I still vividly remember learning of the death of Paul Hunter.
It was a Monday night. I was at home. After the call came I phoned the Press Association. Three minutes later it was on Sky News.
After an hour or so of writing for various people I turned off my computer and the sheer awfulness of it hit me.
To lose any 27 year-old to cancer is shocking but to lose such a nice young man who loved life so much is doubly heartbreaking.
There was no malice in Paul. He was just a laidback lad with a great talent for snooker, a sport he helped to keep in the headlines through his three Masters victories and general popularity.
His name should be kept alive. He died four years ago tomorrow and, through the efforts of his various friends, he is still associated with snooker tournaments being played after his death.
One such event is the Paul Hunter English Open, which begins at the Northern Snooker Centre in Paul’s native Leeds on Monday.
There is also the annual Paul Hunter Classic in Germany, now part of the European Players Tour Championship, and the Paul Hunter Foundation, which provides opportunities for young people who otherwise have few.
The WPBSA scholarship in his name has been scrapped after three years, largely because the World Snooker Academy, where the scholars spent a year, is no longer a practice base.
The governing body should still commemorate his life and career in some way.
Indeed, the game’s wider heritage should be guarded with care because although it is right to look to the future, snooker should not forget the names of the past who have helped make it the television attraction it is today.