Alex Higgins starved to death - Jimmy White on loss of his friend the Hurricane
Snooker legend Alex Higgins starved to death after refusing to eat, his close pal Jimmy White revealed last night.
He said the desperately weak former world champion snubbed pleas from friends and family and dropped to a shocking six stone.
His body ravaged by years of hard living, hellraiser Higgins, 61, had lost his teeth after battling cancer and been keeping himself alive in his final weeks by drinking Guinness.
Snooker star Jimmy, 56, said: “He died from lack of nourishment. We’ve lost a genius and one of the greatest champions of the game.”
Anguished Jimmy last night revealed he cried for hours after hearing close friend Alex “Hurricane” Higgins had died.
He said he had watched in agony as the emaciated snooker legend had wasted away due to his refusal to eat.
Higgins had recently got the all clear from throat cancer but radiotherapy had robbed him of his teeth – forcing him to survive on pureed food and Guinness.
Gaunt and haggard from years of excess, former hellraiser Alex could barely lift a snooker cue by the time he died and he weighed just six stone.
Opening his heart about the bond he shared with the ex double world champion, Jimmy, 56, said: “I was crying all yesterday. I’m absolutely devastated.
“I was in awe of him. I didn’t always agree with what he did but I loved him. I have lost a friend and I will remember him forever.
“Alex took snooker in the 1970s to the heights which it reached in the 80s – that was all down to him.”
Higgins’ body was already ravaged by years of boozing and hard living. But it was his battles against throat cancer which left him a shadow of his former self. Jimmy watched his friend slowly deteriorate in the last three years despite him getting the all clear.
He revealed divorced dad-of-two Higgins ignored constant pleas from friends and family to eat healthily. Speaking from Thailand where he has been playing in a tournament, Jimmy said: “In the end it wasn’t cancer that killed him, the cancer had gone, he died from lack of nourishment, how sickening is that?
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