The Northern Irishman bowed out at the scene of his greatest ever triumph.
Dennis Taylor lost 3-0 to Barry Pinches in the World Seniors Snooker Championship on Friday before announcing that it was his last competitive match in the sport.
The 72 year-old first turned professional in 1972 and his career highlights include his black ball 18-17 victory against then world number one Steve Davis to claim the 1985 world title – the most replayed moment in the sport’s history.
Taylor also triumphed in the 1984 Grand Prix and at the 1987 Masters in the Wembley Conference Centre, where he denied countryman Alex Higgins in another thriller.
After first retiring from the professional circuit in 2000, the former world number two returned to compete in 2010 for the revamped World Seniors Championship, and he has been a regular presence on the Legends and World Seniors Tours since then.
“That match against Barry is my last competitive match ever,” Dennis Taylor told Rob Walker in an emotional post-match interview in Sheffield that concluded with him kissing the world snooker trophy in a similar fashion to 1985.
“What a way to finish here in the Crucible Theatre, I’ve enjoyed every minute of the seniors tour and the standard is getting so high, there’s no way that I can compete with these youngsters nowadays.
Although there were no fans in to give Taylor a proper reception, several other players in this year’s tournament came out into the arena to give the County Tyrone native a deserved round of applause.
Pinches, meanwhile, comfortably moved through to the quarter-finals where he’ll face another Northern Irishman in Patrick Wallace.
Defending champion Jimmy White overcame Tony Knowles 3-0 to maintain his hopes of a third title on the trot, with Darren Morgan the 59 year-old’s next opponent on Saturday.
Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo comfortably beat John Parrott to set up a showdown with Stephen Hendry, while last year’s runner-up Ken Doherty ousted Joe Johnson and will take on David Lilley for a semi-final berth.
Live coverage is on the BBC’s digital platforms with selected matches expected to be shown on the Red Button, while fans in most other regions will be able to watch on Matchroom.Live via a subscription.
World Seniors Snooker Championship Draw
Jimmy White vs Darren Morgan
Igor Figueiredo vs Stephen Hendry
Patrick Wallace vs Barry Pinches
David Lilley vs Ken Doherty
Click here to view the full draw. (snooker.org)
One thing that strikes me about Taylor’s fine career record is that 14 of the 19 career titles he won came in the period between 1985-87. Rather than be burdened by stunning Davis in the world final, he went on to enjoy his most fruitful period over the next two years.