REMEMBER Snooker Loopy, Pot Black and upside-down glasses - all themes of the green baize sport's huge boom into popular culture in the 1980s.

Steve Davis was the star performer, a six-time world champion who dominated the decade with his skill and single-minded winning mentality.

Ironically, it was a defeat involving The Nugget which became the game's iconic moment in the 1985 world final, when 18.5 million witnessed a midnight black-ball decider which Dennis Taylor calmly finished to take home the trophy.

Yet it was another final loss the year after which Davis was reminded of on his recent exhibition visit in Shipley.

That saw him beaten by Bradford’s own Joe Johnson in the 1986 Embassy World Championship final.

Johnson came into the tournament as a 150-1 underdog but went all the way to beat Davis 18-12 in the snooker’s showpiece event, producing one of the biggest shocks in the sport's history.

Davis praised the Yorkshireman for his surprise win, admitting he gave him his toughest challenge in a world final.

He said: “Joe was the amazing enigma in snooker. The first time he ever won a match at the crucible after years of trying, he went all the way and won it.

“He totally outplayed me, ripped me apart. Of all the finals I played that was my heaviest defeat. It seemed a shock that he was in the final stages because we only knew him as a great talent who never fulfilled his potential.

“He was always a great player and a good asset for the area. He is a lovely character and still loves the game, you can’t argue about that.”

Davis was part of a clan of snooker’s biggest hitters, including the likes of Jimmy White and Alex Higgins, who shot the sport into the colour generation, attracting millions of viewers across the country.

He even attracted the nickname ‘interesting’ from popular tv show Spitting Image as an ironic jab to his seemingly boring personality as he won relentlessly.

Speaking at the Saltaire Club - after taking on nine local talents - Davis claimed that the players were lucky to witness such exposure and explained why the popularity of the game is struggling in this modern era.

Read more: Steve Davis takes on locals in Shipley - and one of them beats him

He said: “It was the level of popularity that the game has never seen. The players were household names and that was incredible. I was lucky that I didn’t struggle to deal with it, I never went off the rails. That is down to your temperament, you either can or you can’t.

“We had so much fun along the way, being invited on TV shows and everything else. They were heavy days for snooker players, we were treated like pop stars, it seemed like it was flavour of the decade.

“It is hard for the new players now. Even though they are big names, they don’t get the same adulation as we did.

"A top 16 player in the eighties, everyone recognised them and that has changed because there are a variety of different areas of entertainment out there now.”

After more than a quarter of a century at the top of the game, Davis hung up his cue in 2016 and decided to follow up on his other interest in life - music.

Soon after his retirement, DJ Thundermuscle was born. A set at Glastonbury followed before the release of chart hit album The Utopia Strong last month.

The 62-year-old reflected on how retirement is different for snooker players than any other sport and explained how he became part of the music industry.

He said: “I have been very lucky. There are sports where people have to retire at a younger age, there is a problem of what comes after.

"People suffer from depression because they are never going to get that rush of adrenaline. That doesn’t apply to snooker players as much because you can go on for longer.

“At some stage what do you do afterwards, you think I’ll never have so much fun as I have had and it’s the end of the road.

“All of a sudden, I started DJing, which wasn’t the plan, it just happened. Next minute, me and my mates got together, and we make some music. Then we say that’s quite good let’s make it into an album.

"The fun of that is I feel I have had maximum fun from both of my hobbies.”