Alex Higgins’ daughter Lauren paid an emotional final tribute to her dead father at an emotional funeral in Belfast.

Jimmy White, Ken Doherty and a host of other stars of sport and screen joined hundreds of fans for the farewell to the snooker great.

Higgins (61) was found in bed at his flat in Belfast's Sandy Row area last month. It’s believed that he had been dead for several days after having battled a long and lonely battle with throat cancer.

Higgins took up snooker aged just 11 and won his first All-Ireland and Northern Ireland amateur championships in 1968, before becoming the youngest World Championship winner at his first attempt, beating Englishman John Spencer in 1972 aged just 22. He went on to claim the title one more time in 1982.

Higgins was well known for his alcoholism and violent behaviour. He was banned from five tournaments and fined £12,000 in 1986 for headbutting an opponent. Despite this, though, he retained a loyal following

The last few years of his life were spent in a long and painful fight against throat cancer. He lived alone and spent much of his time wallowing in a local bar and bumming drinks of tourists.

Despite his fractious relationship with the sport’s referees, and indeed often other players, he continued to compete regularly and played in the Irish Professional Championship in 2005 and 2006.

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