Quantcast
peoplepill id: willie-thorne
WT
1 views today
1 views this week
Willie Thorne

Willie Thorne British snooker player

British snooker player
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro British snooker player
A.K.A. William Joseph Thorne
Is Cue sports player Snooker player Pool player Sports commentator
From United Kingdom
Type Journalism Sports
Gender male
Birth 4 March 1954, Leicester, United Kingdom
Age: 66 years
Star sign PiscesPisces
The details
Biography

William Joseph "Willie" Thorne (born 4 March 1954) is an English former professional snooker player.

Career

Thorne became national under-16 champion at snooker in 1970. He turned professional in 1975 but never really converted his 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 straight forward 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 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 of up to £20,000 on a horse.

Thorne's bald head makes him instantly recognisable and he is often referred to as the "Homer Simpson of Snooker".

Thorne first began commentating on snooker for the BBC during the 1980s, and he continued to work on the BBC's networked snooker coverage until the end of the 2017/18, when he was dropped, though his involvement had been reduced for the previous few years. Thorne also worked extensively on Sky Sports's snooker coverage from the 1990s until the sport was dropped by the channel in the mid-2010s. He also worked on ITV's coverage of the Liverpool Victoria Charity Challenge tournament in the mid-late 1990s. Thorne's only current commentary work is with BBC Wales on their coverage of the Welsh Open in February each year.

Alongside other Matchroom professionals, Thorne featured in the popular song "Snooker Loopy", written and performed by Chas & Dave. In the verse which begins "but old Willie Thorne, his hair's all gorn", Thorne's cameo line was "Perhaps I ought to chalk it", in reference to his gleaming head putting off his opponents. Thorne also appeared in the "Romford Rap" video with the rest of the "Matchroom Mob".

Thorne has been described as a skilled break-builder and possibly the "missing link" between old-school percentage play and the current aggressive potting game. He took 19 seasons to record 100 competitive century breaks. He was only the third player to achieve this accomplishment, ahead of many of the world champions of his era, leading many to believe he was an underachiever in the game.

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

Personal life

Thorne is married to former Miss Great Britain winner Jill Saxby and lives in Broughton Astley.

He ran a club in Leicester for many years, where Mark Selby used often to compete in junior tournaments as a youngster.

Thorne competed in Series 5 of Strictly Come Dancing with professional dance partner Erin Boag, before being voted out on 20 October 2007 in 12th place (out of 14).

Thorne is known for his friendship with retired professional footballer Gary Lineker. Their friendship was the subject of the Home Video, "Best Of Friends – The Official Story Of Gary Lineker & Willie Thorne".

Thorne released on twitter on 18 March 2020 that he has been diagnosed with Leukaemia.

Performance and rankings timeline

Tournament 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 1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02
Ranking UR 20 15 17 20 22 16 18 12 11 7 11 13 9 11 17 15 7 15 25 25 36 51 75 76
Ranking tournaments
British Open Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 2R F 3R 3R 3R 1R 1R 2R 3R 2R 1R 1R 3R 1R LQ LQ LQ A
Grand Prix Tournament Not Held 2R SF 3R 1R 3R QF 1R 2R 3R 2R 2R 1R 1R 2R 1R 2R LQ 1R LQ A
European Open Tournament Not Held 3R 2R 3R 3R 1R 1R QF LQ LQ NH LQ Not Held A
UK Championship Not Held Non-Ranking Event QF F 3R SF 3R 3R 3R 3R 3R 1R 3R 2R 1R 1R LQ LQ LQ A
Welsh Open Tournament Not Held QF 3R 1R 2R 1R 2R LQ LQ LQ LQ A
China Open Tournament Not Held NR LQ LQ LQ A
Thailand Masters Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event Not Held QF 3R SF QF 1R 2R 2R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ A
Scottish Open Tournament Not Held NR 1R QF QF 3R 1R 2R 3R 3R Not Held 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R LQ 2R LQ LQ A
World Championship A LQ 1R 1R LQ 1R 1R QF 2R 2R 1R QF 1R 2R 2R 2R 1R 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ
Non-ranking tournaments
Champions Cup Tournament Not Held QF QF A A A A A A
Scottish Masters Tournament Not Held A A A A F A A NH A A A A SF A A A A A A A A
The Masters A A A A A A A A A A 1R QF QF 1R 1R QF 1R A 1R 1R WR A A LQ A LQ A A
Irish Masters A A A A A A A A A A A F F 1R A QF A A A 1R A A A A A A A A
Premier League Tournament Not Held A Not Held RR RR RR RR RR RR A A A A A A A A A A
Former ranking tournaments
Canadian Masters Non-Ranking Event Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking 1R Tournament Not Held
Hong Kong Open Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event NH 3R Tournament Not Held NR NR Tournament Not Held
Classic Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event LQ W 1R 1R 2R SF 1R 1R 2R Tournament Not Held
Strachan Open Tournament Not Held 1R MR NR Tournament Not Held
Dubai Classic Tournament Not Held NR A 2R 1R QF 2R 1R LQ 1R Tournament Not Held
German Open Tournament Not Held 1R LQ LQ Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event LQ NR NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
Padmore Super Crystalate Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
UK Championship Not Held QF QF 2R 2R 2R 1R 2R Ranking Event
British Open Tournament Not Held RR LQ LQ 2R 2R Ranking Event
Tolly Cobbold Classic Tournament Not Held A A A QF A QF Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters Tournament Not Held A A A RR Not Held Ranking Event
Canadian Masters QF SF 1R 1R 2R A 2R Tournament Not Held A F A R Tournament Not Held
Tokyo Masters Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held
Hong Kong Masters Tournament Not Held A A SF W QF SF NH A A Tournament Not Held
Dubai Classic Tournament Not Held SF Ranking Event Tournament Not Held
Matchroom Professional Championship Tournament Not Held W F QF Tournament Not Held
Norwich Union Grand Prix Tournament Not Held RR A A Tournament Not Held
English Professional Championship Tournament Not Held SF Not Held 2R 2R SF QF QF Tournament Not Held
New Zealand Masters Tournament Not Held 1R A Not Held W Tournament Not Held
World Matchplay Tournament Not Held 1R 1R A A A Tournament Not Held
London Masters Tournament Not Held A SF A Tournament Not Held
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held 2R Tournament Not Held
World Masters Tournament Not Held 3R Tournament Not Held
European Challenge Tournament Not Held A A QF Tournament Not Held
Pot Black A RR SF A A A A A RR SF QF A Tournament Not Held 1R 1R 1R Tournament Not Held
Australian Masters Tournament Not Held A A A A A QF QF A A NH R Tournament Not Held F A Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Tournament Not Held QF A 1R A A R A NH
Seniors Pot Black Tournament Not Held 1R Tournament Not Held
Pontins Professional A QF RR A A A F QF SF W SF F F A A A A A QF A A A QF QF A Not Held
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.

Career finals

Ranking finals: 3 (1 title, 2 runner-ups)

Legend
UK Championship (0–1)
Other (1–1)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1985 The Classic Cliff Thorburn 13–8
Runner-up 1. 1985 UK Championship Steve Davis 14–16
Runner-up 2. 1986 British Open Steve Davis 7–12

Non-ranking finals: 15 (6 titles, 9 runner-ups)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1981 Pontins Professional Terry Griffiths 8–9
Winner 1. 1984 Pontins Professional John Spencer 9–7
Runner-up 2. 1985 Scottish Masters Cliff Thorburn 7–9
Runner-up 3. 1986 Irish Masters Jimmy White 5–9
Runner-up 4. 1986 Pontins Professional Terry Griffiths 6–9
Winner 2. 1986 Hong Kong Masters Dennis Taylor 8–3
Winner 3. 1986 Matchroom Professional Championship Steve Davis 10–9
Runner-up 5. 1986 Canadian Masters Steve Davis 3–9
Winner 4. 1987 Kent Cup Jimmy White 5–2
Runner-up 6. 1987 Irish Masters Steve Davis 1–9
Runner-up 7. 1987 Pontins Professional Neal Foulds 8–9
Runner-up 8. 1987 Matchroom Professional Championship Dennis Taylor 3–10
Winner 5. 1989 New Zealand Masters Joe Johnson 7–4
Runner-up 9. 1994 Australian Open John Higgins 5–9
Winner 6. 2000 World Seniors Masters Cliff Thorburn 1–0

Pro-am finals: 1 (1 title)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1980 Pontins Spring Open Cliff Wilson 7–3

Team finals: 1 (1 runner-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Team/partner Opponent(s) in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1984 World Doubles Championship Cliff Thorburn Alex Higgins
Jimmy White
2–10

Amateur finals: 1 (1 runner-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1975 English Amateur Championship Sid Hood 6–11
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 21 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
comments so far.
Comments
Reference sources
References
http://cuetracker.net/players/willie-thorne/career-total-statistics
http://www.prosnookerblog.com/centuries/
https://www.eurosport.com/snooker/then-now-willie-thorne_sto2256699/story.shtml
https://www.worldsnooker.com/players/willie-thorne/
https://web.archive.org/web/20080316020145/http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Players/Global_Europe/Global_England/p_profile007.htm
http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Players/Global_Europe/Global_England/p_profile007.htm
http://www.inside-edge-mag.co.uk/othersports/features/668/willie_thorne.html
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2004/apr/23/smalltalk.sportinterviews
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2007/sep/14/mediamonkey
arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up arrow-down instagram whatsapp myspace quora soundcloud spotify tumblr vk website youtube stumbleupon comments comments pandora gplay iheart tunein pandora gplay iheart tunein itunes