Player Profile

Willie Thorne

NameDate of Birth Country
Willie Thorne04-03-1954England

Name                                                    :               Willie Thorne

Highest Ranking                                  :               7 (1986/1987, 1993/94)

Highest Break                                       :               147 (1987 UK Championship)

Century Breaks                                     :               136

William Joseph "Willie" Thorne (born 4 March 1954) is an English former professional snooker player who is now a sports commentator. He is most famous for winning the 1985 Classic.

Thorne became national under-16 champion at snooker in 1970. He never really converted this early promise into professional success, only ever winning one ranking snooker tournament (the Classic in 1985). The same year, he reached the UK Championship final against the then dominant Steve Davis, and seemed to have built himself an unassailable 13–8 lead. But a miss on a straightforward blue off its spot during the first frame of the final session allowed Davis to take the frame and eventually win the title. Thorne later said that he had hardly looked at the blue, considering it a certainty. He reached the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship in 1982 and 1986.

He peaked at no. 7 in the rankings in the mid-1980s, while also battling a serious gambling problem. In one infamous incident, Thorne bet £38,000 on a match involving John Parrott, betting that Parrott would lose as Parrott had lost his personal cue and had to use one supplied by the venue. Much to Thorne's dismay (not least because he was actually commentating on the match), Parrott recovered from a slow start to win, only worsening Thorne's debts. Also, in an interview with The Guardian newspaper in 2004, Thorne admitted to placing bets worth up to £20,000 on a horse.

Thorne also won the World Seniors Masters in 2000, beating Cliff Thorburn in the final.  

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