Willie Thorne funeral: Final farewell with snooker table flowers and Chas n Dave anthem

Snooker legend Willie Thorne bowed out in style as friends and family paid tribute to the sport’s “Mr Maximum.”

And Willie, 66, who died last week, would have had a big smile on his face as the sound of the Chas and Dave hit “Snooker Loopy” brought his funeral service in Spain to a close.

His twin sons, Tristan and Kieran, 35, and daughter Tahli, 32, had flown in from the UK to say an emotional farewell to their father.

They were joined by his close pal, former player John Virgo, 74, who read an eulogy, and around 100 friends and fans, many wearing black face masks.

Some of his carers, who had looked after him at home as his health deteriorated, were also there to pay their respects at the Parroquia Cristo Resucitado church in Dehesa De Campoamor, near Torrevieja.



Thorne was laid to rest in Spain

Willie, who was at one time ranked number seven in the world, earned his nickname because of his ability to make a maximum 147 break.

And as his coffin left the church, a mini snooker table, complete with a pair of cues and the number 147, was placed on top.

A message from snooker’s governing bodies read: “With a presence in a room like no other, the great WT.

“You will be sadly missed. With enormous thanks for the years, months, days, hours and every minute spent with us.”

Willie, who in the past had battled prostate cancer, died from sepsis in a Spanish hospital on Wednesday last week after being diagnosed with leukaemia in March.



There was a small snooker table on top of the coffin

He had been having chemotherapy treatment at a hospital in Torrevieja near his home on the Costa Blanca.

But after falling ill last week he was placed into an induced coma.

Willie, who had struggled with a gambling addiction, split from his second wife, former Miss Great Britain Jill Saxby, 60, in November last year.

He was declared bankrupt four years ago and before his death hundreds of fans had raised £20,000 to help pay for his care.

His friend Julie O’Neill, 38, who helped arrange yesterday’s service, said: “It was lovely. Everyone did him really proud. The flowers were amazing.”



John Virgo was among the mourners

During snooker’s boom years in the 1980s he was one of the most recognisable faces in the UK.

And together with other stars of the sport, he featured on the 1986 hit “Snooker Loopy”

After his top flight playing career ended he became a TV commentator and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing.

The service was followed by a cremation and his children are planning to return his ashes to the UK.

After his death his friend, ex England star Gary Lineker, wrote: “A marvellous snooker player and a lovely man, who’s potted his final black much too soon.”

source.



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