Snooker star John Virgo led the tributes to Willie Thorne at an emotional memorial service held in Spain earlier today, as reported in the Daily Mail. He will be buried back in the UK according to his son.
More than 80 people packed into a community care centre to bid farewell to the much loved character, (who died last week while undergoing treatment for leukaemia), of the snooker stage.
Former Miss GB Jill Saxby, (Thorne’s ex wife) recently revealed that they spoke every day, was unable to attend the memorial along with other friends like Gary Lineker and Steve Davis because of Covid travel restrictions.
Virgo was joined by Thorne’s twin sons Tristan and Kieren and daughter Thali at the Cristo Resucitado Ecumenical Centre in Alicante. Besides a large floral tribute spelling out ‘Willie’ and a photograph of the star in his prime, Virgo reminisced of their days together on the BBC TV series Pot Black.
He said: “When we were doing Pot Black they were looking for a good looking player, and Willie beat me to it. It was Willie who was the good looking one. Willie will be a great loss to those he has left behind. We will miss his jokes, and he could joke could Willie. Back in the days when we started out as professionals in snooker it was different to what it is now.”
His friend Julie O’Neill, who looked after Thorne during his final three months, sang the song Dancing in the Sky.
After the service Kieren revealed that his father’s coffin was to be flown back to the UK where he will be buried at a later date.