Thursday 17 August 2017

James Lawton: Chaotic force of nature who revolutionised game

Higgins gets upset at a press conference at which he announced plans to sue a tobacco company
Higgins gets upset at a press conference at which he announced plans to sue a tobacco company
James Lawton

James Lawton

There is a standard eulogy for the wild men of sport who have touched our lives with the sharp edge of their genius.

We itemise the appalling nature of much of their existence and then we dribble out the lines of redemption. Sometimes, though, there is a stronger resonance in the reactions to their passing and there is no question that in this rare category no one this weekend served the memory of Alex Higgins better than the man who often seemed to be occupying a different planet.

The chaos wrought by the Hurricane which finally blew out so forlornly in the flat in Belfast where he lived alone did not, said Steve Davis, disguise the fact that the game of snooker as a popular spectator sport, rather than a smoky, hustling sub-culture, had in the process never acquired a deeper debt.

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