Many people love to watch sports and admire and respect the great sportsmen who compete, the viewers will have their favorites and will follow them throughout their careers. It is always sad when one of these great people die and one such sportsman was Alex Higgins. This amazing snooker player inspired many people to take up this sport and his popularity continued even after he retired from snooker.
Alex Higgins was born in 1949 in Belfast Northern 5 world snooker championship 2023 Ireland and had three sisters; he came from a traditional Irish family who worked hard for their families. Alex began playing snooker when he was 11 years old and really enjoyed the sport, he would go to the local youth clubs with his friends and play for hours. When Alex was 14 years old he left for England with the hope of becoming a jockey, although this dream was short lived. He was far too heavy to compete professionally due to his love for chocolate and Guinness, he returned shortly afterward back to Belfast.
In 1968 Alex won the Ireland and Northern Ireland Amateur snooker championships and at the age of 22 he turned professional. At his first attempt at the world championships in 1972 he won and became the youngest winner of the title at just 23 years old. Alex was very soon nicknamed Hurricane Higgins because of the speed he could play a game and many sports people soon realized he was a great snooker player. He went on to become the world champion twice and the runner up twice. He has also won the world champions double competition with Jimmy white.
Alex was an amazing snooker player and inspired many people to take up the sport, he showed there was a fun side to the game and allowed people to see his slightly bad side. Alex was a heavy drinker and smoker and never hid these facts. He was also a compulsive gambler which got him into trouble on several occasions. He retired in 1997 but continued to play snooker back in Northern Ireland for small sums of money. He also made several guest appearances in 2005 and 2006 at the Irish Professional championships where he went on to win. Alex then continues to play in Northern Ireland and was often seen competing in competitions, he said this was to simply be part of the sport and he loved to challenge the new players starting out.
Alex was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 and he went onto have surgery to try and remove the cancerous cells. In 2009 Alex fell on desperately hard times and was seen to be living in a caravan where he contracted pneumonia, he also lost all of his teeth due to the cancer treatments. Many of his friends tried to raise the money he needed to replace his teeth; although they did he was then far too ill to have the surgery. Alex had become a very ill depressed man and was even known to have been talking about suicide. He died alone in sheltered accommodation in Belfast on the 24th July 2010, many people will remember him for his former self a great sportsmen and amazing character.