Willie Thorne in action at NEC Birmingham. Archive photo. | Action Images


The former British Professional Snooker player, Willie Thorne has died in Spain. He was put in an induced coma on Tuesday whilst being treated for leukaemia, but suffered respiratory failure. He was 66.

Willie Thorne achieved number one ranking during his career, was a well known snooker commentator and one of Britain’s most popular players.

“It is with a very heavy and broken heart that I have to officially announce that at 0155 this morning, Willie Thorne lost his battle and passed away,” his carer, Julie O'Neill, wrote on his fundraising page.

“Willie went into septic shock and was not responding to any treatment,” she wrote, “he passed away very peacefully and without pain, listening to his children saying they love him."

Willie Thorne turned professional in 1975 and reached the World Snooker Championship quarter-finals in 1982 and 1986.

He was diagnosed with leukaemia in March and developed sepsis throughout his body last month.

World Snooker said Thorne's gregarious nature had made him “one of the snooker-loving public's favourite characters as the sport thrived."

The former England International footballer and close friend, Gary Lineker, paid tribute to his close friend, Willie Thorne on Twitter.