Is there any snooker story more boring than an Alex Higgins 'comeback'?

Higgins has been invited to play in the Irish Professional Championship next week. It makes sense for the organisers: he's a former champion but, more than that, he attracts considerable publicity for the event.

However, what people need to understand is this: Higgins is way, way past his best. Anyone who genuinely thinks this is a comeback is sadly misguided.

I don't begrudge Alex his latest return to competition. We should all remember his part in snooker's rise to prominence in the 1970s and 80s.

Higgins was the original bad-boy, but he was also a genius. Watch his 69 clearance against Jimmy White in their 1982 Crucible semi-final. Some of the shots he pulled off in that match-saving break remain beyond belief.

He was the 'people's champion' but these people should also accept his appalling record of behaviour.

It's tempting to look back misty-eyed on all this and take a kind of 'God bless Alex, he was a character' viewpoint but anyone who thinks physical assaults are acceptable have clearly never been on the end of one.

I prefer to remember Higgins from his 1982 world title victory, on the Crucible stage with his wife and daughter crying tears of happiness and relief, not as the figure he later became.


Anonymous said...

Dave, has Higgins played in this tournament ever year since he was awarded a wildcard to play (and make his Snooker comeback) in 2002 or 2003?

I only ask as the Higgins publicity machine went into overdrive when it was announced he was back playing.

If I remember rightly, there was a BBC documentary on him and numerous articles about his appearance in the tournament.

Of course, one of the biggest disappointments of Higgins' career was the 'comments' he made to Dennis Taylor at the 1990 Irish Masters.

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...


The tournament only returned last year and Higgins was given a wildcard. He was previously given one for an unofficial Irish Open a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

Higgins participation in the tournament a few years ago was definitely akin to the Irish Championship, and featured all the major Irish players.

I think he got thrashed 5-0 or 5-1 by a youngster in the first round.

Thanks for pointing this out, Joe

Dave H said...

I hear Alex Higgins was beaten 5-2 by Joe Delaney

Dave H said...

That's today I mean.

I recall Darren Dornan - a 16 year-old if I'm not mistaken - beat him in the Irish Open which, as you say, was a kind of unofficial Irish Championship.

Anonymous said...

Cheers for the latest news, Dave!

At least he didn't get whitewashed, but he really should move on to pastures new.

Maybe, just maybe, if he is sorting his social life out, the Irish Snooker Association could ask him to join the committee (if there is one?) and help out future Irish talent.

Then again, that would be like asking Pete Doherty to get out of bed to teach kids to play the guitar.

Thanks, Joe