Snooker star Higgins admitted to hospital

SNOOKER star Alex Higgins has been admitted to hospital as he continues his prolonged fight against ill health.

The former world champion has fought a long battle with throat cancer, but his condition is understood to be comfortable.

The 61-year-old from Northern Ireland, known as the 'Hurricane' by his fans, has suffered declining health in recent years. He is in the Belfast City Hospital after being admitted on Wednesday. A hospital spokesman said: "We will be making no comment on Mr Higgins' condition."

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Friends and family have feared for the controversial player since he was diagnosed with throat cancer more than ten years ago. He is in remission, but its toll on his body is evident in his drawn and thin appearance.

Living in sheltered housing on the Donegall Road in Belfast, Mr Higgins is considered to be one of the finest snooker players of all time. He has had long-term problems with alcohol and smoking since winning the world title in 1972 and 1982.

Despite his numerous fights and rows with referees over the years, he still plays regularly and appeared at the Irish Professional Championship in 2005 and 2006. Higgins has been an inspiration for many of today's best players, including Ken Doherty, Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Higgins was twice World Champion and runner-up on two occasions. He is also a former World Doubles champion with Jimmy White and has won the World Cup three times.