Willie Thorne placed into induced coma in Spanish hospital

Former snooker star Willie Thorne has been placed into an induced coma in hospital in Spain after suffering respiratory failure.

The 66-year-old, who announced he was battling leukaemia in March, was taken to hospital last week with a dangerously low blood pressure.

A GoFundMe page set up to help pay for Thorne's treatment had surpassed the £17,000 mark by Tuesday lunchtime.

Willie Thorne
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Willie Thorne
Willie Thorne during the 2014 Coral UK Championship at the Barbican Centre, York. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 3, 2014. See PA story SNOOKER York. Photo credit should read: Simon Cooper/PA Wire
Snooker commentator Willie Thorne arrives for the funeral service of Norman Collier at St Helen's Church, Welton, Hull.
Willie Thorne and his wife Jane Saxby, winner of Miss Great Britain in 1985 arrive at the Miss Great Britain party, at the Red Room, at Les Ambassadeurs, Mayfair, central London.
Willie Thorne follows the coffin of Alex Higgins out of St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, where his funeral service took place.
Willie Thorne (left) and John Virgo commentate during the The Masters at Wembley Arena, London.
Ex-snooker player Willie Thorne takes part in the British Airways 4th Annual Golf Day and Gala Ball today at Wentworth Golf Course. The golf day is in aid to raise thousands of pounds, for the DePaul Trust charity. The DePaul trust offers homeless and disadvantaged people the opportunity to fulfil their potential and move towards and independent and positive future.
Gary Lineker (l) and his best mate, snooker star Willie Thorne (r)
LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 19: Snooker player Willie Thorne attends the funeral of snooker star Paul Hunter at Leeds Parish Church during his funeral on October 19, 2006 in Leeds, England. The three-time Masters champion lost his battle to cancer on October 6, 2006 at the age of 27, leaving behind wife, Lindsey, and a daughter, Evie Rose. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
English snooker player Willie Thorne competing in the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 1987. (Photo by Trevor Jones/Getty Images)
English snooker player Willie Thorne at the Masters tournament, Wembley Conference Centre, January 1987. (Photo by Trevor Jones/Getty Images)
The Magnificent Seven get together for the first time under the management of Snooker bos Barry Hearn, They are from left to right: Willie Thorne, Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor, Neal Foulds, Terry Griffiths, Tony Meo and Steve Davis. 22nd September 1986. (Photo by Peter Case /Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Pot Black Snooker Players at Pebble Mill Studios, Birmingham, 19th December 1984. Pictured, includes, commentator David Icke, Steve Davis, Eddie Charlton, Terry Griffiths, commentator Ted Lowe, Cliff Thorburn and Willie Thorne. (Photo by Birmingham Post and Mail Archive/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
English snooker players Willie Thorne (left) and John Virgo during their first round match at the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, April 1983. Thorne won the match 10-3. (Photo by Adrian Murrell/Getty Images)

Thorne's carer Julie O'Neill wrote on the GoFundMe page: "The doctor called me yesterday to inform me that on Sunday Willie went into respiratory failure and he is now in an induced coma and mechanical ventilation.

"They are treating him with three different antibiotics for three types of infections, which appear to be consuming him at this time.

"We are all hoping that the treatments the hospital are giving him while in this induced coma will help to improve his overall condition and at some point enable him to breath on his own and be brought out of this coma."

Willie Thorne
Willie Thorne (left) was a BBC commentator alongside John Virgo (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Thorne reached two World Championship quarter-finals and won his only ranking title, the Mercantile Credit Classic, in 1982.

He starred as part of snooker's 'Matchroom Mob' and went on to become a BBC commentator and appear on the 2007 version of Strictly Come Dancing.

Thorne later battled bankruptcy after admitting he had borrowed up to £1million in order to feed his gambling addiction.

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