Monday 22 January 2018

Medb Ruane: Alex Higgins would stride into view looking like a gigolo and moving like Rudy Nureyev . . .

On the ball: Alex Higgins in his prime in 1981
On the ball: Alex Higgins in his prime in 1981

Medb Ruane

So Alex Higgins has died. A great snooker player, a self-hurt man. He was only 61 but after the life he'd had, few were surprised at his passing -- although very, very many are genuinely sad.

He'd endured throat cancer and couldn't really eat, even when his sister mushed his food up and tried to feed him at the sheltered accommodation where he lived alone. He'd no teeth, no ease, perhaps no passion to go on.

Friends who'd raised over £12,000 to pay his medical expenses will use it to give him a good send off on Monday. Crowds are expected to attend his funeral at St Anne's Cathedral and then in Roselawn Cemetery. After that, books of condolences will be collected in Belfast and Derry, naming the unexpectedly deep sympathy the loss of 'Hurricane' provoked.

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