London, June 17 : Willie Thorne, the former British snooker player, died on Wednesday after a short illness at the age of 66. Thorne had been suffering from Leukemia and his carer made the announcement on his GoFundMe page.
"It is with a very heavy and broken heart that I have to officially announce that at 1:55 am this morning Willie Thorne lost his battle and passed away," read the message written by his carer Julie O'Neill on the GoFundMe page.
"Willie went into septic shock and was not responding to any treatment so the decision was made by the hospital to turn off the machines.
"I was with him all the way to his end and reading out messages to him from people." Thorne was in an induced coma in a Spanish hospital following a failure of his respiratory system. The GoFundMe page set up to pay for his treatment had raised more than two-thirds of its target.
A two-time World Championship quarter-finalist, Thorne was a mainstay in the top-16 throughout the late 1980s and early 90s. He was also the runner up in the 1985 UK Championships and took up a career in commentary after retirement. He however struggled financially due to a gambling addiction.