By Andrew Atkinson Exclusive

Former Villamartin based late snooker star Willie Thorne’s lifetime cue has been sold by auction that will benefit 20-20 Voice Cancer charity, which Willie was patron.

“Willie’s cue was successfully  auctioned for The 20-20 Voice cancer charity,” Willie’s wife Jill Saxby exclusively told The Leader after the cue went under public auction.

“Willie played all his life with his one and only cue, from the age of 14,” added Jill, who took place of Willie as Patron of 20-20 Voice Cancer following his death last year.

“His cue went for auction to raise funds for his charity of choice – 20-20 Voice Cancer. Money raised will help early diagnosis of this little known cancer, that affects so many,” said Jill.

An opening bid of £2,000 was made for the cue, with the hammer going down for an undisclosed sum.

Former Miss Great Britain Jill Saxby became the Patron of 20-20 Voice Cancer, following the passing of Patron Willie Thorne on June 17, 2020.

Jill Saxby: Patron of 20-20 Voice Cancer Charity.
Jill Saxby: Patron of 20-20 Voice Cancer Charity.

Willie died, aged 66, from septic shock in Torrevieja Hospital, after receiving chemotherapy treatment for leukaemia. He moved to Villamartin in 2019 with Jill.

A Memorial service was held in Orihuela Costa on June 24, attended by his children, daughter Tahli and twin sons Tristan and Kieran, at the Cristo Resucitado Church. His ashes were later flown to the UK.

“We are delighted that Jill has decided to favour our charity for she knows only too well the depths of despair that cancer can bring, having been a full time Speech and Language Therapist.

“Sadly, Willie passed away last year and Jill kindly took over as Patron,” said a spokesperson from 20-20 Voice Cancer.

“It was no surprise WT’s lifelong cue has now gone to a good home – for a tidy sum, which I am not liberty to divulge.

“For all those that took part in the public auction I thank you very much. All monies raised are being donated to the charity by Jill Thorne and we thank her for that.

“A major piece of snooker history that went to the highest bidder. A magical Mr147 cue, that has made in excess of 190 maximum breaks,” added the 20-20 Voice Cancer Charity spokesperson.

Speaking exclusively to The Leader, Jill said: “The cue was Willie’s fourteenth birthday present and the case was specially made.

“He played every time with the same cue, winning the first Seniors Masters tournament final gainst Cliff Thorburn at the private member’s RAC Club in London.

“Willie also won the Mercantile Credit in 1985 with the cue and played with it at the World Championship at The Crucible in Sheffield over the years.

“Willie took it everywhere – the cue has travelled all over the world.”

Images: Jill Saxby