Willie Thorne will long be remembered as a fun, cheeky snooker player who earned the nickname “Mr Maximum”. He played the game he loved from the young age of 15, playing in Loughborough & then in the snooker halls of Leicester. In 1970, he became National Under 16 Champion. He turned professional in 1975. He will be remembered fondly by many as an all round entertainer & commentator. But to me, he will be remembered as a friend & client of S.I.Management Ltd (U.K.).
Our journey started when I was on a few tours with snooker. We would talk, knock a few balls about in practice, have a few drinks in the players lounge between matches & basically put the world to rights. When I left the game, we lost contact but re-established our friendships again in the early part of 2019, when I started up the company. He invited me to his home over in Spain for a long weekend (one of many weekends I had with him). He was well known to the locals & could go nowhere without being asked for his photo by doting fans. Nothing phased or irritated him. This particular weekend, we spent driving around in his Range Rover, walking his beloved dogs after a day of playing snooker & just chilling in his Villa. We laughed, we chatted, talked business & pleasure & rekindled a friendship that had been put to one side, but not forgotten. He agreed to join the company & I became his agent. It was the start of something new & exciting for both of us.
Like many of us, Willie had been through some really hard times & had many demons, but he also had a big heart. He was kind, genuine, full of fun & always smiling regardless of what life was throwing at him. He treated everyone equally & never considered himself to above anybody else. I’m gutted to think that we had so many plans for the future regarding working together, including a booked Q&A theatre night along with a couple of exhibitions, working together on his snooker game, as well as having fun when showing the world who the real Willie Thorne was. But I’m totally devastated at losing my friend after just finding him again.
You will be sorely missed, my friend. But you will remain in our hearts & you will always be a legend in the eyes of the true snooker fans. Here’s to your next 147 break. RIP Mr Maximum.