A "Hurricane" tribute

02:19:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

These are sad days for the snooker world and more and more people want to pay their respects and tribute to the one who remodeled the snooker game.

Steve Davis (six-times world champion): “He was a very competitive animal, and you knew how he was feeling at the table. That wasn’t common in a reserved game. He got a lot of people who wouldn’t have watched snooker interested, and dragged the game forward kicking and screaming. He didn’t wear a tie, he caused problems, but he was loved all the more for it and he was a snooker genius. Alex, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White are the three who shocked people with the shots they have come out with, and Alex had bottle and heart. He perhaps didn’t win as much as possibly he could have with his talent, but when he did win the crowd absolutely loved it because it was one against the head. It was against authority, he was the true rebel. He was always up for disciplinary action and he’d walk in with bottles of champagne for the disciplinary panel to soften them up. He had that cheekiness."

Dennis Taylor (1985 world champion): "I don't think you'll ever see a player in the game of snooker like the great Alex Higgins. There was just something about the way that he played the game. There was a little bit of (John) McEnroe in there. There was always going to be a little bit of controversy. If he could get the referee going a little bit he seemed to be able to play better, although he caused a little bit of havoc sometimes. But that was Alex. That made him unique."

Willie Thorne (former world number seven): "Everybody loves a genius. When you're a genius that makes you one of the best people in the world and someone that everyone wants to see. He was a close pal of George Best and he actually stayed at my mother's house a few times and she ended up doing all his ironing and cleaning. I was actually asked to drive for him when I was 19 by his management company. I declined and it's probably a good job I did. But I played with him plenty of times and we had a few run-ins but we always kissed and made up at the end."

Ronnie O'Sullivan (three-times world champion): "Alex Higgins was one of the real inspirations behind me getting into snooker in the first place. He is a legend of snooker, and should forever be remembered as the finest ever snooker player."

Barry Hearn (World Snooker chairman): "I have known him for nearly 40 years. He was the major reason for snooker's popularity in the early days. He was controversial at times, but he always played the game in the right spirit. We will miss him - he was the original people's champion."

Nelson McCausland (Northern Ireland sports minister): "He was a legend in the game of snooker and one of Ulster's great sportsmen. His style of play reshaped how snooker was played and his talent captivated snooker fans around the world."

Hugh Robertson (UK sports minister): "Alex Higgins was a colourful character and one of the most popular players of his generation. He will be greatly missed by snooker fans and the wider sporting public. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Sean Boru (Higgins's biographer): "Alex was great company, that was the best way to describe him. He could be up one minute and be very cutting the next, but you forgave him. He was a true individual, I know people say it but he was. There will never be and there never was anyone like Alex Higgins, he was a fantastic character to be around. It was his personality. Alex Higgins was the Muhammad Ali of snooker, he dragged it kicking and screaming into the 20th century. I spoke to someone earlier who said wasn't it lucky Alex made his name when snooker came into its own, but I said it was the other way round. Snooker didn't make Alex Higgins, Alex Higgins made snooker. I saw him about two months ago and he looked so awful...I think everybody close to Alex knew the end was nigh."

Source: EuroSport