September 20, 2011

The Woes and Ways of a Wandering Willie

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:41 am

Oh you handsome devil

The Willie Thorne PR wagon has been in full throttle this last week or so, Willie has a new book out called ‘Taking a Punt on My Life’ which seems a far cry from your average snooker autobiography. Tales of attempted suicide and shagging snooker groupies replace the usual standard fayre of frame winning clearances and well-judged cannons.

Excerpts from the book, which I am more than happy to receive a free copy of to review on here, have appeared in a number of UK newspapers and as well as his liking for groupies Willie candidly talks about all the problems he has had in his life. Most of them by the look of it being self-inflicted.

He talks about attempting suicide, which is always a good one to pull out of the bag to get the sales up. First of all, he stood at the top of a hotel in Bangkok and thought about jumping, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. So he then reached for the sleeping pills but didn’t quite complete the job then either. Much like his legendary miss on the blue in the UK final it was another case of close but no cigar.

Willie says he still suffers from bouts of depression and insomnia and reveals that last year he had a mild stroke. Describing the episode, which happened during a speech at a charity event he says “I realised I had started slurring my words and was all over the place. It had been a long week and I just apologised explaining I was tired.” As he returned to his seat, his stepson James, told him: “Do you realise that for 30 seconds you just mumbled, you made no sense at all?”

Sounds a bit like one of his commentaries to me.

He also talks about the death of his brother Malcolm who did a massive amount for snooker and it is clear that he misses him a great deal. I never got to meet him but by all accounts he was a cracking bloke who would do anything for younger players and I know he helped Mark Selby massively during his early days on the baize. Think how proud he would be of him now perched at Number One in the rankings?

Of course, a story about the Great WT would not be complete without some gambling anecdotes and I’m sure the book will be littered with stories of nearly misses and lucky streaks. Anyone who is familiar with the tale of the time he backed Ken Doherty to beat John Parrott after overhearing JP talking about his cue problems (Willie describes having an erection on hearing the exclusive snippit – whatever turns you on I suppose) will know that WT sometimes got it disastrously wrong. You can read more about ‘that bet’ and other stuff about Willie here.

A Snoopie

Perhaps more surprising is Willie’s revelation that being given duff inside information on snooker wasn’t the only thing that gave him a ‘hard on’. He describes his liking for ‘snooker groupies’ in this article in the Daily Mirror. He even talks of a time when he thought he was going to get shot by a jealous husband. But, much like some of his big punts this turns out to be yet another gross misjudgement on Willie’s part. 

When it comes to the chicks however, Willie doesn’t kid himself that he was or is a handsome fella and claims that the ladies were probably seduced by the fact that he was a celebrity and a well-known snooker player who just happened to be wining and dining them aswell.

No shit Sherlock.

Anyway, where have all these snooker groupies or as I prefer to refer to them ‘snoopies’ gone? I didn’t see any when I went to the Crucible or to Wembley, maybe they are still hanging out in Willie’s Love Caravan inside the cordoned off BBC area, you know the one with the bushy moustache on the door? If you reckon you are Snoopie material just let me know, I have an extensive range of contacts in the snooker world who may be interested. That way, you get to do the business with a famous baize boy, he gets to lose his virginity and I get to sell the sordid details to the highest bidder for a stack of cash. Think of it as a business transaction where everyone’s a winner.  

Anyway, oh yes the book, it came out yesterday and like I say if the publishers want to send me a free copy to review I am happy to do so.

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