Willie Thorne has died aged 66
Image Source/ Sky Sports
The snooker legend – who was diagnosed with leukaemia in March and placed in an induced coma over the weekend after suffering respiratory failure – tragically passed away in the early hours of Wednesday (17.06.20) morning.
The news was confirmed via his GoFundMe page on Wednesday, as friend and carer Julie O’Neill wrote:
‘It is with a very heavy and broken heart that I have to officially announce that at 1.55am this morning Willie Thorne lost his battle and passed away.
‘Willie went into septic shock and was not responding to any treatment so the decision was made by the hospital to turn off the machines
‘I was with him all the way to his end and reading out messages to him from people.
‘He passed away very peacefully and without pain listening to his children saying they love him… that gives me some comfort in this difficult time. (sic)’.
Julie added that she and Willie’s family will be “making plans” and she will keep fans informed.
The sad news comes just one day after she updated followers on the fundraising page – which brought in almost £20,000 to help with his treatment – and revealed he was in hospital in Spain and had been placed in an induced coma.
‘The doctor called me yesterday to inform me that on Sunday Willie went into respiratory failure and he is now in an induced coma and mechanical ventilation.
‘They are treating him with three different antibiotics for three types of infections, which appear to be consuming him at this time.
‘We are all hoping that the treatments the hospital are giving him while in this induced coma will help to improve his overall condition and at some point enable him to breath on his own and be brought out of this coma. (sic)’.
During his television career, the snooker star – who was declared bankrupt in 2015 – covered the sport as a commentator for BBC, and for Sky Sports from the 1990s until coverage was dropped in the mid-2010s.
In 2007, he also competed on Strictly Come Dancing alongside Erin Boag, although the pair were voted out just three weeks in.