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Willie Thorne reveals leukaemia diagnosis

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Thorne twice reached number seven in the world rankings

Snooker legend Willie Thorne has revealed he has been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Thorne, 66, was one of the most recognisable faces in the sport in the 80s and 90s, winning the 1985 Classic and pocketing more than £1.2 million in career prize money.

After retiring from professional competition in 2001, Thorne turned his attention to commentary and continued to work on the BBC’s snooker coverage until the end of the 2017/18 season.

Thorne overcame prostate cancer in 2015 but has revealed he is now battling leukaemia and is set to undergo chemotherapy in Spain – where he recently relocated.

He tweeted: “I realise everybody is having a tough time, mines just got worse. I’ve been diagnosed with leukaemia.

“I’m devastated. Start chemotherapy tomorrow. I’m in Spain where the health care is hopefully second to none.

“Love to you all. Willie x”

Thorne was a part of the Matchroom stable during snooker’s boom in the 80s, featuring in the popular song “Snooker Loopy”, written and performed by Chas & Dave.

Nicknamed ‘Mr Maximum’ for his ability to make frequent 147 breaks, Thorne had made an unexpected comeback on the World Seniors circuit in recent years.

Outside of snooker, he has appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and released an autobiography entitled Taking a Punt on My Life – which charts his gambling addiction which culminated in a suicide attempt in 2002.

Live Snooker would like to wish Willie a speedy recovery.