Willie Thorne Player Profile
Willie Thorne Stats Date of birth: 4 March, 1954 Nationality: England First turned professional: 1975 Highest ranking: 7 Ranking titles: 1 Triple Crown titles: 0 Crucible best: quarter-final Masters appearances: 10 147 breaks: 1
After turning professional in 1975, it took only a few years for Willie Thorne to be ranked inside the top 20 in the world.
Throughout much of the 1980s, the talented Englishman was at the forefront of snooker’s popularity and he is regarded as one of the game’s greatest characters.
Never shy of confidence, Thorne was a prolific 147 maker in practice, earning him the nickname of Mr. Maximum.
Indeed, he compiled only the fourth ever competitive 147 break on television at the 1987 UK Championship.
However, it was in that same tournament two years previously that the most memorable moment of his career occurred for the wrong reasons.
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Leading world number one Steve Davis 13-8 in the 1985 UK final, Thorne inexplicably missed a routine blue off the spot and proceeded to lose the match 16-14.
Earlier that year, the Leicester man had claimed his first and only ranking title with victory in the Classic.
Other triumphs in non-ranking events came at the Pontins Professional, the Hong Kong Masters, and the Matchroom Professional Championship around this period as well.
But Thorne established a reputation as a nearly man, suffering final defeats in other big events like the Irish, Scottish, and Canadian Masters.
Despite twice reaching a career-high world ranking of number seven, he couldn’t replicate his best form at the World Championship – only making the quarter-finals on two occasions.
Upon retiring in 2001, Thorne concentrated on his television punditry and commentary duties and broadened his public appeal with a stint on Strictly Come Dancing.
Following years of poor health and struggles with gambling addiction, Thorne sadly passed away in 2020.
His legacy, though, is a strong one, with Thorne representing one of the most well-liked and memorable personalities in the history of the game.
The Willie Thorne Snooker Centre in Leicester, run by his brother Malcolm, also provided the catalyst for a number of juniors from the area to emerge onto the professional scene.
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Ranking Event Victories
- 1985 Classic
Other Notable Victories
- Matchroom Professional Championship (1986)
- Pontins Professional (1984)
- Hong Kong Masters (1986)
- Kent Cup (1987)
- New Zealand Masters (1989)
Featured photo credit: WSS
Willie Thorne Player Profile
SHQ Stars: How it works
|Rating||SHQ Stars||Career Requirements|
|Black||★★★★★★★||multiple world champion; 30+ ranking titles; career triple crown; world no.1 (at least 3)|
|Pink||★★★★★★||world champion; 10+ ranking titles; multiple winner of triple crown events; member of top 2; 15+ seasons in top 16 (at least 3)|
|Blue||★★★★★||winner of triple crown event; 5+ ranking titles; member of top 4; 12+ seasons in top 16 (at least 2)|
|Brown||★★★★||2+ ranking titles; member of top 8; triple crown event finalist; 8+ seasons in the top 16 (at least 2)|
|Green||★★★||ranking title; member of top 16 (at least 1)|
|Yellow||★★||member of top 64|