Willie Thorne dead: Snooker legend dies aged 66 following health battle


Willie Thorne has died at the age of 66 following a health battle over the past few months.

Thorne, who was best known for his commentary and stint on series five of Strictly Come Dancing, had announced he was diagnosed with leukaemia in March.

Then came the sad news that he had been placed into an induced coma in a hospital in Spain after suffering respiratory failure.

Thorne had been admitted to hospital with a 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.



Snooker legend Willie Thorne has died at the age of 66
Snooker legend Willie Thorne has died at the age of 66

Thorne reached a career high ranking of No 7 during his days as a professional, but suffered problems away from the table.

His house was repossessed last year just days after Thorne split from his wife of 24 years while he also battled gambling problems and debts.

On the table, Thorne reached two World Championship quarter-finals and won his only ranking title, the Mercantile Credit Classic, in 1982.



Thorne faced a number of health battles in recent years
Thorne faced a number of health battles in recent years

He later battled bankruptcy after admitting he had borrowed up to £1m in order to feed his gambling addiction.

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.



Willie Thorne reached No 7 in the snooker world rankings during his playing days
Willie Thorne reached No 7 in the snooker world rankings during his playing days

Today’s top sport stories on Daily Star

“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.

“The last three years have been a struggle, so I am trying my hardest to get work and get back on my feet.”





This post appeared first on Daily Star - Snooker.