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Northern Ireland Open title named in honour of the late, great Higgins

By Steven Beacom

Published 28/09/2016

Alex Higgins
Alex Higgins

The new Northern Ireland Open snooker tournament trophy will be named after the legendary Alex Higgins.

Two-time World champion Higgins, who died in 2010 aged 61, is recognised as being the man who brought his sport to the masses.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn says that putting the Hurricane's name to the new event is a fitting tribute to the Belfast man, who won a host of big tournaments including World titles in 1972 and 1982.

"Alex was an extraordinary talent, and this is a fitting tribute to one of the game's all-time greats," said World Snooker chief Hearn.

The announcement follows World Snooker's decision to name the English Open trophy after six-time World champion Steve Davis.

The Northern Ireland Open, taking place at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast from November 14-20, is part of the new Home Nations series.

Ronnie O'Sullivan will be the star attraction for an event with a first prize of £70,000.

The English Open is in Manchester (October 10-16), the Scottish Open will be played at Glasgow's Emirates Arena (December 12-18) and the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff will stage the Welsh Open (February 13-19).

There is a massive carrot in the shape of £1million for any player who wins all FOUR of the Home Nations tournaments.

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