By Pete Wilson
25 July 2010
Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins, the twice former world snooker champion who died yesterday at the age of 61, was not an easy man to like for much of his life, a fact reflected in the ongoing tributes to his massive contribution to his sport. The astute, seasoned snooker observer Dave Hendon, writing for The Independent today, reflects this accurately when saying: “Higgins relished his role as one of sport’s great anti-heroes. He was uncompromising and could be impossible to be around, even for his friends, but was the key figure in snooker’s rise from obscurity to the TV big time.”
Tributes and reflections from former friends and rivals include these from Steve Davis, Dennis Taylor and Ronnie O’Sullivan, while Higgins’ namesake, John, the three-time world champion, said today: “As a youngster it was the magical play of players like Hurricane Higgins that inspired me and many of my generation to fall in love with snooker. During one tournament I remember my father and Hurricane sitting in our hotel talking about snooker into the early hours. The next morning the concierge knocked on my door with a present from Hurricane; it was a beautiful blue snooker suit made by a top Irish tailor. It was a lovely gesture that meant so much to me and my dad. This will be a sad time for Hurricane’s close family and friends and also sad for the wider snooker community. When people write about the history of snooker they will have to devote many pages to the skills of Hurricane Higgins.”
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