Villamartin based snooker star Willie Thorne has split from his wife, former Miss Great Britain Jill Saxby, after 24 years’ marriage.

Thorne, 65, who moved to Villamartin this year, is to remain in Spain, while his wife Jill, 59, has returned to the UK.

Thorne, who promoted former England football star Paul Gascoigne’s ‘An Evening with Paul Gascoigne’ held Spain in June, reportedly confirmed the split: “Just so everybody knows and before rumours start, Jill and I have separated and she has gone back to the UK. I hope to be staying here in Spain.”

Thorne, who raised thousands of pounds for Charity, through his ‘Willie Thorne Charity Golf Classic’ event in Spain in June, has reportedly had his mock Tudor detached home repossessed in Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, after reports of the mortgage having not been paid.

Thorne spoke about his gambling addiction in recent years, a compulsion that had brought him to the brink of suicide, having been saved by wife Jill. Speaking about his gambling habit Thorne reportedly revealed that he probably borrowed £1million over the years, in order to gamble, and was still in debt.

Thorne, declared bankrupt in 2015, also revealed money lenders threatened to chop off his wife’s fingers – and take her jewellery.

Thorne was a snooker star in the 1980s, playing alongside legends including Alex Higgins, Jimmy White, Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor.

Thorne retired in the nineties and became a BBC TV snooker commentator.

During his time in Villamartin Thorne has been giving snooker lessons to ex-pats, along with his work as an after dinner speaker.

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