Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins dies aged 61 after a long battle with throat cancer.
He was found dead at his Belfast home after concerned friends failed to get in touch with him
Higgins was a true genius in every sense of the word and almost single-handedly transformed the game of snooker into what it has become today, inspiring a generation to pick up a cue. His crowd-pleasing play blew fresh air into a stuffy game and his authority-bucking antics gave snooker an edge that catapulted it into mainstream television.
Sadly, the demons that made him a star also destroyed him as a player and alcoholism led to his downfall. Ultimately he went too far, punching match officials and threatening to have an opponent, Dennis Taylor, shot.
By then snooker was an established mainstream television event and Higgins fell into the shadows, pushed aside by the game he had made great.
RIP Alex Higgins.