Steve Davis blubbed away in his dressing room before drowning his sorrows in drink - but time has been the real healer for the man who lost snooker's most famous match.
It has been 35 years since 18.5million people in the UK stayed up beyond midnight to witness the mighty Davis lose 18-17 to Dennis Taylor in the World Championship final.
Of course, just 980 spectators could cram inside the arena at Sheffield's Crucible theatre to see the drama unfold in person.
But such was the growing tension in the match that it captured the country's imagination, now commonly regarded among the most famous sporting events of the 1980s. It was not only Davis with red eyes the next morning.
That 1985 defeat is one that Davis has carried with him ever since, the six-time world champion all too ready to acknowledge the match he will be remembered for was that loss.
At the time, it hurt Davis like he had never been hurt in a snooker match.
But speaking years later at the Crucible, Davis said: “I think the best moment of my career was missing the black against Dennis Taylor.
“At one stage I was the strongest player in the game so I was expected to win, so those moments when perhaps everybody is excited is when you don’t [win].
“With Dennis, that was the best and worst moment of my career because I think it just showed how greatly snooker had been appreciated by the public."
The red-hot favourite led 8-0, 15-12 and 17-15 in their epic encounter, only for Taylor to snatch the final three frames, including the last on the black after Davis horrendously over-cut a tricky chance to win the match.
To anybody not intimately acquainted with British culture in the 1980s, it might be difficult to appreciate how significant a figure Davis was.
By 1988, the ginger-haired 'Nugget' was seeing off competition from Olympic swimming champion Adrian Moorhouse and Masters golf winner Sandy Lyle to land the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award.
In the days when football was not the television staple it has become, sports such as snooker and darts had their day. Wrestling, too, where the wiry Davis would have been fodder to the heroes of the day - Giant Haystacks, Big Daddy, Kendo Nagasaki et al.
Davis was merely the master of combat with a snooker cue, already a three-time world champion by the time he took on Northern Irishman Taylor, who with his unusual 'upside down' glasses and crowd-pleasing warmth was a popular finalist.
Taylor had crushed his opposition on the way to the final, having no trouble with Silvino Francisco, Eddie Charlton, Cliff Thorburn or Tony Knowles, but Davis was a step up.
As the finishing line approached, both Davis and Taylor went to jelly.
Davis, in his autobiography Interesting, wrote: "We were like two men having a game down the working men's club, knocking the ball around for the price of a pie and a pint in front of one man and his dog."
Reputations counted for nothing as the final came down to the final colours, Taylor needing brown, blue, pink and black to secure a maiden world title.
Davis has since reflected on how in the 1980s he was often "thinking I could walk on water", but this time Taylor made the big splash.
"Most of the stuff you only remember it from video footage," said Davis, looking back at the early years of his career.
Where once he watched this particular archive film in a state of high anguish, Davis has accepted his place in history is tied up in the legend surrounding the match that began on April 27 and finished minutes into April 29.
"I must have spent anything up to a year and a half of my life in Sheffield," said Davis.
Yet it was not days, weeks, months or years that gave snooker its meridian moment, but a spellbinding few minutes against Taylor, as both men grappled to control their emotions, with Davis' manager Barry Hearn barely able to watch and every shot a pint of blood.