What happened to Willie Thorne? A Snooker Legend’s Legacy

Willie Thorne, lovingly known as Mr. Maximum, was a prominent figure in the snooker world during the game’s boom time frame during the 1980s. With a pinnacle world positioning of No. 7, Thorne displayed his ability and determination on the baize, becoming one of the main players of his time.

His excursion through the snooker positions added to the game’s developing prevalence during that time.

A Pioneering Snooker Vocation

Thorne’s astounding career reached its zenith during the 1985 UK Championship final, where he confronted the dominant Steve Davis.

Driving 13-8 and nearly securing his first major title, Thorne’s missed shot permitted Davis to mount a rebound, eventually bringing home the title.

This moment, carved in snooker history, featured both Thorne’s expertise and the capricious nature of the game.

What happened to Willie Thorne
Willie Thorne

What happened to Willie Thorne?

Willie Thorne, the former snooker player, passed away in a hospital in Spain at the age of 66. He had been diagnosed with leukemia in March and was hospitalized last week due to low blood pressure.

Thorne’s caregiver, Julie O’Neill, announced his death, stating that he went into septic shock, did not respond to treatment, and the hospital made the decision to turn off the machines.

Thorne passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, in the early hours of Wednesday.

Despite facing health challenges and financial struggles, his impact on snooker and his vibrant personality have left a lasting legacy.

Heartfelt Battle Against Leukemia

In March, Thorne was diagnosed with leukemia, marking the beginning of a challenging health battle. Last week, he was admitted to a hospital in Spain due to low blood pressure.

The snooker community rallied around him, raising over £17,000 through a GoFundMe page to support his treatment.

Despite these efforts, Thorne’s health took a critical turn, leading to septic shock and a decision by the hospital to discontinue treatment.

From Player to Pundit

After hanging up his cue, Thorne seamlessly transitioned into the world of punditry. His insights and charismatic commentary enriched the snooker-watching experience for fans worldwide.

Thorne became a fixture on BBC, providing commentary from the 1980s until 2018.

His ability to analyze the game and share his passion endeared him to audiences, solidifying his status as not just a snooker player but also a respected voice in the sport.

Struggles with Gambling

Thorne’s life wasn’t without challenges, as he openly battled a serious gambling problem.

In a 2004 interview with The Guardian, he revealed the extent of his struggles, recounting instances where he placed substantial bets, including £20,000 on a single horse race and £38,000 on a match involving John Parrott. His candor about his difficulties added a layer of vulnerability to his public persona.

Tributes Pour In

Following the news of Thorne’s passing, tributes from the snooker community and beyond poured in. Gary Lineker, a close friend of Thorne, expressed deep sadness, remembering him as a “marvelous snooker player and a lovely man.”

World Snooker added its condolences, acknowledging Thorne’s immense contribution to the sport and expressing sorrow at the loss.

A Peaceful Farewell

Thorne’s caregiver, Julie O’Neill, shared the details of his final moments. He went into septic shock, and despite efforts, he did not respond to treatment.

The difficult decision to turn off the machines was made by the hospital, and O’Neill was with him until the end.

Willie Thorne passed away peacefully, surrounded by the love of his children, bringing some comfort to those close to him during this challenging time.

Leave a Comment