Local community mourns snooker legend Willie Thorne

In 2018 snooker legend Willie Throne moved to Villamartin and instantly became part of the local community. This week that community is mourning his loss and celebrating a life that was taken too soon.
In 2017 Willie Thorne was invited to Orihuela Costa by long-time friend Karen Williams and her son John, owners of Evolution Bar, who asked him to support the bar’s charity golf event. He and then wife, former Miss Great Britain Jill Saxby, revisited that area several times and loved it so much they moved to live in Villamartin in the summer of 2018.
Willie was a huge charity supporter and he did two further local charity golf events, one with Bobby Davro and the other with Paul Gascoigne. He also used his auctioning skill to help raise money for various other charities and made numerous appearances at charity events around the Costa. He travelled back and for to England to do charity events, play in seniors snooker tournaments and fulfil professional snooker commentating commitments. He also took part the ITV Full Monty Charity Show last year.
Willie was a member of Evolution Golf Society, a member of its pool team and often joined a local lunch group to enjoy life in the sun. When Jill returned to England in October 2019, Willie decided to stay here, where he had lots of friends around him and his two dogs Alfie and Charlie which he adored.
In March, Willie, who was aged 66, was diagnosed with Leukaemia, having already battled with prostate cancer earlier in his life. The news was made even more difficult as the country went into lockdown and Willie faced the diagnosis on his own, albeit with friends here and in the UK rallying around to support him as best they could on the phone, through Facetime and on Whatsapp.
Following his diagnosis Willie had chemotherapy at Torrevieja Hospital. He suffered from severe gout and had a mystery infection which resulted in sepsis, this saw him return to hospital by ambulance last week where he was placed in ICU. His condition worsened and he was placed in an induced coma as his body went into respiratory failure. There was no response to the treatment and so the decision was made to switch off the life support system.
Willie Thorne passed away with his carers Julie O’Neil and Michelle Mint of Expat Home Care at his side, and with his family speaking to him over the phone.
A Memorial service for Willie Thorne will be held at Cristo Resucitado, Ecumenical Centre in Orihuela Costa at 11.15am on Wednesday, 24th June. A hot and cold buffet and celebration of his life will take place at Evolution, La Fuente Commercial Centre. There will be a Charity bowl at the Church, with donations for Rainbows Charity and Voice 20/20 Charity to which Willie was affiliated.