Factbox: Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins

Factfile on Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins, the two-time former world snooker champion, who died at the age of 61 on Saturday:

1949 – March 19 – Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.


1960 – Starts playing snooker at the age of 11.

1963 – Leaves Northern Ireland to begin a career as a jockey in England, but is released having never ridden in public and returns to Belfast.

1968 – Wins the All-Ireland and Northern Ireland amateur snooker championships.

1972 – After turning professional he wins the World Championship at the first attempt, he beats John Spencer 37-32 in the final. It makes him the youngest winner of the title, a record only beaten by a 21-year-old Stephen Hendry in 1990.

1976 – Reaches a second World Championship final but loses to Ray Reardon 27-16.

1980 – Loses to Thorburn 18-16 in his third World Championship final.

1982 – Wins his second world title by beating Reardon 18-15.

1983 – Wins the UK Championship by beating Steve Davis 16-15 in the Preston final.

1986 – Head-butts UK Championship tournament director Paul Hatherell, he is fined 12,000 pounds and banned from five tournaments.

1990 – Threatens to have rival snooker player Dennis Taylor shot and then punches a tournament director at the World Championship, he is banned for the rest of the season.

1998 – October – Undergoes surgery to remove cancer from his throat.

2005-06 – Appears at the Irish Professional Championship but fails to get past the first round.

2010 – July 24 – Dies at the age of 61 after a long battle with cancer.