Snooker Legend, Willie Thorne dies at 66

Willie Thorne,
Ex-snooker player Willie Thorne
Willie Thorne,
Ex-snooker player Willie Thorne (Getty Images)

Willie Thorne, Snooker legend who was noted for his break-building, earning the nickname “Mr Maximum has reportedly died in Spain.

This is coming after the Snooker legend suffered ‘septic shock’ following respiratory failure.

It was learnt that the English former professional had been put into a coma on Sunday while receiving treatment for his leukaemia.

Thorne, who announced he was battling leukaemia in March, suffered several health issues.

He had to undergo three blood transfusions before returning to the hospital in May for heart checks and an MRI scan.

On Wednesday morning, his carer and friend Julie O’Neill announced that he died at 1.55am and was surrounded by his family.

“It is with a very heavy and broken heart that I have to officially announce that at 1.55am this morning, Willie Thorne lost his battle and passed away,” O’Neill wrote.

“Willie went into septic shock and was not responding to any treatment so the decision was made by the hospital to turn off the machines. I was with him all the way to his end and reading out messages to him from people.

He passed away very peacefully and without pain listening to his children saying they love him. That gives me some comfort in this difficult time.”

According to CNN, Born in Leicester, Thorne was friends with former England international Gary Lineker.

“Deeply, deeply saddened to hear that my friend Willie Thorne has passed away,” tweeted Lineker, who began his professional career at Leicester City.

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

Thorne was known for his trick shots and enjoyed entertaining the crowd. He worked as a television commentator for over 30 years and appeared on the 2007 edition of UK celebrity ballroom dancing show “Strictly Come Dancing.”

He later ran into financial trouble, admitting to borrowing up to £1 million ($1.26 million) after developing a gambling addiction, reports PA Media.

WST Chairman Barry Hearn spoke fondly of his time managing Thorne in the 1980s.