Jimmy Whites Crack Addiction: A Concern for Sports Stars

When you think of drug and alcohol addiction, does your mind even consider world-class sports stars as being involved? Probably not. We just assume world-class sports stars know enough to keep dangerous chemicals out of their bodies. We assume that they know enough to realise that mind-altering substances affect one’s performance. Yet former snooker champion Jimmy White is proof that even sports personalities take drugs. This should be a cause for concern among amateur athletes looking to go professional.

White has decided to be open and honest about his crack cocaine addiction in his autobiography entitled Second Wind. The snooker player, once known as ‘Whirlwind’, amassed 23 title wins during his career; he also reached the World Championship final six times between 1984 in 1994. He lost all six times. According to White, his addiction cost him as many as 10 world titles.

In his autobiography, White says his introduction to crack came by way of fellow snooker player Kirk Stevens in the early 1980s. Yet crack was not White’s first drug. He had been using powdered cocaine prior to smoking crack with Stevens. Making things worse were addictions to alcohol and gambling.

White says that after the 1994 World Championship loss to Stephen Hendry, he spent the next 24 hours gambling. By the time he was done, he had spent his entire tournament earnings of £128,000. It is not surprising that he has nearly nothing left of what he earned during his long and productive snooker career.

In retrospect, White says he was by no means a hell raiser. He was the kind of addict who put on a brave face professionally but kept to himself privately. So successful was he that we are not finding out about his addictions until 20 years after the fact.

No Future in Drugs and Alcohol

We assume Jimmy White is telling his story as a means of helping others avoid the same mistakes he has made. If there is one thing we can learn from White, it is the fact that there is no future in drugs and alcohol. That is true of both the average man on the street and the world-class athlete. Drug and alcohol addiction rob their victims of money, relationships, careers, and so much more.

If you are an athlete, taking drugs to enhance your performance is both unwise and outside the boundaries of fair competition. If you are taking drugs recreationally, you could be well on your way to the same fate we now know Jimmy White suffered. Do you want to find yourself broke and alone 20 years from now?

If you are not an athlete, you may have other reasons for using drugs and alcohol. However, none of them is valid. Using drugs to keep up with the fast-paced world of business can only last so long before your business comes crumbling down. Using alcohol to cope with family circumstances only prolongs the misery without solving the problem. Using drugs or alcohol to loosen up in social situations will only lead to tolerance and eventual addiction.

Addiction Helper urges you to step back and look at your own alcohol and drug use honestly. You can put on a brave face for your friends, family, and employer. Nevertheless, you know inside that you are destroying yourself.

We help addicts and their families by offering free evaluations, sound advice, and treatment referrals throughout the UK. You can access our services by calling the 24-hour addiction recovery helpline we have set up. We hope you will call us today. Our counsellors are standing by to speak with you right now.


  1. Daily Mail
Who am I calling?

Calls will be answered by admissions at UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step

0800 024 1476calling