Paul Hunter was admired the world over for his dashing looks, happy-go-lucky personality, impeccable sportsmanship and affinity with the fans.
The Beckham of the Baize was a welcome breath of fresh air for the sport.
It was his selfless attitude and willingness to put something back into snooker which inspired him, during his illness, to develop the idea of setting up the Paul Hunter Foundation with his wife Lindsey and his manager Brandon Parker.
This year's Betfred.com World Snooker Championship marked the five-year anniversary of Paul's last professional match.
Suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy as he battled cancer, Paul lost 10-5 to Neil Robertson. Within six months, his biggest battle was also lost as just days before his 28th birthday, he passed away.
It was a tragic loss for snooker. A player of outstanding quality, Paul won the Masters three times in a four year period, each with in a gripping finale as he beat Fergal O'Brien, Mark Williams and Ronnie O'Sullivan by 10-9 score lines at Wembley. He also won three ranking titles and got to the semi-finals at the Crucible in 2003.
The initial aims of the Foundation are to give disadvantaged, able bodied and disabled youngsters an opportunity to play snooker, specifically to develop and deliver snooker activities across the UK and Ireland. Where possible, this also integrates education and makes young people aware of the dangers of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and the misuse of drugs and alcohol.
- Posts: 60350
- Joined: 02 October 2009
- Location: North Wales
- Snooker Idol: Mark Selby
- Highest Break: 25
- Walk-On: the one and only