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Laurence

ALEX HIGGINS

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Hi

I should like to pay tribute to one of my heroes.

He lost his battle against cancer today

I know what it's like to fight cancer.

RIP

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Great charachter, loved watching him when I was young, one of the main reasons i started playing snooker (badly) and posssibly one of the reasons i started smoking! so he wasn't a good roll model and Charles B wont like him being a long trousered sports man that made a load of dosh, but jeezo he was a great entertainer, R.I.P Hurricane

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He was a lovely guy.... Such a credit to the game of snooker.

And now the dramatic fall...

In 1986, the Belfast man was asked to provide a urine sample for a random drugs test following his UK Championship match against Mike Hallett and then ended up head-butting tournament director Paul Hatherell.

KEY BAD MOMENTS

1986: Headbutted snooker official

1990: Threatened to have Dennis Taylor shot

1990: Abused referee

He subsequently found himself fined ?12,000 and also banned from five tournaments.

At the 1990 World Cup - snooker not football - he threatened to have fellow Ireland team-mate Dennis Taylor shot and followed that up by abusing referee John Spencer.

As if that did not land him in enough hot water he then proceeded to punch the tournament director at the World Championship which led to a season ban.

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I think we pay far too much attention to the personalities of professional sportsmen and women. We critise the likes of Murray for being dull and then we criticise the likes of Higgins when they are anything but. Let's focus on the sport because that's what matters. Higgins was a disturbed character as are many people who are particulary gifted in some respects. He is someone who was thrown into the limelight but did not have the emotional resources to cope with the pressures his talent thrust upon him. Of course, there is no excuse for the incidents Johnboy refers to, but in many ways he was a victim of his own talent. He was a brilliant snooker player and entertained millions in his prime. He should be remembered for that and that alone.

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