Saturday 18 November 2017

'I couldn't see a way out. My intention was to end my life' – snooker star Willie Thorne opens up on suicide attempt

Snooker commentator Willie Thorne admitted he attempted to take his life last year
Snooker commentator Willie Thorne admitted he attempted to take his life last year
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Snooker commentator Willie Thorne has revealed he attempted to take his own life last year after mounting financial difficulties.

The former snooker star is believed to have racking up a reported £1million in gambling debts and is set to be declared bankrupt next week. The financial strife led Thorne to take the drastic decision to contemplating taking his own life.

”I couldn’t see a way out," he said in The Sunday Mirror. "I thought I’d caused so much grief to so many people.

Such was the unhappiness over the situation facing the Leicester native and his family, Thorne drove to a local hotel in June armed with a kitchen knife and letters to family members.

"I can’t remember a large part of that day," he says. "I was oblivious to what was happening. I’d gone. I was told by police afterwards I had a knife.

"My intention was to end my life. It was a shock to see Jill [Thorne's wife] burst into the room. She saved my life.

“I had lunatics chasing me and demanding money and I couldn’t see a way out.

Thorne says that what he was attempting to do was "cowardly", but could not see another way.

“It’s so cowardly isn’t it? I have three children, two stepchildren, grandchildren, a nice house with a loving wife yet I couldn’t see a way through.

“Everyone thinks I’m happy-go-lucky. But they don’t know I’m living a lie. Always smiling, always laughing – but inside feeling hopeless.”

Thorne attempted to take his life in 2002 after his gambling spiralled out of control, but says he has put betting problems behind him and is looking forward to the rest of his life.

“The last two years have destroyed me. I never went out with the intention of hurting anyone but there are people I may never be able to pay back and I’m truly sorry for that.

“Now I just want to try and put things right. I’m at rock-bottom but I am desperately going to try and get back up.”

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