Mark Selby is hoping to draw inspiration from his beloved Leicester City as he goes in search of a second World Snooker Championship title.
Selby beat Ronnie O’Sullivan to secure the world crown in 2014, the same year that Leicester were promoted to the Premier League.
The Foxes are now on the verge of pulling off one of the most famous successes in sporting history, Claudio Ranieri’s men sitting top of the league by seven points with just five matches remaining.
And Selby, known as ‘The Jester from Leicester’, would love to make it a double trophy parade around the King Power Stadium.
“Yeah, I take huge inspiration [from Leciester],” Selby, clutching a Leicester City scarf, told Omnisport at a media day for the World Championship, which begins on Saturday.
“You look at where they were this time last season, in the bottom three and looking like getting relegated and not getting out of it. Just 12 months later they’ve turned it around, they’re top of the Premier League and looking like becoming champions.
“Leicester haven’t won it yet but it needs a massive slip for them to not win it. Hopefully that’s in the bag, then in two weeks’ time it’ll be nice if I’m picking up the trophy and there’ll be a double celebration.
“It’d be great [to take the trophies around the King Power], but it would be great to be on the open-top bus with them as well.”
Leicester have upset the big boys in the Premier League this season, but world number one Selby knows he will be a notable scalp for others at the Crucible Theatre over the next fortnight, and is expecting to face stiff competition.
“Whether I’m world number one or world number 100 the standard of snooker is so difficult,” he added.
“You can lose to anyone if you’re not playing your game and anyone can beat you. That’s how the tour is now.
“This is the strongest field as far back as I can remember. I think I’ve only been in the tournament 10 years but as far back as I can remember, it’s definitely tough.
“You can’t really pick a winner. A lot of players are playing well out there this season that are more than capable of winning.”