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RIP he was a bit before my time. But always enjoyed his commentary. Also spend a lot of time in my younger days getting pissed in Riley's before the council bought it. Was a great bar to watch live sport.

 

We are not blessed with loads of famous people from Leicester so always sad to see one of them go.

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4 minutes ago, Voll Blau said:

Know a few guys who always spoke highly of how much he gave back to snooker in the area and young players in Leicestershire. Very sad.

Himself and his brother, Malcolm. 

 

My family used to rent out his snooker club a lot for functions and stuff, they were sound fellas. I remember one day as a 15 year old being there and watching this slightly older lad next door pot everything (it was Mark Selby). I could barely reach from one side to the other side of the table at the time. 

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33 minutes ago, Izzy said:

Now old Willy Thorne his hair's all gone
And his mates all take the rise
His opponent said cover up his head
Cos it's shining in my eyes
When the light shines down on his bare crown
It's a cert he's gonna walk it
It's just not fair giving off that glare
'Perhaps I ought to chalk it'

My 3 year old boys' favourite song. 

Edited by martyn
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Many moons ago I was at the opening night of Willie's club in Charles Street. It was a lovely place, very plush & he had Alex Higgins to perform the opening. I seem to recall that he was totally pissed (Alex not Willie). 

 

Also remember him in Osbornes on Cank Street, he loved being with all the lads off the market stuffing fivers in the pockets for each frame.

 

Very sad. RIP Willie

 

 

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Top bloke, used to bet thousands on which raindrop would reach the bottom of a window first and the like, obviously had his issues in regards to that but we all have our vices in life, always loved how he'd talk through a break, calling the right shots to play and how far ahead the player would be thinking etc, really knew a lot about the game. Know some people who met him and all only have good things to say. RIP. 

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Met him at a charity bash couple of years ago. He went to school with my dad, they were really good friends who had lost touch.

 

So when I met Willie I mentioned about my dad and he still remembered him. They used to spend a lot of time in the snooker hall where Willie would constantly beat everybody lol. A very nice man and his wife was just as nice.

 

Very sad news RIP

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His biggest tournament victory was the Mercantile Credit Classic in Warrington in January 1985. He beat Steve Davis 9-8 in the semi-final on Friday then beat Cliff Thorburn 13-8 in the final over the weekend. This is from Gary Lineker's column in the Sports Mercury, January 19th:

 

As soon as our match against Stoke last Saturday came to an end, I drove north (to Warrington) to watch him, stayed overnight, then returned the next morning for a light training session...which lasted only ten minutes! Back I went, just so I could be there to see Willie's triumph. I know Cliff Thorburn very well, but I was obviously rooting for Willie to win, and it was a marvelous occasion.

 

I probably enjoyed his win over Steve Davis more than the final because it was a very special atmosphere that night. Everyone seemed to be on Willie's side so it was a popular win. I reckon I must have traveled more than 1,000 miles over the three days, but it was cetainly worth it.

 

IMG-1706.jpg

 

This letter appeared in the Mercury:

 

What exciting news about Willie Thorne. It has brought great honour to the city. It's amazing how fortunate Leicester is to have so many famous sportsmen representing it. The England rugby team is being skippered by Paul Dodge, David Gower is leading the England touring party in India, Willie Thorne's best friend Gary Lineker looks like bringing great honours in the soccer world. We must also not forget the boxing world with Sibbo and co. Leicester folk must be the envy of the country.

 

The letter prompted this effort from the Mercury cartoonist:

 

IMG-1709.jpg

 

 

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Very sad news. A Leicester legend.

I saw him a few times in the 80's... mainly at the old Vito's barbershop next to London Road Station.

He regularly went in there for a (moustache?) trim. :)

RIP Willie.

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RIP Willie, used to love going to his snooker club and having a chat with his brother. Pretty sure I’ve met him a couple of times as well being as I used to go to the snooker. Sad day for the city.

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I don’t often do Twitter but saw Linekers tweet and read hundreds of lovely comments and tributes about Willie which were lovely to read.

 

Then there’s about 5% of comments that were really disrespectful and clearly trolling Gary.

 

Why can’t Twitter just ban these cvnts? 

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