British snooker legend Willie Thorne has died at the age of 66.
The former world number one was battling leukaemia and is said to have been placed into a medically-induced coma in Spain this week.
He had been suffering from respiratory failure.
Thorne, who is credited with helping popularise the sport of snooker in the 1980s, died at 1.55am on Wednesday.
His carer Julie O’Neill said: “Willie went into septic shock and was not responding to any treatment so the decision was made by the hospital to turn off the machines.
“I was with him all the way to his end and reading out messages to him from people.
“He passed away very peacefully and without pain listening to his children saying they love him – that gives me some comfort in this difficult time.”
Thorne reached two World Championship quarter-finals and won his only ranking title, the Mercantile Credit Classic, in 1982.
He later commentated on the sport for the BBC, and appeared on the fifth series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Tributes have been paid to Thorne, who was also a snooker commentator, online.
We are deeply saddened to hear that the Great WT himself, Willie Thorne, has passed away at the age of 66. It's a great loss to our sport.
Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) June 17, 2020
Deeply, deeply saddened to hear that my friend Willie Thorne has passed away. One of life’s great characters. A marvellous snooker player and a lovely man, who’s potted his final black much too soon. RIP Willie.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 17, 2020
Really sad to hear about the death of Willie Thorne. He was a big part of the golden age of snooker on TV and full of fun away from table.
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) June 17, 2020
Very sad to hear about the passing of Willie Thorne. A great character, a super bloke and a champion of Leicestershire. RIP.
— Charles Dagnall (@CharlesDagnall) June 17, 2020
More to follow.