A Tribute to Paul Hunter

ael

Diabloii.Net Member
A Tribute to Paul Hunter

This news struck me hard. Those who practice snooker on a regular basis and watched snooker along the years, will find the following editorial quite disturbing. The original can be found here. For those who dont want or dont have time to read it all, I posted a shortened version here.

www.worldsnooker.com said:
The three-times Masters champion from Leeds passed away at 8.20pm at Kirkwood Hospice in Huddersfield, five days before his 28th birthday.

The death of the popular Yorkshireman will bring immense sadness to the snooker world and to British sport.

Hunter was diagnosed 18 months ago with neuro-endocrine tumours, a rare form of cancer which causes slow-growing tumours in the lining of the body to release excessive amounts of hormones.

He underwent several gruelling courses of chemotherapy in hope of beating the disease, but to no avail. His condition deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks and he was taken into the hospice on Saturday.

...

World Snooker chairman Sir Rodney Walker said: "I’m sure that everyone who met Paul, as well as his millions of fans and the sporting public as a whole, will join me in sending most sincere sympthies to Lindsey, Paul’s parents, his family and friends.

"Paul was a man who had everything going for him - an oustanding talent, good looks, fame, riches, charm and a beautiful wife. This shows us just how quickly life can change.

...

He turned professional in 1995 and made an immediate impact, beating Stephen Hendry on his way to the semi-finals of the Welsh Open at the age of just 17.

Two years later he returned to the same event at the Newport Centre to win his first ranking tournament, beating John Higgins in the final to establish himself as a major contender in the sport.

That victory helped Hunter break into the top 16 and he continued to climb the rankings to reach a career peak of No 4 in 2004/05. He won the Welsh Open again in 2002 and the British Open later that year.

But Hunter’s most significant success came in snooker’s most prestigious invitation event - the Masters.

In 2001, he reached the final at Wembley for the first time and came from 7-3 down to beat Fergal O’Brien 10-9. His comeback was aided by a flurry of rapid high scoring as he rattled in four century breaks in six frames.

His media profile developed swiftly and he became known as the ’Beckham of the Baize’ for his glamorous image.

Hunter won the Masters twice more in the next three years, remarkably both times by a 10-9 scoreline after recovering an apparently insurmountable deficit.

In 2002 he came from 5-0 down to beat Mark Williams and in 2004 over 5million viewers on BBC Sport saw him beat Ronnie O’Sullivan having trailed 7-2.

When the diagnosis of cancer was announced in April last year, Hunter promised his fans that he would be as "tenacious and positive" in his fight against the disease as he had been throughout his snooker career.

Despite suffering from considerable pain as well as numbness in his limbs, he bravely competed on the circuit throughout the 2005/06 season. He subsequently announced his wish to take a break from snooker in order to receive more treatment.

...

Backstage at snooker events, Hunter’s charisma, cheerful persona and laid-back approach to life made him universally popular among players, officials, media and fans. He will be sadly missed by all.

His unselfish nature and appreciation of his support is underlined by an incident at the 2005 China Open in Beijing.

Following his first-round match, Hunter was requested for a press conference. When he did not appear within 20 minutes, his whereabouts was sought.

Hunter was soon discovered in the arena, patiently signing autographs and having photos taken with Chinese fans, and he remained there until every request was met. This was just a few days after he had been diagnosed with the disease which was to bring his end.

PAUL HUNTER 1978-2006 October 9.
I was a big fan of paul. I started practicing snooker in `04, back when I was only 13 years old. I watched every tournament on TV, as there wasnt any hope for me to even consider going to Britain just for a snooker match. Slowly, Paul became my idol. I watched him play, and basicaly I have learned everything I know now from him. I watched the great Masters final with Ronnie, when Paul made an amazing comeback from 7-2, then 8-4, ending up winning to 9-8. I remember sitting in the sofa in the front of our TV with my guts the size of a ping pong ball, being afraid even to take a small breath. The match ended around one a clock in the night, and I remember having school the next day. But no, I did not care... Watching him play and read about what he did in his life made me understand that he was somebody special, not just special in the way the media made him look like, but special as a person.

I dont know if there are fellow snooker forumsers here, but if there are, I think this worths mentioning.

I would just like to express my condoleances to Pauls wife Lindsey and daugther Rose. Rest in peace Paul.

~Ael.
 
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