STEPHEN MAGUIRE will put adoration aside as he bids to beat his boyhood idol Stephen Hendry at the Betfred.com World Championship.
Glaswegian Maguire and seven-time world champ Hendry lock horns tomorrow in what promises to be an explosive quarter-final clash in Sheffield.
But Maguire won't be getting gooey-eyed when he faces up to his Scottish compatriot with a coveted Crucible semi-final place up for grabs. He said: "It will be quite special to play Stephen at the Crucible, having not played him here before.
"I grew up watching Stephen win all the titles, and in tournaments, and it will be great to play him in the quarter-finals.
"He was my idol. I started watching snooker at 10 or 11, and at that point he won everything. He was incredible, and he was always on the telly.
"I was lucky enough to practise with him when I was 14, 15, and I probably tried to base my game on the way I watched him on TV.
"He's in the quarter-finals of the World Championship and this is his second home, so he'll only have one thing on his mind – winning that trophy."
Maguire turned on the style to dump Englishman Joe Perry 13-7 at the last-16 stage having beaten Belgian prodigy Luca Brecel in the first round.
And the former Crucible semi-finalist is growing in confidence that he can end Hendry's fairytale run to the business end of the tournament, having upset compatriot and defending champion John Higgins and pocketed a maximum 147 break so far.
Meanwhile, Ronnie O'Sullivan leads Mark Williams 11-5 and Judd Trump was 9-7 up against Ali Carter overnight.
BASKETBALL: Glasgow Rocks began preparing for the semi-finals of the BBL play-offs after annihilating Plymouth Raiders 80-60 at the Kelvin Hall.