Snooker legend ALEX HIGGINS died from malnutrition after refusing to eat, according to pal and fellow hellraiser Jimmy White.
The former world champion was found dead at his home in his native Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday (24Jul10). He was 61.
Higgins had appeared in public earlier this year (10) looking a shadow of his former self following a lengthy battle with throat cancer.
But fellow snooker star White insists the heavy smoker and boozer did not die because of the illness but because he wouldn't eat and kept himself alive by drinking Guinness.
He explains to Britain's Daily Mirror, "He died from lack of nourishment. We've lost a genius and one of the greatest champions of the game."
White claims Higgins weighed a dangerously low 84 pounds (38.1 kilograms) after losing his appetite and teeth through cancer treatment.
He adds, "In the end it wasn't cancer that killed him, the cancer had gone, he died from lack of nourishment, how sickening is that?
"Unfortunately Alex was his own man and he just wouldn't listen to anyone. He was a very picky eater, one sandwich a day, he never ate much.
"His sister Jean would bring food round, make a roast dinner and put it in a blender, but it was hard work to get him to eat anything. Higgins was in a catch 22, he didn't like food very much and couldn't eat because he had no teeth."