Willie Thorne bankruptcy and debt details emerge following snooker star's tragic death

June 18, 2020
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Snooker ace Willie Thorne had been banned from borrowing more than £500 without informing a lender he was bankrupt.

At the time of his death in Spain this week, well-wishers including Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker had raised more than £22,000 to pay for his hospital car. The cash will now go towards his funeral.

Thorne’s debts of close to £1m, though, had led to the breakdown of his marriage to wife Jill Saxby.

Government documents show the potting ace had restrictions placed on him to prevent him blowing even more cash.

The County Court at Leicester heard a bankruptcy order was made against him after he was unable to pay debts of more than £600,000.

Willie Thorne was made bankrupt

Restrictions under bankruptcy, such as borrowing more than £500 without telling the lender you are bankrupt, are usually discharged after 12 months.

But between 2012 and 2015, he borrowed more than £450,000 while he was insolvent.

Thorne ultimately passed away this week at the age of 66, having suffered respiratory failure following a diagnosis of leukaemia earlier this year.

He had announced he was diagnosed with leukaemia in March before being placed into an induced coma in a hospital in Spain after suffering respiratory failure.

Snooker legend Willie Thorne has been diagnosed with leukaemia
Snooker legend Willie Thorne was diagnosed with leukaemia earlier this year

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Thorne had been admitted to hospital with dangerously low blood pressure, having also battled prostate cancer.

He had also recently been hospitalised with gout in his left leg that left him unable to walk.

Thorne reached a career-high ranking of No.7 during his days as a professional, but his problems away from the table were significant, and he even had his house repossessed last year.

Willie Thorne is a legend of snooker

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Less than 12 months ago, Thorne had said: “I still find it hard to keep on the straight and narrow, but two years ago I decided I needed to knuckle down and get some structure in my life. And that is what I have been trying to do ever since.

“Sometimes I would get into a mess. The worst time was when I expected to get to the quarter-final of a tournament and win £15,000 to pay off all my bills.

“But I didn’t get through and had to borrow money from a friend to settle my debts and pay my mortgage.

“I probably borrowed £1m over the years in order to gamble – and I am still in debt from it all. When I look back it upsets me.”

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