Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Higgins in ‘mad man’ snooker rant

Alex ''Hurricane'' Higgins in 1980

Snooker player Alex Higgins has been dropped from a charity event in Limerick next month after he allegedly threatened and verbally abused spectators and a referee at a separate match.

The Belfast-born former snooker world champion is reported to have reduced a 10-year-old boy to tears, threatened to smash a snooker ball into a spectator’s face and told the referee at last Thursday’s exhibition match in Kildare that he would stick his cue “up your a***”.

Higgins’ latest debacle took place in Athy, Co Kildare during a game against Jimmy White.

As a result, Limerick and North Tipperary Carer’s Association, who had arranged for the 59-year-old to play in a charity match in Limerick next month, have dropped him from the schedule and replaced him with seven-time world champion, Stephen Hendry.

Sports Editor with the Kildare Nationalist newspaper, Brendan Coffey, acted as referee at last week’s match and experienced Higgins’ abuse and threatening demeanour at first hand.

Mr Coffey claimed Higgins behaved like a “mad man”.

“Alex didn’t seem drunk. He wasn’t acting like a drunken man, just a mad man,” he said.

“At one stage he picked up the cue like someone with a spear in Braveheart and said that if anyone annoys him, he’d stab them in the chest with it.

“He shoved a ball in front of one person’s face and said he smash him between the eyes with it if he distracted him again,” Mr Coffey claimed.

Higgins was also alleged to have scolded a 10-year-old boy sitting in the front row for apparently distracting him. The boy was reduced to tears.

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