Snooker

'Deeply saddened' - Gary Lineker leads Willie Thorne tributes after death

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Willie Thorne in action at the 1987 World Championship.

Image credit: Eurosport

ByEurosport
17/06/2020 at 09:21 | Updated 17/06/2020 at 13:51

Gary Lineker has paid tribute to his friend Willie Thorne after his death at 66 saying on Twitter that he was "one of life’s great characters".

Former world number seven and popular green baize pundit Thorne – who was diagnosed with the blood cancer leukaemia in March – was taken to hospital in Spain last week with low blood pressure.

His friend and carer Julie O'Neill released a statement on Wednesday confirming the sad news on GoFundMe about the 1985 Mercantile Credit Classic champion's death.

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"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," said Ms O'Neill.

The tributes have come flooding in from the world of sport and light entertainment with former England striker Lineker, close friends with Thorne since his days at Leicester City, quick to pay his condolences alongside former world heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno and 1985 world snooker champion Dennis Taylor.

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