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Dublin: 19 °C Tuesday 11 August, 2020

'I couldn't see a way out. My intention was to end my life', says former snooker champion

Willie Thorne has revealed he attempted suicide last year after racking up a reported £1m in gambling debts.

Image: Steve Morton/EMPICS Sport

FORMER SNOOKER STAR Willie Thorne has revealed how he attempted to take his own life last year after racking up a reported £1million in gambling debts.

The 61-year-old, who now works extensively as a commentator on the sport, is set to be declared bankrupt next week.

With creditors threatening Thorne and his family, the Leicester potter drove to a local hotel in June armed with a kitchen knife and letters to family members.

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

I can’t remember a large part of that day. 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.

“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.”

Alex Higgins funeral Thorne previously attempted suicide in 2002 because of his gambling problems. Source: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Thorne, who previously attempted suicide in 2002 amid similar gambling issues, also explained how he asked fellow ex-professionals such as Dennis Taylor and John Virgo for loans of as much as £5,000, but insists he has not placed a bet for three months.

“I never want to see another betting slip in my life,” he added. ”The grief gambling has caused me is immeasurable.

“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.”

‘Never mind play rugby, some days I couldn’t even get out of my bed’

Ex-England star Jason Robinson considered suicide

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