Snooker legend, Willie Thorne has died in hospital in Spain after suffering ‘septic shock’ following respiratory failure.
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 career and friend Julie O’Neill announced that he died at 1.55am and was surrounded by his family.
“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.”
Thorne turned professional in 1975 and won one ranking title as well as reaching the World Snooker Championship quarter-finals in 1982 and 1986.
He was known in the sport as Mr. Maximum and was regarded among the world’s best players in the sport during its boom period in the 1980s, reaching a peak world ranking of number seven.