexandra Palace this week.
Scotland international midfielder Brown, 30, is currently recovering from a knee injury but hoping to be back in action for Celtic’s title challenge in four to six weeks.
But the enforced break enabled him to make the trip south to see snooker, a game played by several Celtic players to relax away from the rigours of football, at the top level.
John Higgins is a huge fan of Ronny Deila’s men – but it was Ronnie O’Sullivan that had tempted Brown down to London.
And from his ringside seat he was instantly struck by the way the top stars cope with the pressures.
Brown said: “I really like my snooker. Obviously I’m not playing at the moment and had the opportunity through the club to come down for this.
“And I jumped at the chance especially when I found out it was Ronnie O’Sullivan I would be seeing against Mark Williams. Ronnie is just a joy to watch, and it was a really good game.
“I got lucky, it was a great atmosphere, some loud shouts out for the players as they came to the table and I appreciated more just how strong they are mentally.
“It is one on one out there, yet there is still sportsmanship, shaking each other’s hand before the crucial last frame and Ronnie got over the line in that one.
“It is such a mental sport, and you have to be so strong and show great character. One bad shot and that can be the frame gone.
“In football we have another ten players that might be helping us out if we’re having a bad day. There might be 60,000 fans at Celtic, but I think there is more pressure on these boys.
“A few of the lads play at Celtic, maybe not as much as we used to with kids on the way and stuff like that, but we still play now and then.
“I’m not that great, I think my highest break is only about 26. The best player at Celtic used to be Adam Matthews until he went to Sunderland.
“Now it is Charlie Mulgrew and Kris Commons fancy themselves a bit, big time.”
Photograph courtesy of Celtic FC