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We laughed our way around the world: Dennis Taylor's touching tribute to pal Willie Thorne

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Former snooker stars Willie Thorne and Dennis Taylor

Former snooker stars Willie Thorne and Dennis Taylor

Willie in action in 1994

Willie in action in 1994

PA

Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker

Joe Swail

Joe Swail

Former snooker stars Willie Thorne and Dennis Taylor

Dennis Taylor on Wednesday described how he had "laughed his way around the world" with his great friend and fellow snooker legend Willie Thorne, who has died at the age of 66 following a battle with leukaemia.

Thorne, with his bald head and bushy moustache, was one of the most famous faces in snooker's golden age in the 1980s and 1990s, also becoming a familiar figure on game shows, and in 2007 appearing as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing.

Ulsterman Taylor, who famously won the 'black ball' world final against Steve Davis in 1985, said: "I first met Willie on the snooker show Pot Black in the mid 1970s and we have been firm friends ever since.