The 43-year-old is a true legend of snooker, having claimed seven titles between 1990 and 1999 and there won’t be a dry eye in the house if he can roll back the years over the next few days and claim a historic victory at the Crucible.
Meanwhile, Neil Robertson v Ronnie O’Sullivan will be a real contrast of styles, while Judd Trump is strongly fancied to qualify for the semi-finals for the second year running.
Stephen Hendry v Stephen Maguire
Anyone backing Hendry to win the 2012 World Snooker Championship might have been accused of being sentimental a week ago, although the Scot has powered past Stuart Bingham and John Higgins to book his place in the last eight.
The Golden Boy’s last triumph at the Crucible came in 1999, although he looks to be in great form coming into this all-Scottish clash with Stephen Maguire and the bookies offer a tempting 13/8 (Boylesports bookmaker) that he claims another win in Sheffield.
Hendry brought the house down when recording a 147 against Bingham and appears to be nice and fresh, having not played anywhere near as much snooker as several other players, although Maguire will also feel confident ahead of this match.
The number eight seed performed a professional job to beat Luca Brecel in the first round and then cruised past Joe Perry in the second round, with Bet Victor going a best price 4/7 that it is Maguire who reaches the last four of the World Championship.
Neil Robertson v Ronnie O’Sullivan
What a humdinger of a match this one promises to be. It might be the number six seed taking on the number fourteen seed, although both of these players have won World Championship titles at The Crucible and many expect the winner of this encounter to claim a 2012 crown.
O’Sullivan’s three world titles came in 2001, 2004 and 2008, so perhaps he is due a fourth triumph in Sheffield, with the Rocket getting less column inches this time around thanks to controversial comments from other players and heroics from Stephen Hendry.
Ronnie has comfortably beaten Peter Ebdon and Mark Williams to reach the last eight, both of whom are difficult opponents and tournament sponsors Betfred make him the 1/2 favourite to claim victory against his Australian opponent.
Robertson has also made light work of his two opponents, beating former champion Ken Doherty before holding off David Gilbert and we should remember that the Thunder from Down Under won here in 2010.
The 30-year-old clearly feels he has a score to settle after losing to Judd Trump in the opening round of the 2011 tournament and it’s a surprise to see odds of 6/4 (bet365 £200 free bets) available about Robertson beating O’Sullivan.
Ryan Day v Matthew Stevens
Matthew Stevens could be forgiven for thinking his chance of winning the World Snooker Championship has gone, with the Welshman having made the final in 2000 and 2005, although the subsequent years have been relatively barren.
The 34-year-old has just one quarter final appearance to show for the past six years at the Crucible, although the number 15 seed has rediscovered his touch and Stevens edged past Barry Hawkins in round two to book his place in the last eight.
Stevens is well-acquainted with his quarter final opponent, with Ryan Day a good friend and fellow Welshman who has also endured a difficult time of things recently, although a dramatic win over Ding Junhui was followed up by a 13-7 victory against Cao Yupeng.
Stevens is the 3/4 favourite (Boylesports free bets) to win this encounter, although this really does look too close to call considering that Day will really start to believe after winning a qualifier against Gerard Greene to make it to the Crucible.
Day is an 11/8 chance with bet365 and perhaps the man known as Dynamite will finally start to live up to his billing. Let’s not forget that he was a world number six two years ago.