Jimmy White: ‘I’d have died if I’d beaten Higgins and won the world title in 1982’
Jimmy White, 25 years on from the last of his six snooker world final defeats, recalls some interesting nights out with Alex Higgins
“I’m flying,” Jimmy White says with that cheeky old grin. He pats his waistcoat, loosens his tie and looks ready to celebrate his 39 years as a professional snooker player and the even more incredible fact he is still here one early morning in Sheffield. After overcoming cancer, crack, a gambling habit that cost him over a million pounds and the heartache of losing six world championship finals, the Whirlwind is ready to show off his much younger girlfriend and his renewed determination to keep playing.
As always with White, a residue of hurt lingers. Just before his 57th birthday he had hoped to return to the Crucible in the world championship, which began on Saturday. After winning his first qualifying match, White faced the world No 19, Ali Carter. White zipped into a brief lead before his dream died with a 10-4 defeat.