Snooker legend Jimmy White revealed how his crack cocaine addiction reached an all-time low in an Irish hotel room.
The six-time world championship finalist, also known as ‘Whirlwind’, said he is ‘lucky to be alive’.
The 52-year-old was already on cocaine when he began spending €13,000 a month on the freebase form of the drug.
He has now revealed to the Irish Sun how he went on a three-month crack cocaine spree after his first world championship final, which he lost to Steve Davis in 1984.
White described how he begged guests at the Keaden Hotel in Co Kildare for lighters to cook the drug and smashed up his hotel room furniture for firewood.
He was staying at the hotel with friend Kirk Stevens, who he describes as ‘a big cocaine taker on the snooker circuit’, when he walked down to the bar to beg guests for their lighters.
“Some must have guessed I was an addict by then because I looked awful” he wrote in his autobiography ‘Second Wind’.
“I ran back, emptied my pockets and spilled these lighters all over his bed.
“[Kirk] had rocks on him so we started trying to cook them.
“I started trying to dismantle the door of the wardrobe so we could use it as firewood,” he continued.
“We started breaking down the furniture in the room, a table here, a wardrobe there, trying to get a fire started so we could cook this stuff up.
“That’s how sadistic the drug is, that’s how crazy it had sent us. Two of the best snooker players in the world, holed away in an Irish hotel room, smashing up chairs and ripping up a duvet so we could make an indoor fire and smoke some crack.”
White said he ‘couldn’t handle’ seeing his wife Maureen when she called to the hotel room the next day.
“I ran upstairs to my room and tried to hide,” he said.
“She walked in and was about to go off on one at me. She started screaming; ‘Jimmy, where the hell have you been?’.
“She tried to sit down on this vanity stool. Unfortunately for her, me and Kirk had tried to burn the legs off the night before.
“The legs gave way and she fell to the floor. We all burst into laughter. That broke the ice and I got away with it.”
White said his prize money and exhibition money from over the years was mainly ‘frittered away on drink and gambling’.
The father-of-five split from his wife Maureen 16 years ago.
“I know drugs probably cost me ten world titles,” he told the Irish Sun.
“Crack is the worst drug ever.”