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Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant tragically dies – details

The former contestant sadly died in hospital

Francesca Shillcock

Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Willie Thorne has died, his carer has confirmed. The sportsman, who appeared on the popular BBC ballroom competition alongside professional dancer Erin Boag, sadly passed in a hospital in Spain early Tuesday morning.

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Willie competed on Strictly in 2007

The 66-year-old, who tweeted back in March that he was suffering from leukaemia, was taken to hospital last week and placed in an induced coma after his blood pressure dropped "dangerously low" as a result of the disease, before sadly passing after his treatment.

Julie O'Neil, Willie's carer, wrote in a statement online that has been posted to a GoFundMe page: "I was with him all the way to his end and reading out messages to him from people. He passed away very peacefully and without pain listening to his children saying they love him that gives me some comfort in this difficult time."

"Over here in Spain everything happens very quickly so today, myself and his family will he making plans and will inform you accordingly." 

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Willie was famed as Snooker champ

The snooker champ appeared on series five of Strictly Come Dancing in 2007, however he and Erin were voted out in week three of the competition. He appeared alongside other celebs such as Gethin Jones, EastEnders star Matt Di Angelo and Alesha Dixon – who went on to win the show.

Erin took to Twitter to share her sadness at the news. The dancer, who left the BBC show in 2012, tweeted: "Extremely sad news to hear that Willie Thorne has passed away. I have truly wonderful memories of the time I spent with him. I feel honoured to have danced with this great man." Before sharing a video of their Waltz.

His former professional partner on Strictly Erin Boag tweeted her sadness at the news

Fellow Strictly alumni and professional dancer James Jordan also express his sadness upon hearing the news. The dancer, who was paired with Gabby Logan during series five, tweeted: "Just heard that @TheWillieThorne has passed away I had the pleasure of working with this man and spending a lot of time with him, He will be sadly missed by many and my thoughts go out to all of his family. Lost a good man. #RIPWillie"

Willie was famed for his professional career in Snooker and was considered one of best, having reached two World Championships and winning the 1985 Classic championships.

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