Let Me Tell You About Alex: Crazy Days and Nights on the Road with 'The Hurricane'

Let Me Tell You About Alex: Crazy Days and Nights on the Road with 'The Hurricane'

John Virgo

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 184358882X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


There is a tribute book to be written about the nicest man in snooker—but this isn't it. Whatever else he was, Alexander Gordon Higgins wasn't nice. Unpredictable, wild, demonic and obsessive for certain. The People's Champion. An unstoppable force who single-handedly transformed snooker from a niche sport into a gripping phenomenon. When snooker was at its most popular in the 1980s, Higgins was at the peak of his powers. It was no coincidence. John Virgo knew Higgins as well as anyone. He made no apologies for his friend and was frequently driven to despair by his antics. The gambling, the drug-using, the sheer, uninhibited madness of the man. But there was always a buzz around Alex, there was always something happening. Drawing upon unrivalled access to the Hurricane's friends and colleagues, this is an affectionate and honest portrait of the most legendary player ever to hit the world of snooker. Recounting the legends, dispelling the myths and telling the whole, extraordinary truth, this is Hurricane Higgins by those who knew him best.

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said Alex, ‘and not the gin.’ Jim lent over, sniffed Alex and said, ‘Well, it smells of gin!’ Ouch! But Alex wasn’t worried – he had always been clever about working the whole endorsement game. In those days it was hard to get a personalised cue. Nowadays players like Ronnie O’Sullivan can get them made to his own specifications, but back then it was hard to get hold of a decent snooker cue. He knew how to blag a free cue, though. He would say if they gave him a free cue and he won the World

give the sample and had instead head-butted Paul Hatherall, the tournament director. I rushed downstairs with Del Simmons and John Spencer to see what had happened. We saw Paul Hatherall with blood coming out of his head and holding some cotton wool to his eye. I asked where Alex was and Paul pointed towards a room. It turned out that Alex had lost his rag with Hatherall after storming away from the doctor and tripping up in the process, sending his beer flying everywhere. I went in and saw Ann

attitude. Well, you would never hear Davis say that. Playing snooker and winning snooker matches was his life. He was a professional and took the game to a new level. Then Hendry came along and took it a stage further. Someone once said to Jimmy, ‘Wouldn’t you like to have been more like Steve Davis?’ Jimmy was stunned, almost offended by the question. ‘Why would I like to be more like Steve Davis?’ he asked. Those two were like chalk and cheese. Davis’s idea of a good time would certainly be

various guests, including Tommy Docherty. At the end of the show, Kelly said, ‘Well that’s all for this week. I’d like to thank our panel. On next week’s show we have George Best…’ Docherty then interrupted and said, ‘There’s as much chance of him turning up as there is Lord Lucan!’ A few days later I was in a nightclub in London. At this particular club, when you walked in the owner would put a bottle of champagne on the bar if he liked you. So, as you can imagine, George went in there a lot.

promote a video. That was basically how I got on there. I was releasing a snooker video and they had a word with ITV suggesting me as a subject. I remember that I had done a few appearances as a guest on This Is Your Life. For instance, I was the person who ‘caught’ Jimmy when he was the subject. As far as I was concerned, Jimmy thought he and I were about to play an exhibition in Richmond. So I went along to meet him, knowing that the show’s host, Michael Aspel, would appear with the famous red

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