The trophy for the new Northern Ireland Open snooker event will be named after Alex Higgins in tribute to one of the country’s greatest ever sportsmen.
Two-time World Champion Higgins was revered in his native Northern Ireland, and thousands lined the streets of Belfast for his funeral, after he passed away in 2010.
The new Northern Ireland Open is part of the new Home Nations series of events and will take place from November 14 to 20 at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast. Along with the £70,000 first prize, the players will be fighting it out to be the first ever name on the Alex Higgins Trophy.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “Alex was an extraordinary talent and we are delighted to remember him in this way. It is a fitting tribute to one of snooker’s all-time greats.”
Yesterday World Snooker announced that the English Open trophy would be named after Steve Davis.
The Northern Ireland Open, televised by Eurosport, will feature 128 players including top stars like Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Mark Selby. Tickets are still available but are selling fast – for details visit http://www.worldsnooker.com/tickets
Any player winning all four Home Nations events will earn a massive £1 million bonus.
Home Nations events
English Open – Event City, Manchester, October 10-16
Northern Ireland Open – Titanic Exhibition Centre Belfast, November 14-20
Scottish Open – Emirates Arena, December 12-18
Welsh Open – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, February 13-19