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Jimmy White Set Fire To A Hotel Room In Kildare

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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In the heartbreak stakes, Jimmy White's run of bad luck in World Championship finals is right up there. After losing one decider to Steve Davis in the 80s, he went on to lose five finals in a row in the early 1990s. The last one, in 1994, was the most agonising. He was amongst the balls at 17-17 and missed the most straightforward black of all time. Hendry cleared the table and won another championship.

Now, the whirlwind is blaming his drug problems for his never claiming the ultimate prize. In his book 'The Second Wind', he chronicles his drug addictions and his short dalliance with crack cocaine during the 1980s.

And he tells the story of he and Canadian snooker pro Kirk Stevens set fire to the Keadeen Hotel in Kildare.

I started trying to dismantle the door of the wardrobe so we could use it as firewood. We started breaking down the furniture in the room, a table here, a wardrobe there, trying to get a fire started so we could cook this stuff up.

That’s how sadistic the drug is, that’s how crazy it had sent us. Two of the best snooker players in the world, holed away in an Irish hotel room, smashing up chairs and ripping up a duvet so we could make an indoor fire and smoke some crack.

Lying there glassy-eyed - spoons, tinfoil and rocks lying everywhere - we didn't give a s--- about anything else. Practise went out the window and our families didn't know where we were.

We were doing the best to kill ourselves. That's what crack does to you. That's what crack has done to us. That's how bad it is. We were flirting with death and we didn't give a s---.

If using cocaine is sniffing 'The Devil's Dandruff' then smoking crack is worse. Much worse.


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