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Those who love snooker, loved Alex Higgins, and his fellow professionals from the world of snooker respected him for his talent and what he brought to the snooker world. After his retirement from the professional game, Higgins spent time playing for small sums of money in and around Northern Ireland. Now 67, Hearn recalls: James rated it did not like it Jul 25, Daily Mirror Get celebs updates directly to your inbox Subscribe See our privacy notice More newsletters. Ger Byrne rated it liked it Nov 02, Retrieved 24 September
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On 12 June , it was reported that Higgins had assaulted a referee at a charity match in the north-east of England. Higgins continued to play fairly regularly, and enjoyed "hustling" all comers for small-time stakes in clubs in Northern Ireland and beyond; in May he entered the Northern Ireland Amateur Championship , "to give it a crack",  but failed to appear for his match. Appearing alongside other retired or close-to-retiring professionals, including John Parrott , Jimmy White, John Virgo and Cliff Thorburn, he faced Thorburn in his match, but lost 2—0.
Higgins's speed around the table, his ability to pot balls at a rapid rate and flamboyant style earned him the nickname "Hurricane Higgins" and made him a very high-profile player. His highly unusual cueing technique sometimes included a body swerve and movement, as well as a stance that was noticeably higher than that of most professionals.
The unorthodox play of Higgins was encapsulated in his break of 69, made under unusual pressure, against Jimmy White in the penultimate frame of their World Professional Snooker Championship semi-final in Higgins was 0—59 down in that frame, but managed to compile an extremely challenging clearance during which he was scarcely in position until the colours. In particular, former world champion Dennis Taylor considers a three-quarter-ball pot on a blue into the green pocket especially memorable, not only for its extreme degree of difficulty but for enabling Higgins to continue the break and keep White off the table and unable to clinch victory at that moment.
He went a little too far for ideal position on his next red but the match-saving break was still alive. Higgins drank alcohol and smoked during tournaments, as did many of his contemporaries.
A volatile personality got him into frequent fights and arguments, both on and off the snooker table. One of the most serious of these clashes was when he head-butted a tournament official at the UK championship in This, added to his having threatened to have fellow player and compatriot Dennis Taylor shot, led to a ban for the whole of the following season.
At the time of his triumph at the World Championship, Higgins had no permanent home and by his own account had recently lived in a row of abandoned houses in Blackburn which were awaiting demolition. In one week he had moved into five different houses on the same street, moving down one every time his current dwelling was demolished.
In , Higgins' son was born. Higgins's first marriage was to Cara Hasler in April in Sydney. They had a daughter Christel  and divorced. His second marriage was to Lynn Avison in They had a daughter Lauren born late  and son Jordan born March In the same year, Higgins began a relationship with Siobhan Kidd, which ended in after he allegedly hit her with a hairdryer. He had a long and enduring friendship with Oliver Reed. In Higgins helped a young boy from the Manchester area, a fan of his who had been in a coma for two months. His parents were growing desperate and wrote to Higgins.
He recorded messages on tape and sent them to the boy with his best wishes. He later visited the boy in hospital and played a snooker match he promised to have with him when he recovered. In , Higgins was convicted of assaulting a year-old boy,  while in then-girlfriend Holly Haise stabbed him three times during a domestic argument. My Story , in For many years, Higgins smoked. He had cancerous growths removed from his mouth in and Higgins had lost his teeth after intensive radiotherapy used to treat his throat cancer.
It was reported that since losing them he had been living on liquid food, and had become increasingly depressed, even contemplating suicide. By the summer of , Higgins' weight had fallen to 6 stone 38 kilograms. Alex Higgins was an inspiration to many subsequent professional snooker players, including Ken Doherty , Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan , who in an interview stated "Alex was an inspiration to players like Jimmy White and thousands of snooker players all over the country, including me. The way he played at his best is the way I believe the game should be played.
It was on the edge, keeping the crowd entertained and glued to the action. In Clive Everton 's TV documentary The Story of Snooker , Steve Davis described Higgins as the "one true genius that snooker has produced",  although the autobiography of a contemporary leading professional Willie Thorne characterised Higgins as "not a great player". Regardless, Higgins' exciting style and explosive persona helped make snooker a growing television sport in the s and s. Higgins also made the first red clearance in a challenge match in ; it was a break of with the brown as the first "red", and sixteen colours: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Northern Irish former professional snooker player, twice world champion , For other people with similar names, see Alexander Higgins disambiguation. Archived from the original on 30 March Retrieved 28 April Retrieved 14 January