Alex Higgins: superstar whose life ended as it had begun: alone and in poverty - Telegraph
Crucible of competition: Steve Davis and Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins in April BBC, Davis says: “It was a love-hate relationship with Alex Higgins. Steve Davis has led the tributes to Alex Higgins after the two-time world champion died after a long battle with throat cancer. Smokescreen: Alex Higgins claimed that tobacco companies that sponsored of a life lived in contravention to every piece of health advice ever delivered. Sure , relationships, property and some £3 million in career earnings had all been While Steve Davis surfed a wave of public nostalgia at the World.
But I met someone else and it knocked me for six Image: I tell her that I have feelings for someone else. She is shocked and devastated. She knows me well enough to know that other women have never been my thing.
There are tears and conversations late into the evening. I stay with friends and family while Mandy and I attempt to patch up our marriage. We agree to give it another go. Daily Record Read More Stephen Hendry slams state of snooker claiming 'only 3 events now matter to players' I first met Lauren when she was selling merchandise after a Legends snooker exhibition. As time goes on, we chat more often. The Legends events travel to each venue with the same support staff.
Over the next few months Lauren and I become friendly. We have two amazing boys and a great lifestyle. Before I move out again Mandy tells me that I must inform the boys Stephen Hendry's life turned upside down when he fell for Lauren Lauren is single and 20 years younger than me. I have no wish to hurt Mandy. Instead, he would have swept into a room dressed in a loud shirt and suit and blown away everything in his path with his wit, cue — or fists, depending how he was feeling.
When I spoke to him, the lightest of breezes would have knocked the former double world champ off his feet. The fallen cueman was a pale, shrivelled six-stone shadow of his former self, passing his remaining days in The Royal Bar opposite the flat and watching telly.
He showed me the pureed meals he was forced to eat as radiotherapy had caused all his teeth to fall out and his 10 sets of dentures were too painful to wear. When I spoke to him, Higgins said he weighed just 6st 7lbs, struggled to move and spoke in a rasping gasp as his throat had been destroyed by cancer operations. Summoning his fading strength he told me: And he also told me he knows at least four top snooker players who took bribes to chuck tournament matches. A fighter to the end, Higgins told me: I was the best, and I could still beat all the young ones.
There is already speculation that a host of snooker legends would fly in for the service —including Dennis Taylor, who last night said he forgave Higgins for threatening to have him shot. Higgins last Interview in full Shrivelled six-stone snooker legend Alex Higgins today confesses that he fears he'll die alone without a woman in his life. The once-mighty Hurricane also admitted he hasn't had sex for more than 10 years and now turns to the Bible to help him battle suicidal thoughts.
Higgins said tears still fill his eyes when he thinks of how he treated his "last great love" Siobhan Kidd -- who ditched him in after he battered her with a hairdryer. Frail two-time world champ Higgins -- whose body has been ravaged by cancer -- poured out his heartbreak in the second of his searingly honest interviews with Sunday Life.
Just a normal working class bloke who by the majority of the people watching was demonised and victimised as being the baddie. On the other hand, you had someone who had every fault in the book, and every character flaw going, who was lionised and loved by the public.
Would that happen anywhere else? What was coming into play was the underdog factor because everybody respected Davis and realised how good he was. Why was the good guy not perceived as the good guy? Apart from pure snooker, I always wonder why was that the case?
The bad boy-good boy divide was huge between those two. How can you relate to a robot? I'd rather have a drink with Idi Amin.
Not bad for a robot. Up north, Higgins appeared to be heading south as he trailed to his foe. In the same year, he had been largely outclassed by Davis in the semi-finals of the World Championship. Yet Higgins somehow managed to rally, winning eight of the next nine frames to level at He moved clear, but trailed before trousering the final two frames to the delight of his public.
There are dates that tend to stand out in your childhood. Such was the popularity of snooker, this onlooker recalls standing as a kid at a football match between Morton and Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League when the tannoy announcer felt the need to let the fans know Davis led Higgins in the UK final. Davis would find revenge with a win, but it was suspected the scars of losing a lead were a precursor for a bigger sense of dismay further down the line when he blew an advantage in losing the World Championship final to Taylor.
It was a contest full of ebb and flow watched by It remains a source of wonderful misery for Davis, who ironically earned more goodwill in defeat than any victory could have garnered. In parts of the UK, he was also desperately more unpopular than her. Like Thatcher, Davis was very much an emblem of the UK establishment while Higgins railed against authority. It was all utter nonsense of course, but why let the truth spoil a good pantomime. When Higgins stepped out at the Wembley Conference Centre for their match at the Masters in the round of 16, he was cheered into the venue with more fanfare then the boxer Frank Bruno.
Local lad Davis was roundly booed in a match he would lose after making a blunder on the final blue. Higgins would enjoy only one more win over Davis, in the last four of the Irish Masters later that year, before suffering 11 defeats out of their final 12 matches.
There was a draw in league format match in when both made two centuries. Davis was a much heavier scorer and more of a power player. Higgins had no right to beat Davis, but Higgins was a magician with a terrific knowledge of the table. He was a genius. In fact, I'd say he was the only genius to play snooker.
You'll never see another Alex Higgins again. It is like George Best. They are a dying breed in sport.
Steve Davis: Retired snooker great says life 'like living in a big holiday camp' - BBC Sport
The culture has changed, you wouldn't find that type of player playing snooker anymore. I think for the sport, it is important to have rivalry.
No two players stand out in snooker at the moment. Not like Davis and Higgins. On several occasions form, technique and confidence appeared to desert him yet he still found a way to remain relevant. Around the millennium, Terry Griffiths, the world champion, urged him to retire because of his dwindling standards.
Yet he did not submerge. Davis won six straight frames to justify his iconic standing as a giant of the game. He was like Tiger Woods in golf when he came along. He was just different, and could boss and dominate the competition. I never really played Steve in his prime, but I did play him at the Masters in I remember he played six unbelievable frames against me when I didn't really see a ball after leading I'm glad I missed that one.
I got John Higgins instead which was just as bad, but Davis was the ultimate professional. He was a machine. He lost to China's rising year-old national icon Ding Junhui in the final. A year-old Davis then completed an astonishing win over the defending world champion John Higgins in to reach the quarter-finals at the Crucible as a reminder of just how pristine his levels were.
It came 21 years after he demolished Parrott for the last of his six world gongs. Selby is very similar to Davis, but for me Davis is still the man to beat.
Night my hero let me down
He was just so good at the all-round game. His positional play and long potting were superb when he was at his best. He says in commentary these days that he wouldn't be in the top I don't know why he says that because he would easily be in the top eight. The Importance Of Legacy Every sports professional wants to leave a legacy, but for the most talented it is a genuinely viable aim.
You see it in the Cristiano Ronaldo v Lionel Messi battle to be remembered as the greatest footballer in the world game. You understand it in Usain Bolt's gait since he obliterated the world m record at the Olympic Games in Beijing. In snooker, O'Sullivan will aim for two more world titles to equal Hendry's record. Not all sportspeople get the chance to leave legacies, but Davis and Higgins have etched their own faces in the rockface.
Davis finally retired last year having spawned a generation of Davises. When you watch snooker today, Higgins remains a one-off. Higgins was the most important figure in the game in the late 70s and early to mids. Rock solid, but a little bit dull. The extravagant shots cost you money, not just in snooker.
In many respects, it has driven the character and personality out of all professional sport. Higgins would be beaten these days by kids you have never heard of because they are all very good. Everybody had a soft spot for Alex because he was flawed. Alex had the vulnerability that women felt was attractive, that he was alone and needed looking after. He was only alone because nobody wanted to be with him.
Perhaps he viewed Davis as a figure who got rich on the back of his popularity. While he was key to giving snooker a glorious money-spinning profile, Davis was the main beneficiary from making winning as much of a habit as brushing your teeth in the morning. If Higgins wanted to be a successful gambler, he should have started betting on Davis. Impossible of course when you believe you are the greatest, but trying to rule snooker while battling drink problems and wretched behaviour - which included striking your partner with a hairdryer - made such ambition impossible.
It is a feat more difficult than attempting a wearing a blindfold. Yet to Higgins, nothing felt impossible.