Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Alex Higgins: The women Hurricane blew hot and cold with

Alex Higgins' sister Jean on her wedding day
Alex Higgins' sister Jean on her wedding day
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. World professional snooker champion Alex Higgins (right), who was in Belfast to-day for the wedding of his sister, Jean, of Abingdon Street to John Robson, Crumlin Road. The couple were married in St. Aidan's Parish Chursh, Blythe Street, Sandy Row, Belfast.
Lauren Higgins, daughter of snnoker player Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins.
Alex Higgins parents celebrate after he wins the 1982 world title
PACEMAKER BELFASTAlex Higgins parents celebrate after he wins the 1982 world title.Alex died yesterday in Belfast aged 61
Confetti scatters at the wedding of Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins and bride Lynn, at the United Reform church in Wilmslow.
Confetti scatters at the wedding of Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins and bride Lynn, at the United Reform church in Wilmslow.
1973, World Professional Champion Alex Higgins at Heathrow Airport with his girlfriend Liz Kendall
File photo, dated 06-05-1973, World Professional Champion Alex Higgins at Heathrow Airport with his girlfriend Liz Kendall, on his way to a working holiday in Singapore, Australia and India. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday July 24, 2010. Two-time snooker world champion Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins has died, aged 61. See PA story DEATH Higgins. Photo credit should read: /PA Archive.
Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins
Alex Hurricane Higgins
A book of condolence has been opened for former snooker world champion Alex Higgins
Former world champion Alex Higgins in action in 1994
Former world champion Alex Higgins in action in 1994
05-01-1980. Confetti scatters at the wedding of Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins and bride Lynn, at the United Reform church in Wilmslow.
05-01-1980. Confetti scatters at the wedding of Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins and bride Lynn, at the United Reform church in Wilmslow.
21-04-1986, Alex Higgins enjoys a cigarette during a moment's break during the Embassy World Snooker Championship match against John Spencer in Sheffield.
Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins, 1949-2010

Alex Higgins
'The Hurricane' played snooker with a style and verve never before seen and won the World Championship in 1972, beating John Spencer in the final and again in 1982. That latter triumph, against six-times champion Ray Reardon, is best remembered for Higgins' tears at the end as he cradled his baby daughter in his arms. Higgins' win over Jimmy White in the semi-final was regarded as one of the all time great matches, particularly the Belfast cueman's 69 break in the penultimate frame on the way to a 16-15 victory. The Hurricane is almost as well known for his off-the-table bust-ups and his many run-ins with snooker officialdom over the years. But despite his difficulties, he remains one of the most gifted players ever to pick up a cue, with Ronnie O'Sullivan the only current star worthy of a mention in the same breath.
Alex Higgins
Alex Higgins
This close-up picture of Alex Higgins taken by Ulster photographer Cathal McNaughton
Alex Higgins
ALEX HIGGINS Until the robotic Stephen Hendry turned up as a 21-year-old world snooker champion in 1990, Alex "Hurricane" Higgins had been the youngest ever winner of the title, when he beat John Spencer in the best-of-73-frames 1972 final. It was Higgins' first appearance at the tournament and his flamboyant style and break-neck speed around the table earned him the "Hurricane" sobriquet. It is a nickname that could just as easily have applied to his life away from the beize, although the notoriously sedate snooker arena also witnessed its fair share of storms. At the 1986 UK championships, Higgins was fined and disqualified for head-butting a referee. Four years later, after a first round defeat at The Crucible, Higgins punched a tournament official before going on to announce his retirement from the game.
Snooker legend Alex Higgins. 2010
Alex Higgins in 1999 at his friend Ollie Reed's funeral in County Cork
Alex Higgins pictured at a bar in Belfast
Alex 'Hurrican' Higgins
Alex 'Hurrican' Higgins.
Alex Higgins pictured at a bar in Belfast where he spoke about his his autobiography "Alex Higgins 'My Story' from the eye of the Hurricane".
Alex Higgins. 16/3/81.
Alex "Hurricane" Higgins pictured 19th April 1980.259/80
Alex Higgins. 10/5/85.
Former World Champion snooker star Alex Higgins enjoys a day out at the races despite fighting off the effects of throat cancer.
Alex Higgins pictured in the mid 1980's
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Alex Higgins considering his next shot during the 1983 World Snooker Championships in Sheffield.
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. Exhibition match at Waterfront. (19/06/1997)
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. Oliver Reed and Alex Higgins. (December 1992)
Alex Higgins
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. (02/06/1993)
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. A familiar sights for snooker fans... Irish professional champion Alex Higgins wiping his cue with a towel during last night's title match against Dennis Taylor in the Ulster Hall. Higgins won the first session 7-2 in the 41 frame decider which is being presented by the 'Belfast Telegraph' and Kearney Promotions. (03/02/1978)
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend.
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend.
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. Alex Higgins senior pictured with his son after Alex had regained the Smithwick's Irish Professional Snooker Championship in Maysfield Leisure Centre. Alex won the final against reigning champion Dennis Taylor by 16 frames to 11.
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. World professional snooker champion Alex Higgins (right), who was in Belfast to-day for the wedding of his sister, Jean, of Abingdon Street to John Robson, Crumlin Road. The couple were married in St. Aidan's Parish Chursh, Blythe Street, Sandy Row, Belfast.
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend.
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend.
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. Four Ulster sportsmen were given Texaco Sportstars of the Year Awards (1982) at a banquet in Dublin last - John Watson, Barry McGuigan, Gerry Armstrong and Alex Higgins. Photographed at the ceremony were McGuigan, Northern Ireland team manager Billy Bingham, who collected the trophy on behalf of Armstrong and Higgins.
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. Alex Higgins, pictured with the championship trophy he intends to hold on to. (12/03/1983)
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. Snooker star Alex Higgins signs autographs for twins Brenda (left) and Geraldine Brammled at the press conference to announce the details of the Irish Professional Snooker Championship, which will be held in the Antrim Forum from February 9-12. (1988)
17-05-1982, World Snooker Champion, Alex Higgins is saluted by his baby daughter Lauren with his wife Lynne, after a nail-biting battle against six-times champion Ray Reardon at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre.
13-04-1973, world professional snooker champion Alex Higgins shows off his new look, as created by Tom Gilbey.
Noel Cairns holds a shopping list given to him by former snooker champion Alex Higgins, near Ulidia House in south Belfast where Higgin's body was discovered.
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. Surrounded by beautiful girls, the lightning Alex. 'Hurricane' Higgins signs autographs for fans Jacqui McFerran, Marion Allen and Catherine McFerran. (15/04/80)
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. World snooker champion Alexander 'Hurricane' Higgins in Belfast. (08/11/1976)
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. (February 1978)
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. Exhibition match at Waterfront. (19/06/1997)
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend.
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. Exhibition match at Waterfront. (19/06/1997)
Alex Higgins. Snooker Legend. Exhibition match at Waterfront. (19/06/1997)
Former World Snooker Player Champion Alex "Hurricane" Higgins at his book signing in Easons 02.06.07.
Snooker legend Alex Higgins spotted Tallaght 2005.
Alex Higgins 4/3/82
Oliver Reid, Reg Presley & Alex Higgins
Snooker star Alex Higgins is taken to hospital with stab wounds after an incident involving a woman. 2008
25-7-2010Flowers for Alex Higgins are left at a muralon the Donegal Road to in honour of the snooker legend who died yesterday in Belfast.

As well as being the ‘Hurricane’ of the snooker world, Alex Higgins was famous for his wild ways outside the sporting arena.

His tempestuous relationships captured as many column inches as his hard drinking, gambling and public outbursts. Here, we profile the women who each played a part in the life of the controversial legend.

MOTHER

Alex’s mother Elizabeth and his three sisters Isobel, Anne and Jean always provided a bedrock of stability in the turbulent life of the snooker star.

During his teens Elizabeth scolded him for gambling in Belfast’s snooker halls, but later was fiercely proud of his success.

SISTERS

After his cancer diagnosis in 1998 sisters Anne and Jean brought him back to Northern Ireland, found him somewhere to live and supported him throughout his treatment. His other sister Isobel lived in Australia, but would phone every day. He always credited them with getting him through this difficult time.

DAUGHTER

Alex’s second wife Lynn gave birth to their daughter Lauren in 1981. Although Higgins described Lauren’s arrival as “a whole new beginning”, he found the responsibilities of parenthood hard to cope with.

Little Lauren had a starring role in Alex’s most memorable TV moment, when a tearful Higgins embraced his wife and baby daughter after winning the World Snooker title.

Lauren, along with brother Jordan, visited their father frequently during his illness and she is said to be “inconsolable” following his death.

PARTNERS

Higgins met Liz Kendall in the early Seventies when she was working in Churchill’s nightclub in London. They bonded over a shared love of horses.

Although their relationship had few of the fireworks of his later romances, Alex’s unpredictable nature led to their split. As he said: “She finally had enough one day.”

Higgins met his first wife Cara Hasler in Australia in 1973. They both loved partying and gambling at the race track, common interests Alex later recognised as the beginning of his downfall. They were married in April 1975 in Sydney.

Blazing rows led to the breakdown of their relationship in 1977. Cara gave birth to a daughter during the marriage; Alex never discovered if the child was his and had no contact with her.

Lynn Avison was the major relationship in Alex’s life.

They met not long after he split with Cara and married in 1980.

Daughter Lauren was born in 1981 and son Jordan in 1983.

Their relationship was peppered with Alex’s infidelities, run-ins with the law and drinking sessions and they eventually divorced in 1985.

In the 1980s he met Siobhan Kidd, 13 years his junior, whom he often referred to as his “last great love”. His time with her was rockier still with her attempted suicide, his fall from her apartment window and Higgins’ deteriorating finances and drinking.

After a physical assault in 1989, she left him.

Perhaps his most famously disastrous relationship was with Holly Haise, at the time a 26-year-old escort.

The romance came to an explosive end in 1997 when she stabbed Higgins three times. He never pressed charges.

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