In just a few minutes my Twitter page was flooded by messages from people who were absolutely stunned about what had just happened, many of them being unable to write anything but "I can’t believe the Hurricane left us".
Indeed, it was 24th of July 2010, when Alex "The Hurricane" Higgins decided to leave this world for a better place. I remember that the papers stated he was deceased for several days before the police found his body. A genuine war of accusations followed next, someone had to carry the guilt. Like that was going to bring the poor man back.
His beloved friend, Jimmy White was amongst the ones who was present at his funeral and shared a tear, while the people of Belfast gathered to give "The Hurricane" one last cheer and one more round of applause as the funeral procession passed by.
His beautiful daughter recited a really emotional poetry and then the silence settled in.
Many snooker players shared their thoughts about Alex, Ronnie O'Sullivan being one of them, as well as Denny Taylor (with whom Alex had a very eventful history), Steve Davis, John Virgo (who actually wrote a book - a pretty decent one too), Ken Doherty and the list can go on.
Now, four years after his departure, people, snooker fans, fellow countrymen, still remember Alex Higgins as being the "People's champion", a tormented soul, a colourful character, a hell of a snooker player with a heart of gold and the manners of a butcher ... sometimes.
|1982 - Champion of the World|
Not to mention the amount of people (now prestigious snooker players) that were influenced and inspired by Higgins's way of playing snooker. Even today, the lads have him as a snooker player model and many try to use those twisted shots he was performing in his heyday.
I'm not much for religion and what they teach you at school about God, but I remember my high school teacher who once said: "People's action speak for them even after their death."
And in Alex's case, the fact that even today people still consider him a legend and one of the milestones that made snooker into what it is today ... well, that's something isn't it?
Miss you Hurricane!