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My thoughts on Alex

Postby Casey

Enigmatic, explosive, breathtaking, talented, dark, violent, angry. These are a mix of words that people would use to describe Alex, I would have to say my favourite is inspirational. That’s exactly what I view Alex as, he was far from perfect and at times he was a nasty little man who often rubbed people up the wrong way. However, I don’t think these qualities define who or what Alex was.

He was a complex character who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and tell the world what he was thinking. He wouldn’t have had it easy growing up, living in Belfast at the beginning of the troubles in Northern Ireland when things were at their worst. It was easy for people then to develop a bitter side to them, most at that time witnessed some awful acts or lost somebody they knew. This is not an excuse for Alex but when it is all put into the mix of circumstances I think it becomes easier to understand why he was himself.

He managed to get out of that atmosphere and helped bring snooker into the big time, not only this and probably unknowingly, like George Best before him he helped the communities ‘back home’. He didn’t play under any flag, claim allegiance to any sector of community, he had respect from everybody which helped to provide some sunshine in what was a dark time in the countries history.

A loving wife and family, on top on the snooker world, wealthy and popular, Alex had it all. In a strange twist of fate this actually might have been his downfall. An alcoholic was in the making, playing in social clubs and bars, drink after drink on the house, a man like him with an addictive personality never stood a chance.

We all know of the things that he did wrong, there is no excusing them, he could be pure evil at times, however not evil overall. He had to contend with alcoholism and cancer, but I believe his biggest test was the battle from within himself; his good natured self was being suppressed by a wicked nasty man. He couldn’t control it and unfortunately many around him felt the full force of his wrath.

There have been some iconic moments in snooker, but is there any more so than Alex and his family in the 82 final? This is the Alex that I will choose to remember, with a wife that at that time loved him very much and it was clear to see the good wihin him. These are the same qualities that Jimmy White could see in Alex, best friends for a long time, Jimmy knew of something within Alex that was not always apparent to the public.

He will be missed very much, not only in the world of snooker, but by his family and friends. Alex has done what many fail to do; he has left a long lasting legacy and won’t be forgotten.

It’s a pity I wasn’t around when Alex was at his peak, however I still feel privileged watching footage of his past glories. I will always choose to remember the positives Alex has achieved, I hope this is how many choose to remember him.


Re: My thoughts on Alex

Postby Wildey

over the past week ive seen countless tributes and obituaries from friends and colleagues alike not to mention fans.

that case is the best and most honest and heartfelt ive seen. you described all the elements that made him who he was without looking at anything through rose colored specs.

nice tribute <ok>

Re: My thoughts on Alex

Postby JohnFromLondonTown

He was iconic in our game, absolutely case.

Like anywhere, its hard to imagine living other people's life's unless you actually walk in their shoe's, which isn't going to happen so none of us should judge.

I always remember him sitting on his own with his paper, drinking. Many a time I watched people come up to him to talk to him & get lost for words. His attention span may have come across as limited, but boy was he an intelligent man. I always called him champ when we passed each other.

I sat from afar once, watching the TV, looking over at him every now & again when people came over to him. I'd catch his eye, I'll smile & put my head down not looking for a reply, I'd look up again later & see him looking at me & he'd smile & wink over at me, put his head back down & carry on reading his paper, usually the racing pages were open.

Of course, my best memory of the man is him coming over to me last December asking me to get him a drink after the officials confiscated his pint of Guinness. I wasn't 'showing out' or anything, I was trying to get my own brain in gear because I was playing Ken Doherty next on the same table that he was playing on. I done what he asked & when Ken walked into the arena, the press went mad trying to get photo's of the 2 Irish legends together. Again, I took a back seat & let them get on with it, put my case on the table to take my cue out ready to play. When he then held up the proceedings & seen it was me who was playing Ken, he turned round & called me over saying we are not taking any photo's unless John McBride is in them & promptly called me over. The press flicked away with me playing right wing, Alex, quite aptly playing Centre Forward & Ken playing left wing, which is the photo now in my avatar. He didn't have to do that, but he did it. He even shoved the referee out of the way so I could be in it. <laugh>

As the days went passed, I'd be outside smoking a cigarette, he'd walk past & I'd say "All right Champ" which is what I always said to him when I did seen him. He stopped, seen it was me, said Hi John & we smoked our fags in quiet.

He'll always be a Champion in my eyes.

Re: My thoughts on Alex

Postby gallantrabbit

The guy had an absolute aura about him compounded by fear in many. He was a wonderful inspiration to many, myself included, but there is no doubt that he was a tyrant for many others even close to him. I remember chatting with Doug Perry, his ex manager at an exhibition and the poor fellow was on constant Alex watch, for fear that Higgins would 'create' something. Higgins treated him as a fetcher and carrier or essentially a lackey too and I felt sorry for the bloke because he was a permanent bundle of nerves. I defended Alex for many a year to all and sundry but when I saw the way he could treat a person like Doug, (a man who Alex described as his greatest friend after Perry's death a couple of years later) I must admit I put the Alex Higgins flag down.
Now's not the time for recriminations though (despite having just recriminated him :? ) but I'd prefer to remember 'that' break in 1982 and that comeback against Cliff in the '81 masters semi than the times I actually met the man.

Re: My thoughts on Alex

Postby N_Castle07

from wikipedia

While not normally noted for his philanthropy, in 1983 Higgins helped a young boy from the Manchester area, a fan of his who had been in a coma for two months. His parents were growing desperate and wrote to Higgins. He recorded his voice on a tape and sent it to the boy with his best wishes. He later visited the boy in hospital, unannounced, and promised that if the boy recovered they would play snooker together. True to his word, once the boy was out, the match was held.[

Nice story. :bowdown:

Re: My thoughts on Alex

Postby Wildey

Jimmy White and John Virgo would not have remained friends with him for years if he was a out and out bastard. John Virgo was at his wedding.

Drink was his nemesis that what turned him on a sixpence from a nice guy in to a monster theres no excuse for his behavior when Drunk but his true friends knew that was not the real Alex Higgins.