Snooker legend Willie Thorne dies after battle with leukaemia

Credit: PA

Snooker legend Willie Thorne has died in Spain after a battle with leukaemia.

The 66-year-old had been in an induced coma in intensive care aftersuffering respiratory failure in Alicante on Sunday and died thismorning.

He lived in Broughton Astley in Leicestershire.

He was taken to hospital last week with dangerously low blood pressure.

He starred as part of snooker's 'Matchroom Mob' and went on to become a BBC commentator. Credit: PA

Thorne, nicknamed Mr Maximum, was diagnosed with cancer in March andhas been affected by various health problems since while undergoingchemotherapy treatment.

He had to undergo three blood transfusions following his initialdiagnosis, before returning to hospital in May for heart checks and anMRI scan.

His latest admission to hospital was following a drop in his bloodpressure to dangerously low levels, with medical staff opting to placehim in an induced coma.

  • A message on his GoFundMe page read:

The match room mob as they announced the release of their new song 'Snooker Loopy' in 1986. The mob are snooker stars (from left) Willie Thorne, Tony Meo, Terry Griffiths, Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis. Credit: PA

Thorne had a successful career in snooker as a player after turning professional in 1975.

He reached the final of the UK Championship in 1985, losing to SteveDavis despite having led the tie 13-8.

He also reached the quarter finals of the World Championships in both1982 and 1987; his best performances in the showpiece tournament.

But his finest hour came in the final of The Classic in 1985, where hebeat Cliff Thorburn to win his only ranking tournament.

Willie Thorne (left) and John Virgo commentate during the The Masters at Wembley Arena, London in 2010. Credit: PA

After retiring in 2001, Thorne moved into commentary and became one ofthe voices of the BBC, having first worked for them in the 1980s.

Away from the table, Thorne was open about his troublesome addictionto gambling, which he admitted 'cost him dear', but hoped by speakingout he would help others in a similar situation.

His addiction eventually left him with over £1million in debts in2015, and later saw him declared bankrupt.