Alex Higgins

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Alex Higgins
Alexhiggins1968 (cropped).jpg
Higgins in 1968
Born(1949-03-18)18 March 1949
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Died24 July 2010(2010-07-24) (aged 61)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Sport country Northern Ireland
NicknameHurricane[1]
Professional1971–1997[2]
Highest ranking2 (1976/77 and 1982/83)[3]
Tournament wins
Ranking1
Non-ranking24
World Champion

Alexander Gordon Higgins (18 March 1949 – 24 July 2010)[4] was a Northern Irish professional snooker player who is remembered as one of the most iconic figures in the game. Nicknamed "Hurricane Higgins" because of his fast play,[5] he was World Champion in 1972 and 1982, and runner-up in 1976 and 1980. He became the first qualifier to win the world title in 1972, a feat only two players have achieved since – Terry Griffiths in 1979 and Shaun Murphy in 2005. He won the UK Championship in 1983 and the Masters in 1978 and 1981, making him one of eleven players to have completed snooker's Triple Crown. He was also World Doubles champion with Jimmy White in 1984, and won the World Cup three times with the All-Ireland team.

Higgins came to be known as the "People's Champion" because of his popularity,[6] and is often credited with having brought the game of snooker to a wider audience, contributing to its peak in popularity in the 1980s.[7] He had a reputation as an unpredictable and difficult character.[8] He was a heavy smoker,[9] struggled with drinking and gambling,[7][10] and admitted to using cocaine and marijuana.[5] First diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998,[11] Higgins died of multiple causes in his Belfast home on 24 July 2010.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Higgins (right) with David Taylor at an exhibition at Queen's University Belfast, 1968

Alex Higgins was born in Belfast on 18 March 1949.[12] He started playing snooker at the age of 11,[13] often in the Jampot club in his native Sandy Row area of south Belfast and later in the YMCA in the nearby city centre. At age 14, he left for England and a career as a jockey. However, he never made the grade because he was too heavy to ride competitively. He returned to Belfast and by 1965, aged 16, he had compiled his first maximum break.[13] In 1968 he won the Northern Ireland Amateur Snooker Championship, by defeating Maurice Gill 4–1 in the final. In doing so he broke two records - he was the first player to win the tournament at his first appearance and, aged 18, became the youngest winner of the tournament.[14] One week later, he won the All-Ireland Amateur Championship, defeating Gerry Hanway of Inchicore 4–1 in the final at Mountpottinger YMCA.[15] The following year he lost his Northern Ireland Amateur crown, losing 0–4 to Dessie Anderson in the 1969 final.[16]

World titles[edit]

Higgins turned professional at the age of 22, winning the World Championship at his first attempt in 1972, beating John Spencer 37–31.[17][a] Higgins was the youngest-ever winner of the title, a record he held until Stephen Hendry's 1990 victory at the age of 21.[19] In April 1976, Higgins reached the final again and faced Ray Reardon. Higgins led 10–9 but faded over the stretch. In a match marred by erratic refereeing[citation needed] and a sub-standard table, Reardon nevertheless pulled away to win the title for the fifth time, with the score finishing at 27–16. Higgins was also the runner-up to Cliff Thorburn in 1980, losing 18–16, after being 9–5 up. Higgins won the world title for a second time in 1982 after beating Reardon 18–15 (with a 135 total clearance in the final frame); it was an emotional as well as professional victory for him. Higgins would have been ranked No. 1 in the world rankings for the 1982/83 season had he not forfeited ranking points following disciplinary action.[20][21]

Other victories[edit]

Throughout his career, Higgins won 20 other titles, one of the most notable being the 1983 UK Championship. In the final he trailed Steve Davis 0–7 before producing a famous comeback to win 16–15.[22] He also won the Masters twice, in 1978 and in 1981, beating Cliff Thorburn (a man who, at one point, floored Higgins with one swift punch [23]) and Terry Griffiths in the finals respectively.[24] Another notable victory was his final professional triumph in the 1989 Irish Masters at the age of 40 when he defeated a young Stephen Hendry. This was the last professional tournament he won, and is often referred to as "The Hurricane's Last Hurrah".

Post-retirement[edit]

After his retirement from the professional game, Higgins spent time playing for small sums of money in and around Northern Ireland. He made appearances in the 2005 and 2006 Irish Professional Championship, these comebacks ending in first-round defeats by Garry Hardiman and Joe Delaney, respectively.

On 12 June 2007, it was reported that Higgins had assaulted a referee at a charity match in the north-east of England.[25] Higgins returned to competitive action in September 2007 at the Irish Professional Championship in Dublin but was whitewashed 0–5 by former British Open champion Fergal O'Brien in the first round at the Spawell Club, Templeogue.[26]

Higgins continued to play fairly regularly, and enjoyed "hustling" all comers for small-time stakes in clubs in Northern Ireland and beyond; in May 2009 he entered the Northern Ireland Amateur Championship, "to give it a crack",[27] but failed to appear for his match.[12]

On 8 April 2010, Higgins was part of the debut Snooker Legends Tour event in Sheffield, at the Crucible. Appearing alongside other retired or close-to-retiring professionals, including John Parrott, Jimmy White, John Virgo and Cliff Thorburn, he faced Thorburn in his match, but lost 2–0.[28]

It is estimated that Higgins earned and spent £3–4 million in his career as a snooker player.[29][30]

Playing style[edit]

Higgins's speed around the table, his ability to pot balls at a rapid rate and flamboyant style earned him the nickname "Hurricane Higgins" and made him a very high-profile player. His highly unusual cueing technique sometimes included a body swerve and movement, as well as a stance that was noticeably higher than that of most professionals.

The unorthodox play of Higgins was encapsulated in his break of 69, made under extreme pressure, against Jimmy White in the penultimate frame of their World Professional Snooker Championship semi-final in 1982. Higgins was 0–59 down in that frame, but managed to compile an extremely challenging clearance during which he was scarcely in position until the colours. In particular, former world champion Dennis Taylor considers a three-quarter-ball pot on a blue into the green pocket especially memorable, not only for its extreme degree of difficulty but for enabling Higgins to continue the break and keep White off the table and unable to clinch victory at that moment. In potting the blue, Higgins screwed the cue-ball on to the side cushion to bring it back towards the black/pink area with extreme left-hand sidespin, a shot Taylor believes could be played 100 times without coming close to the position Higgins reached with cue-ball. He went a little too far for ideal position on his next red but the match-saving break was still alive.[31][citation needed]

Controversy and behaviour[edit]

Higgins drank alcohol and smoked during tournaments, as did many of his contemporaries. A volatile personality got him into frequent fights and arguments, both on and off the snooker table. One of the most serious of these clashes was when he head-butted a tournament official at the UK championship in 1986 after an argument. This incident saw Higgins being fined £12,000 and banned from five tournaments,[32] while he was also convicted of assault and criminal damage arising from the incident, and was fined £250 by a court.[33]

Another came at the 1990 World Championship; after losing his first-round match to Steve James, he punched tournament official Colin Randle in the abdomen before the start of a press conference at which he announced his retirement, and abused the media as he left. This followed another incident at the World Cup, where he repeatedly argued with fellow player and compatriot Dennis Taylor, and threatened to have him shot. For his conduct, Higgins was banned for the rest of the season and all of the next.[34]

During the World Trickshot Championship in 1991, Higgins referred to the black ball as "Muhammad Ali" in front of a live audience and TV cameras.[35] This caused a visibly pained expression from Barry Hearn and an exclamation from fellow judge Steve Davis.

Outside snooker[edit]

At the time of his 1972 triumph at the World Championship, Higgins had no permanent home and by his own account had recently lived in a row of abandoned houses in Blackburn which were awaiting demolition. In one week he had moved into five different houses on the same street, moving down one every time his current dwelling was demolished.[36]

In 1975, Higgins' son was born. Higgins's first marriage was to Cara Hasler in April 1975 in Sydney. They had a daughter Christel[10] and divorced. His second marriage was to Lynn Avison in 1980. They had a daughter Lauren (born late 1980)[37] and son Jordan (born March 1983).[11][38] They split in 1985[33] and divorced. In the same year, Higgins began a relationship with Siobhan Kidd, which ended in 1989 after he allegedly hit her with a hairdryer.[39]

Higgins had a long and enduring friendship with Oliver Reed.[40]

Higgins was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1981 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the Pot Black Club in London.[citation needed]

In 1983 Higgins helped a young boy from Manchester, a fan of his who had been in a coma for two months. His parents were growing desperate and wrote to Higgins. He recorded messages on tape and sent them to the boy with his best wishes. He later visited the boy in hospital and played a snooker match he promised to have with him when he recovered.[41]

In 1996, Higgins was convicted of assaulting a 14-year-old boy,[30] while in 1997 then-girlfriend Holly Haise stabbed him three times during a domestic argument.[33] He published his autobiography, From the Eye of the Hurricane: My Story, in 2007.[42] Higgins appeared in the Sporting Stars edition of the British television quiz The Weakest Link on 25 July 2009.[43]

Illness and death[edit]

For many years, Higgins smoked heavily. He reportedly smoked 80 cigarettes a day.[44] He had cancerous growths removed from his mouth in 1994 and 1996.[45] In June 1998, he was found to have throat cancer;[11] on 13 October of that year, he had major surgery.[46] He could only talk in a whisper in his last years.[47]

In early 2010 he suffered from pneumonia and breathing problems,[48] and on 31 March he was admitted to hospital.[49] In April 2010 Higgins' friends announced that they had set up a campaign to help raise the £20,000 he needed for teeth implants, to enable him to eat properly again and put on weight. Higgins had lost his teeth after intensive radiotherapy used to treat his throat cancer. It was reported that since losing them he had been living on liquid food, and had become increasingly depressed, even contemplating suicide.[50] He was too ill and frail to have the implants fitted.[51] Despite his illness, Higgins continued to smoke cigarettes and drink heavily until the end of his life.[52] He was admitted to hospital again in May.[47]

By the summer of 2010, Higgins' weight had fallen to 6 stone (38 kilograms).[30] Despite having once been worth £4 million, he was bankrupt and survived on a £200-a-week disability allowance.[50] He was found dead in bed in his flat on 24 July 2010.[4][38] The cause of death was a combination of malnutrition, pneumonia, tooth decay and a bronchial condition, although his daughter Lauren stated that he was clear from throat cancer when he died.[53] His children survived him.[54]

Higgins' funeral service was held at St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, on 2 August 2010. He was buried in Carnmoney Cemetery in Newtownabbey, County Antrim. Among the snooker professionals in attendance were Jimmy White, Willie Thorne, Stephen Hendry, Ken Doherty, Joe Swail,[55] Shaun Murphy and John Virgo.[56] Doherty and White were pall bearers.

Legacy[edit]

Mural of Higgins at the Royal Bar, Belfast

Alex Higgins was an inspiration to many subsequent professional snooker players, including Ken Doherty, Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan. In Clive Everton's TV documentary The Story of Snooker (2002), Steve Davis described Higgins as the "one true genius that snooker has produced",[57] although the autobiography of a contemporary leading professional Willie Thorne characterised Higgins as "not a great player".[58] Higgins arguably fulfilled his potential only intermittently during his career peak in the 1970s and 80s; Everton puts this down to Davis and Ray Reardon generally being too consistent for him.[59] O'Sullivan has called Higgins "the greatest snooker player I have ever seen" when he was playing at his best, while also acknowledging that Higgins's erratic lifestyle led to a lack of consistency on the table.[60]

Regardless, Higgins' exciting style and explosive persona helped make snooker a growing television sport in the 1970s and 1980s. Higgins also made the first 16-red clearance (in a challenge match in 1976); it was a break of 146 (with the brown as the first "red", and 16 colours: 1 green, 5 pinks and 10 blacks).[61]

In 2011, Event 8 of the Players Tour Championship was renamed as the Alex Higgins International Trophy.[62] In 2016, WPBSA chairman Barry Hearn announced that the trophy for the new Northern Ireland Open tournament would be named after Higgins.[63][64]

Higgins' professional rivalry with Steve Davis was portrayed in a 2016 BBC feature film entitled The Rack Pack, in which he was played by Luke Treadaway.[65]

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tournament 1971/
72
1972/
73
1973/
74
1974/
75
1975/
76
1976/
77
1977/
78
1978/
79
1979/
80
1980/
81
1981/
82
1982/
83
1983/
84
1984/
85
1985/
86
1986/
87
1987/
88
1988/
89
1989/
90
1990/
91
1991/
92
1992/
93
1993/
94
1994/
95
1995/
96
1996/
97
1997/
98
Ref.
Ranking No ranking system 2 5 7 11 4 11 2 5 9 9 6 9 17 24 97 120 72 61 48 51 99 156 [66]
Ranking tournaments
Asian Classic[nb 1] Tournament Not Held NR QF WD 3R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ NH [67]
Grand Prix Tournament Not Held 2R 1R 2R 3R 3R A F 2R A LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ DNQ [67]
UK Championship Non-Ranking Event F 3R SF 2R 2R 2R A 1R 1R 1R 3R LQ LQ DNQ [67]
German Open Tournament Not Held LQ WD DNQ [67]
Welsh Open Tournament Not Held LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ DNQ [67]
International Open[nb 2] Tournament Not Held NR 2R 1R QF 3R 2R A 1R 1R Not Held LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ DNQ [67]
European Open Tournament Not Held 2R 2R WD LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ NH [67]
Thailand Open[nb 3] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event Not Held 2R WD LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ WD DNQ [67]
British Open[nb 4] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event SF SF 1R 1R 2R F A LQ 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ DNQ [67]
World Championship Non-Ranking QF SF F 1R 1R QF F 2R W SF 1R 2R 2R 2R 1R LQ 1R A LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ WD [67]
Non-ranking tournaments
Scottish Masters Tournament Not Held SF F SF SF QF F QF NH A A A A A A A A A [67]
The Masters Not Held QF QF SF W F F W SF 1R QF QF 1R F QF A WR A LQ LQ LQ A LQ A A [67]
Irish Masters[nb 5] Not Held F F W SF SF SF SF SF SF SF F 1R 1R SF W QF A 1R A A A A A A [67]
European League[nb 6] Tournament Not Held RR Not Held A A RR A A A A A A A A A [67]
Pontins Professional Not Held A A A A RR A A A QF A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A [67]
Former ranking tournaments
Canadian Masters[nb 7] Not Held Non-Ranking Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking LQ Tournament Not Held [67]
Hong Kong Open[nb 8] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event NH 3R Tournament Not Held NR NR NH [67]
Classic Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 2R 2R QF 2R 3R 2R 2R A LQ Tournament Not Held [67]
Strachan Open Tournament Not Held LQ MR NR Not Held [67]
Former non-ranking tournaments
Park Drive 2000 (Spring) F Tournament Not Held [68]
Stratford Professional A W Tournament Not Held [69]
Park Drive 2000 (Autumn) A F Tournament Not Held [68]
Men of the Midlands W W Tournament Not Held [70]
World Championship W SF Ranking Event [67]
Norwich Union Open Not Held SF SF Tournament Not Held [67]
Watney Open Not Held W Tournament Not Held [67]
Canadian Club Masters Tournament Not Held W Tournament Not Held [71]
World Matchplay Championship Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held [67]
Dry Blackthorn Cup Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held [72]
Holsten Lager International Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held [73]
Forward Chemicals Tournament Tournament Not Held RR Tournament Not Held [74]
Padmore Super Crystalate Tournament Not Held W Tournament Not Held [75]
Pontins Camber Sands Tournament Not Held W Tournament Not Held [76]
Champion of Champions Tournament Not Held F NH RR Tournament Not Held [67]
International Open[nb 2] Tournament Not Held SF Ranking Event Not Held Ranking Event [67]
Northern Ireland Classic Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held [67]
Highland Masters Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held [67]
Classic Tournament Not Held F QF SF 1R Ranking Event Tournament Not Held [77][67]
Tolly Cobbold Classic Tournament Not Held W W SF A QF A Tournament Not Held [67]
UK Championship Tournament Not Held SF SF QF F QF F W Ranking Event [67]
British Open[nb 4] Tournament Not Held W RR RR RR RR Ranking Event [67]
KitKat Break for World Champions Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held [67]
Pot Black A RR A A A A RR A A RR RR RR 1R A 1R Tournament Not Held A A A Not Held [78]
Belgian Classic Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held [67]
Carlsberg Challenge Tournament Not Held SF F SF A A Tournament Not Held [67]
Canadian Masters[nb 7] Not Held SF W F W SF SF SF Tournament Not Held A SF A R Tournament Not Held [67]
Hong Kong Open[nb 8] Tournament Not Held A A A RR QF A 1R A SF NH R Tournament Not Held A A NH [79][80]
Kent Cup Tournament Not Held A QF NH A A NH A Tournament Not Held [81]
Hong Kong Gold Cup Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held [82]
International League Tournament Not Held RR Tournament Not Held [83]
World Seniors Championship Tournament Not Held 1R Tournament Not Held [84]
Irish Professional Championship W Tournament Not Held W W W F A F W NH F F WD QF W Not Held A QF Tournament Not Held [67]
Tenball Tournament Not Held QF Not Held [citation needed]
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Held means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event means an event is/was a ranking event.
  1. ^ The event was also called the Dubai Masters (1988/1989), Dubai Classic (1989/90–1994/1995) and Thailand Classic (1995/1996)
  2. ^ a b The event was also called the Goya Matchroom Trophy (1985/1986)
  3. ^ The event was also called the Thailand Masters (1983/1984–1986/1987 & 1991/1992) and the Asian Open (1989/1990–1992/1993)
  4. ^ a b The event was also called the British Gold Cup (1979/1980), Yamaha Organs Trophy (1980/1981) and International Masters (1981/1982–1983/1984)
  5. ^ The event was also called the Benson & Hedges Ireland Tournament (1974/1975–1976/1977)
  6. ^ The event was also called the Professional Snooker League (1983/1984), Matchroom League (1986/1987 to 1991/1992), Premier League (1997/98)
  7. ^ a b The event was also called the Canadian Open (1974/1975–1980/1981)
  8. ^ a b The event ran under different names such as the Australian Masters (1983/1984 to 1987/1988 and 1995/1996) and Australian Open (1994/1995).

Career finals[edit]

Ranking finals: 6 (1 title)[edit]

Legend
World Championship (1–2)
UK Championship (0–1)
Other (0–2)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1976 World Championship Wales Ray Reardon 16–27
Runner-up 2. 1980 World Championship (2) Canada Cliff Thorburn 16–18
Winner 1. 1982 World Championship (2) Wales Ray Reardon 18–15
Runner-up 3. 1984 UK Championship (3) England Steve Davis 8–16
Runner-up 4. 1988 Grand Prix England Steve Davis 6–10
Runner-up 5. 1990 British Open Canada Bob Chaperon 8–10

Non-ranking finals: 51 (24 titles)[edit]

Legend
World Championship (1–0) [nb2 1]
UK Championship (1–2) [nb2 2]
The Masters (2–3)
Other (20–22)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Winner 1. 1972 Men of the Midlands England John Spencer 4–2
Winner 2. 1972 Irish Professional Championship Northern Ireland Jackie Rea 28–12
Winner 3. 1972 World Championship England John Spencer 37–31 [17][a]
Winner 4. 1972 Stratford Professional England John Spencer 6–3
Runner-up 1. 1972 Park Drive 2000 – Spring England John Spencer 3–4
Runner-up 2. 1972 Park Drive 2000 – Autumn England John Spencer 3–5
Winner 5. 1973 Men of the Midlands (2) Wales Ray Reardon 5–3
Winner 6. 1974 Watney Open England Fred Davis 17–11
Runner-up 3. 1974 Jackpot Automatics England John Spencer 0–5
Runner-up 4. 1975 Ashton Court Country Club Event England John Spencer 1–5
Winner 7. 1975 Canadian Open England John Pulman 15–7
Runner-up 5. 1975 Benson & Hedges Ireland Tournament England John Spencer 7–9
Winner 8. 1976 Canadian Club Masters Wales Ray Reardon 6–4
Runner-up 6. 1976 Canadian Open England John Spencer 9–17
Runner-up 7. 1976 Benson & Hedges Ireland Tournament (2) England John Spencer 0–5
Winner 9. 1977 Canadian Open (2) England John Spencer 17–14
Runner-up 8. 1977 Dry Blackthorn Cup Republic of Ireland Patsy Fagan 2–4 [85]
Winner 10. 1977 Benson & Hedges Ireland Tournament Wales Ray Reardon 5–3
Winner 11. 1978 Irish Professional Championship (2) Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 21–7
Winner 12. 1978 The Masters Canada Cliff Thorburn 7–5 [67]
Runner-up 9. 1978 Castle Professional England John Spencer 3–5
Winner 13. 1978 Irish Professional Championship (3) Republic of Ireland Patsy Fagan 21–13 [86]
Runner-up 10. 1978 Champion of Champions Wales Ray Reardon 9–11
Runner-up 11. 1978 Suffolk Professional Invitational Republic of Ireland Patsy Fagan 3–7 [87]
Runner-up 12. 1979 The Masters South Africa Perrie Mans 4–8 [67]
Winner 14. 1979 Tolly Cobbold Classic Wales Ray Reardon 5–4
Winner 15. 1979 Irish Professional Championship (4) Republic of Ireland Patsy Fagan 21–12 [88]
Winner 16. 1980 Padmore Super Crystalate International South Africa Perrie Mans 4–2
Runner-up 13. 1980 The Classic England John Spencer 3–4
Winner 17. 1980 Tolly Cobbold Classic (2) Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 5–4
Runner-up 14. 1980 The Masters (2) Wales Terry Griffiths 5–9 [67]
Winner 18. 1980 British Gold Cup Wales Ray Reardon 5–1
Runner-up 15. 1980 Irish Professional Championship Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 15–21
Winner 19. 1980 Pontins Camber Sands Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 9–7
Runner-up 16. 1980 UK Championship England Steve Davis 6–16 [67]
Winner 20. 1981 The Masters (2) Wales Terry Griffiths 9–6 [67]
Runner-up 17. 1982 Irish Professional Championship (2) Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 13–16
Runner-up 18. 1982 Scottish Masters England Steve Davis 4–9
Runner-up 19. 1982 UK Championship (2) Wales Terry Griffiths 15–16 [67]
Winner 21. 1983 Irish Professional Championship (5) Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 16–11
Winner 22. 1983 UK Championship England Steve Davis 16–15 [67]
Runner-up 20. 1985 Irish Masters England Jimmy White 5–9
Runner-up 21. 1985 Irish Professional Championship (3) Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 5–10
Runner-up 22. 1985 Carlsberg Challenge England Jimmy White 3–8
Runner-up 23. 1986 Irish Professional Championship (4) Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 7–10
Runner-up 24. 1986 Scottish Masters (2) Canada Cliff Thorburn 8–9
Runner-up 25. 1987 The Masters (3) Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor 8–9 [67]
Runner-up 26. 1988 WPBSA Invitational – Event 1 England Gary Wilkinson 4–5
Winner 23. 1989 Irish Professional Championship (6) Northern Ireland Jack McLaughlin 9–7
Runner-up 27. 1989 Hong Kong Gold Cup England Steve Davis 3–6
Winner 24. 1989 Irish Masters Scotland Stephen Hendry 9–8

Pro-am finals: 3 (2 titles)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Winner 1. 1975 Castle Open England John Spencer 5–2 [89]
Winner 2. 1977 Pontins Spring Open Wales Terry Griffiths 7–4 [90]
Runner-up 1. 1988 Dutch Open England Jonathan Birch 2–6

Team finals: 6 (5 titles)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Team/partner Opponent(s) in the final Score
Winner 1. 1975 Ladbroke International Rest of the World  England Cumulative score
Winner 2. 1984 World Doubles Championship England Jimmy White Canada Cliff Thorburn
England Willie Thorne
10–2
Winner 3. 1985 World Cup Ireland  England 9–7
Winner 4. 1986 World Cup (2) Ireland  Canada 9–7
Winner 5. 1987 World Cup (3) Ireland  Canada 9–2
Runner-up 1. 1990 World Cup  Northern Ireland  Canada 5–9

Amateur finals: 3 (2 titles)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Winner 1. 1968 Northern Ireland Amateur Championship Northern Ireland Maurice Gill 4–1 [91][14]
Winner 2. 1968 All-Ireland Amateur Championship Republic of Ireland Gerry Hanway 4–1 [15]
Runner-up 1. 1969 Northern Ireland Amateur Championship Northern Ireland Dessie Anderson 0–4 [16]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The World Championship did not become a ranking event until 1974
  2. ^ The UK Championship did not become a ranking event until 1984
  1. ^ a b Some sources give the score as 37–32. The CueSport Book of Professional Snooker: The Complete Record & History (2004) says "Higgins triumphed 37-31 (not 37-32 as so many publications have wrongly printed)"[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hughes, Simon (25 January 2003). "These days Hurricane Higgins is running out of wind". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. Archived from the original on 30 March 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2008.
  2. ^ "Then and Now: Alex Higgins". Eurosport. 4 November 2009. Archived from the original on 22 December 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
  3. ^ Chris, Turner (3 August 2010). "Alex Higgins". Chris Turners Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  4. ^ a b Boyle, Simon (24 July 2010). "Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins dies, aged 61". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Obituary: Alex Higgins". BBC. 24 July 2010. Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  6. ^ Weber, Bruce (31 July 2010). "Alex Higgins, the Bombastic 'People's Champion' of Pro Snooker, Dies at 61". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  7. ^ a b Neenan, Bill (24 July 2010). "Snooker's elite pay tribute to the inspiration of Alex Higgins". London: guardian.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  8. ^ Marsden, Jean (30 July 2010). "Hurricane Higgins used to live in Cuffley". Hertfordshire Mercury. Archived from the original on 2 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Where are they now?". BBC Sport. 24 July 2010. Archived from the original on 4 January 2003. Retrieved 31 January 2002.
  10. ^ a b "Hurricane warning". Irish Independent. 19 October 2002. Archived from the original on 1 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  11. ^ a b c "Alex Higgins". Talk Snooker. 24 July 2010. Archived from the original on 17 July 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  12. ^ a b "Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins". The Times. London. 26 July 2010. p. 51.
  13. ^ a b "World Snooker Profile". WPBSA. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  14. ^ a b Harper, Ronnie (9 March 1968). "Higgins smashes three records". Belfast Telegraph. p. 14.
  15. ^ a b "World sport in brief". Belfast Telegraph. 18 March 1968. p. 13.
  16. ^ a b "Higgins humbled by Anderson". Belfast Telegraph. 15 March 1969. p. 14.
  17. ^ a b "Snooker: Higgins makes final flourish". The Times. 28 February 1972. p. 7.
  18. ^ Hayton & Dee 2004, p. 8.
  19. ^ "1990 – Cue Stephen Hendry". BBC Sport. 12 April 2002. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
  20. ^ Osley, Richard; Gray, Sadie (25 July 2010). "Snooker legend Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins is dead". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  21. ^ "Alex Higgins: The genius". Belfast Telegraph. Independent News & Media. 26 July 2010. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  22. ^ "UK Championship history". BBC Sport. 2 December 2005. Archived from the original on 12 May 2006. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  23. ^ "TOP 5 SNOOKER BUST-UPS". World Snooker. 24 July 2015. Archived from the original on 16 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  24. ^ Burnett, Mike (12 January 2006). "Masters history". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 25 August 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  25. ^ "Higgins 'hits ref' at fund-raiser". BBC Sport. 12 June 2007. Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
  26. ^ "News". Eurosport. 4 September 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2007.[dead link]
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Bibliography[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]