I thought you'd be interested in what people have been saying about Paul:

“I’m absolutely devastated by the news. He’s got a young family and he had a fantastic future in front of him.

“It’s everyone’s worst nightmare and puts everything into perspective.

“On the circuit, no-one had a bad word to say about Paul. He was like Jimmy White in that respect. He loved snooker, he loved life and he’ll be sadly missed by everyone.

“Paul was just a really nice guy and a great player. When he first emerged on the scene, he had the ability you always thought would eventually result in him becoming a world champion.

“Sadly he never got the chance to fulfil that goal. But his record, especially in the Masters at Wembley, spoke for itself.

“Before he was taken ill, Paul was in the top four in the world and maybe even had his best days to come.

“Every player on the circuit was pulling for Paul to come through because he was just a genuinely nice guy who never fell out with anyone. He just wanted to play the game.

“My thoughts are with his wife, daughter and family on what is a sad day and one I've never experienced during my time in the game.”

“It’s so, so sad. I’m totally gutted. It’s beyond human comprehension. I can’t get my head around it.“He was a tiger on the snooker table, but off it you couldn’t have met a nicer fellow.

“He was a bit of a Jack the lad but he was never nasty to anybody, arrogant or rude like these pop stars and some sports people.

“He was a really, really nice kid. He had a lovely family. You couldn’t intimidate him. Nothing could put him off. As soon as he got beaten, or he won, he was back to Paul Hunter and that's a very hard quality to have.

“I can’t tell you how special he was. He was a credit to life. He will be in my heart for the rest of my life. It’s a very, very sad day for Snooker and sport in general.”

“The times I spent with Paul, we always had a good laugh. He was just a lovely man. He’ll be sorely missed by everyone.”

“He was fantastic. The Masters is a massive tournament and he won it three times. I think it was just a matter of when he won the world title, not if.”

“It’s a great loss to the sport but more importantly than that it's a great loss to his family.

“Paul played the game with a smile on his face. He was a bright and bubbly character and I never heard him complain. He was always such a happy person. We’re all going to miss him.”

“He was one of the nicest young men you could meet. He was totally devoted to his family and my heart goes out to them

“He was a terrific professional and one of the main characters on the circuit. He’ll be missed by everybody.”

“I met Paul for the first time on the junior circuit. In fact, he won the first ever junior tournament I played in, which was in Leicester," he said.

“He began playing before me, so he had established himself as the best. Paul had a reason to be cocky and arrogant but he was never like that. He was just a normal lad which makes this all the more difficult.

“I’ve lost a friend. He was such a great lad, he had everything. When he was diagnosed with cancer it was a massive shock.

“He was a player like he was a person. He was honest, down-to-earth and a fighter. Some of his performances in matches, when he came back from deficits, showed that. I just can’t believe he’s gone.”

“I’m devastated for his family. It’s a massive shock.

“His talent was frightening. We didn’t get to see it all. I’ve never seen anyone from the age of nine, when I first met him, who was that good at that age. He blew me away when I first saw him.

“He’ll be missed by everybody. He wasn’t big headed at all. He was just a normal lad.”

“Deep down I think we all thought he was going to beat the disease. He was one of the best-looking snooker players we ever had and had a heart like a lion.

“He lit up the stage when he played, was a very flamboyant player and there will be a big hole in everybody’s hearts for the next year or so.”

“Paul was a man who had everything going for him - an outstanding talent, good looks, fame, riches, charm and a beautiful wife.

“This shows us just how quickly life can change. It’s a bitter blow for snooker, but most importantly for his family, and our thoughts are with them.”

DAVID MANNING, Communications Manager, Travis Perkins
“I had the pleasure of working with Paul when we donated the UK Championship table to York RI Snooker Club after the event in 2004.

“He came with his wife Lindsey that day and it struck me just how approachable he was with everyone. He played a few games with the club’s top players... naturally he played them off the baize, but he did let them pot at least a couple of balls to save their complete embarrassment. A true gent, a great talent, sadly missed.”

MADELEINE HEGARTY, former teacher
“He came back nine years in a row. He always made time for us. He was never the celebrity, he was always the ex-pupil.

"It took a long time for him to start treating me as a friend rather than as his ex-teacher. Then a few years ago he gave me a big hug. He was just a lovely lad, a great example to the children.

“The children are all coming in at the moment saying 'Miss, did you see the news?' One little boy said to me 'I never thought he would die. I thought he would get better.'”

ANDY GEACH, the NET Patient Foundation
“Paul was an inspiration to us. We met him and his manager last year at the Pot Black tournament at the RAC club. He was adamant in wanting to help and to get things set up.

“He provided funds to build the website. Primarily it was his £14,000 which built the website and he was behind getting the charity set up.

“It was a great shame he could not be at the charity night. We did not realise it was going to take him so quickly. What he had was rare. What was rarer was that it was so aggressive.

“He was a great guy. He was there for us whenever we needed a celebrity figure to push us forward. He and his wife Lindsey were always there, ready to help. We will miss him greatly.”

KEVIN SINFIELD, Leeds Rhinos rugby league captain
“Paul was an iconic sporting figure for the city of Leeds across the world through his achievements in his sport.

“He achieved so much despite only being 27 and I am sure he would have gone on to be a true great in Snooker.

“It is a tragic loss of life and our thoughts are with his family at this time.”

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