Snooker legend Willie Thorne, 66, dies after suffering respiratory failure

SNOOKER legend Willie Thorne has passed away after suffering from respiratory failure aged 66.

He died peacefully listening to his children after going into septic shock last night, his friend and carer said today.

The tragic news was announced on his GoFundMe this morning.

Julie O'Neill who set up the page, wrote that Thorne stopped responding to treatment and the decision was made to turn off the machines.

Thorne became a household name in the snooker world in the 1980s and reached the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship in 1982 and 1986.

He was a huge character within the game and was part of the 1986 single 'Snoopy Loopy' which written and performed by Chas & Dave.

Thorne was rushed to a hospital in Spain last week with dangerously low blood pressure as he bravely battled leukaemia.

Such was his condition last week, that initially it was dangerous to move him.

He was taken to hospital by an ambulance, and where he had remained in intensive care since.

Things worsened on Sunday, when Thorne went into respiratory failure and was placed into an induced coma, with medical ventilation.

He was diagnosed with leukaemia in March and had been in and out of hospital since starting treatment.

Thorne underwent three blood transfusions and treatment for a virus as well as MRI scans and heart checks following his admission to Torrevieja Hospital on May 2.

On top of that, the 66-year-old was also faced with both gout, which causes swelling and pain around the joints, and a water infection once treatment for the leukaemia began.

Once again I thank everybody for your messages of support and words of encouragement, I know they have been a comfort to Willie

O'Neill had thanked fans for their support, and had urged them to pray for their unwell hero.

She added that the money raised on the page will now pay for the snooker legend's funerla.

O'Neill wrote: "Thank you so very much to everyone that has been involved in Willies care you have all been absolutely amazing and Willie couldn’t have asked for better.

"Thank you for all the donations that enabled him to get the care he needed!"

The popular Thorne made his professional snooker debut in 1975, reaching a career high ranking of No7.

And he was also a well-recognised voice on BBC's snooker coverage, having made appearances since the 1980s.



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