John Virgo stuck in Spain and misses BetFred World Snooker Championship at Crucible

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John Virgo with Andrew Atkinson after the service
John Virgo with reporter and friend Andrew Atkinson after the service

  • UK 14 days government isolation snooker’s Virgo

By Andrew Atkinson

John Virgo is stuck in Spain – instead of being behind the mic for the BetFred World Snooker Championship currently taking place at The Crucible in Sheffield.

“I am here in Spain and due to the UK 14 days Government isolation imposed on returning home I will not be at the world Championship at the Crucible,” rued Virgo.

Virgo, who retired from the pro circuit in the nineties after almost four decades on the green baize, attended the Memorial service of long-time friend and fellow snooker player, Villamartin based Willie Thorne on June 24, in Orihuela.

Manchester United supporter Virgo, put the boot into the decision to allow the Real Madrid team to play Manchester City in the Champions League round 16 second leg on August 7 – without going into isolation.

“The 14 days isolation arriving in the UK from Spain doesn’t apply to the Real Madrid team arriving in Manchester,” said Virgo.

“I’m a British citizen and I pay my taxes – it’s a case of one rule for them and another for me,” said Virgo, talking to BetFred podcast.

“I suppose that’s life,” added Virgo, who married for the third time, when marrying Rosie Ries in 2009.

The couple attended Thorne’s Memorial service, following his death on June 17 from septic shock, aged 66, in Torrevieja hospital, where he had been undergoing chemotherapy treatment for leukaemia since March.

Watching on television in Spain, Virgo praised John Higgins’ maximum 147 break at this year’s behind closed doors world championship that is staged during July 31-August 16: “It was one of the best ever seen at The Crucible,” said Virgo.

Commentator Virgo and anchor Hazel Irvine are both absent from the BBC’s coverage of the 2020 world championship. TV presenter Irvine is at home, due to a family illness.

“Thanks for all the nice words. Strange world at the moment, I am missing being there, but what a great tournament it’s been,” said Virgo.

The BBC did a video call with Virgo, as part of a tribute to former BBC commentator Thorne following his passing.

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