A letter of apology written by Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins after he punched a press officer in front of the world’s media is to be sold at auction.
Snooker champion Higgins, who died on July 24 at the age of 61, wrote the letter minutes before he appeared in front of a disciplinary panel after a bust-up with Colin Randle, who at the time was working as a press officer for the sport’s governing body.
Written in upper and lower case it contains remarks from Higgins including, “i was very upset at the time in respect of personal and financial matters”, auctioneer Charles Hanson said.
Mr Randle, of Findern in south Derbyshire, was officiating at the Crucible World Championship in Sheffield on the evening of April 14, 1990.
Higgins had just crashed out of the world tournament to Steve James and as he was entering the media area for a post-match press conference he turned around and “walloped” Mr Randle in the stomach.
Mr Randle, 60, said the player may have already held a grudge against him after he reported him for not attending a press conference the previous year.
He told the Derby Telegraph: “On entering the press area, as I always courteously did, I thanked him for coming. I just said ‘thank you, Alex’ and he turned around and walloped me in the stomach. He said words to the effect of ‘I don’t have to take any more nonsense off people like you because I’m retiring’.”
Mr Randle said he responded by pinning Higgins up against the wall before the pair were eventually pulled apart.
The tussle resulted in Higgins being suspended for a year and docked so many points that his ranking fell to 120.
Mr Hanson, from Hansons Auctioneers, said the letter was expected to fetch between £1,500 and £2,000 when it is sold at the Mackworth Hotel in Derby on November 25.