August 1, 2010

Goodbye Alex

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:24 am

Alex was quite the dandy in his heyday

Tomorrow everyone will get the chance to say goodbye to one of snooker’s all time greats, Alex Hurricane Higgins.

The funeral will take place at St Anne’s Cathedral in his home town a short distance from where Higgins spent his formative years learning his trade.

The cortege will make a two-mile procession along the streets of Belfast, past his flat on Sandy Row, before reaching St Anne’s.

His great mate Jimmy White is expected to deliver his own emotional tribute to Alex during the service.

Thousands of fans are expected to line the route to pay their respects in what is expected to be the biggest funeral the city has seen since the death of George Best in 2005.

The funeral service — which will be conducted by Dean Houston McKelvey — will be shown live by Sky News and the BBC News Channel (UK users only, sorry).

Higgins’ long-time friend Will Robinson, who is helping to organise the funeral, said it will be a very moving ceremony.

Jimmy and Alex were lifelong friends

“I think the streets of Belfast will see exactly why Alex was known as the ‘People’s Champion’,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

Hundreds of guests have been invited to the service, including stars from the worlds of sport, television and music.

Mourners will also include Higgins’ daughter and son, Lauren and Jordan, as well as sisters Jean and Anne.

Such lavish surroundings are of course at odds with the relative poverty in which Alex died last week and are a reminder of his ‘glory days’ when money was no object and such extravagances an every day part of his life.

There have been many many tributes to him since the news struck, many stories about the good, the bad and the ugly side of his character.

It is fair to say that as loved as he was by millions, he also collected many enemies in his short time on earth.

I hope that you have enjoyed the various clips that I have been posting on the right hand menu this week of Alex in his prime. While many will remember the bad times, I will always remember the thrills he gave me as a nipper.

Tomorrow everyone will get the chance to say goodbye to Alex. Thanks for the memories Hurricane. I’ll be playing this at full blast in your honour when the religious bit comes on, but it’s a bit early in the day to raise a glass to you.

I’d be interested to hear what you’d choose as a fitting musical tribute to the Hurricane in the comments section.

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