Snooker hero Dennis Taylor is rushed to hospital for urgent surgery to remove his appendix
Northern Ireland snooker hero Dennis Taylor is recovering after being rushed to hospital for urgent surgery to remove his appendix.
The Coalisland man (67), a member of the BBC's commentating team at the Snooker World Championships in Sheffield, is not expected to rejoin the coverage until the later stages of the tournament.
Taylor's friend and fellow player Willie Thorne broke the news of the medical emergency via Twitter: "Just wishing my pal and fellow commentator Dennis Taylor a speedy recovery after his appendicitis op, get back soon Den," he tweeted.
Back in Northern Ireland fellow Coalisland man and snooker fan Francie Molloy, the Sinn Fein MP for Mid Ulster, wished the former world champion a rapid recovery.
He said: "I heard that Dennis is in hospital - and that's he's doing okay.
"Dennis has been a great ambassador for Coalisland and the North in general, particularly in the line of snooker, and then there is the fact he raised the whole profile of snooker from Gervin's Club in Coalisland, where he started off from. He put snooker on the map where Ireland is concerned.
"Dennis has had great success and we hope that he has great success in his present medical position, and we are wishing him a speedy recovery and all the best for the future."
A BBC spokesman said last night: "Currently there are no plans for Dennis to feature in this weekend's World Championship coverage.
"We wish him a speedy recovery and are hopeful he may be able to return to the team in the latter stages of the championship."
Fans also took to social media to express their good wishes for a quick recovery.
Joanne Turnbull wrote: "Bless you Dennis.
"Hope you're back with us very soon - love listening to you xx."
And Nadine Verschuere tweeted: "Hope he will be OK pretty soon, we miss you."
Taylor was crowned world champion in 1985 after he famously defeated Steve Davis on the final black ball of the final frame.