Willie Thorne funeral service held in Spain as John Virgo attends after snooker legend’s death


Snooker icon Willie Thorne ’s funeral has taken place in Spain with fellow commentator John Virgo attending the service.

Thorne died last week from respiratory failure following on from a diagnosis of leukaemia at the age of 66.

He had been living in Spain, renting a flat in Alicante, with friends having arranged a church service followed by a celebration of his life at a bar in the city – Evolution Bar la Fuente – where Thorne held charity events.

Thorne’s sons Tristan and Kieran attended the funeral as well as daughter Tahli, while Virgo read out a eulogy.



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

Former Strictly Come Dancing star Thorne was rushed to hospital with dangerously low blood pressure before being placed into an induced coma, with medical ventilation.

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.





Willie Thorne's sons Kieran (far left), Tristan (far right) and daughter Tahli (2nd from right) all attended
Willie Thorne’s sons Kieran (far left), Tristan (far right) and daughter Tahli (2nd from right) all attended

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

Tributes had poured in for Thorne following his death with football legend Gary Lineker saying: “Deeply, deeply saddened to hear that my friend Willie Thorne has passed away.

“One of life’s great characters. A marvellous snooker player and a lovely man, who’s potted his final black much too soon. RIP Willie.”



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While BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker wrote: “Really sad to hear about the death of Willie Thorne.

“He was a big part of the golden age of snooker on TV and full of fun away from table.”

Julie O’Neill, who was looking after Thorne in Spain, said: “We are planning a beautiful ­service. This is an immensely difficult time for many. The world lost a champion.”





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