There may well be bluebirds on the horizon as the great-niece of Alex “Hurricane” Higgins makes her bid for chart success with her rendition of the Academy Award-winning song Over The Rainbow.
His six-year-old namesake Alex Mitchell today releases her version of the song made famous by showbiz legend Judy Garland.
The talented little girl gave a poignant performance of Over The Rainbow, often known as Somewhere Over The Rainbow, at the private family service for the two-time world snooker champion after his death on July 24.
Her angelic voice moved Higgins to tears just days before he died, as the maverick snooker player’s former assistant, Will “Bubbles” Robinson recounts.
“Alex performed this song to her great uncle Alex only two days before he died and he was going to use his contacts to help her with her singing career.
“Alex was brave enough to perform the song again at his funeral, where she sang as the cortege left the family home in Belfast.
“A couple of weeks later, I took Alex to record the song in London with Robin Gibb's producer Michael Graves.”
The CD single recorded by the star’s young relative includes song notes containing photographs of Higgins that have never before been published.
Higgins had fought a long battle with cancer, but in the end, the “People’s Champion” died from multiple causes, including malnutrition and pneumonia.
The Belfast man turned the world of snooker on its head with his unique style.
Following his death this summer, aged just 61, luminaries of the snooker world, including Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry, descended on Belfast to say farewell to their old friend.
They heard young Alex Mitchell sing Over The Rainbow in tribute to her great uncle. When she then walked with the procession, Alex clutched a single red rose bearing a simple tribute.
“Uncle Sandy, you were the greatest uncle in the world,” it read. “I will miss you. Lots of love, little Alex XO.”
Thousands of people lined the streets of Belfast and applauded as the gambling fanatic’s remains were brought by horse-drawn carriage to St Anne’s Cathedral for a public thanksgiving service.
It was an honour his family said at the time would have pleased him greatly.
Now, only time will tell if the single is a success.
The little girl's mother Lynsey said: “Alex would be so proud of his great-niece, who he believed had the star quality that runs in the family”.