Tributes are starting to pour in for Alex Higgins, who died today at the age of 61.
Among those remembering him are his fellow players.
Ronnie O’Sullivan said: “Alex Higgins was one of the real inspirations behind me getting into snooker. He is a true legend and should be forever remembered as being the finest ever snooker player.”
Higgins's compatriot and fellow former world champion Dennis Taylor commented: “I had so many terrific battles with Alex, particularly in Belfast. Towards the end it was sad but I prefer to remember him as he was when he first came on the scene.”
Willie Thorne said: “He made the game what it is today. I knew him well. He used to stay with me. My mother would do his ironing. It’s very sad news. Snooker fans will miss him greatly.”
Barry Hearn: "He was the major reason for snooker's popularity in the early days. He was controversial at times, but he always played the game in the right spirit. We will miss him – he was the original people's champion."
John Parrott: “We knew his health wasn’t great. When he played in the Legends in April he was very poorly. It’s really sad and he will be missed. You’ll never meet another human being like him. He was mercurial. One minute he was charming, intelligent and witty and the next he could turn and have a nasty side to him but he puts bums on seats. I used to tune in to Pot Black to watch him. I went to watch him in exhibitions, He was totally different. I’ve seen him play shots nobody else has ever played.”
Steve Davis: "To people in the game he was a constant source of argument, he was a rebel. But to the wider public he was a breath of fresh air that drew them in to the game.
"He was an inspiration to my generation to take the game up. I do not think his contribution to snooker can be underestimated. He was quite a fierce competitor, he lived and breathed the game, very much a fighter on the table."