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.


Anonymous said...

Paul was the first player to win the current Masters trophy and now the new board is in place(and are moving forward) it should only be right and fitting to name the trophy 'The Paul Hunter Trophy'.


Sadly missed


Anonymous said...

Is there a case for a statue outside Wembley Arena?

ddrIII said...

I also remember when I saw that shock news. I was back to my office in the morning and clicked to GSC website, suddenly found a grey photo of Paul Hunter. I still not believe, and clicked to sporting-life and WSA website at once. Very sad at that time.

Anonymous said...

I think of Paul often and I still miss him. Especially seeing Matthew Stevens on tv reminds me of his friend. He certainly needs to be remembered and honored now and in the future.

(I also was reminded of Paul this week when someone recalled a certain someone once trying to stop Paul's ranking position from being frozen. That was horrible.)

jamie brannon said...

I had just started out at university, when I heard the news. I was sitting at a computer and it is one of the few famous person death's that had a profound effect on me.

He showed great humility in his tough battle with cancer, was a fast, fluent and stylish breakbuilder, who genuinely had the capability of becoming a World Champion.

Anonymous said...


Yes the bracketed part of your post was an extremely distasteful matter at the time.
I hope the player who was against this initiative is suitably ashamed.

snookerfan 4711 said...

I remember too, how I get to know that Paul died: I was riding the tube on my way home from work and we have this little TV's in the tube, showing the latest news, advertisement and stuff that happens in my home town. And there it was, along with a picture of Paul. It hit me like a hammer, for a moment I could hardly breathe! I remebered Rolf Kalb saying that Paul was better during the last Torunament. So I didn't see it comming, I had hopes. I couldn't hold my tears back and started criyng in the tube, in front of strangers, but didn't care. Paul was such a loss! For me, for snooker, for the World-
He was the one that made me watch Snooker. In the beginning I tuned im to see him, not to see Snooker. He had this irresistable Prince chamring smylie and was - if he was anything alike the reports that was written about him - a very nice person. And not one tournament goes by without me wondering if Paul would have won it? I miss him, because he introduced me to Snooker and I'll be always thankfull for that. Wonderful Paul Hunter. If there is a god and a afterlife I'll watch him play again and I'll enjoy it :-)

Anonymous said...

Lovely photo Dave. His smile will never be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

If it doesn't become 'The Paul Hunter Trophy'.

If they stop playing 'The Paul Hunter Classic'.

If The Paul Hunter Foundation folds.

And even if they don't erect a statue at Wembley.

I won't forget Paul Hunter, and many others won't either.

That 'Predator'? He was a proper good guy.


Anonymous said...

I very regret the loss of Paul. I liked watching him in TV, but alas never had the opportunity to meet him live. The announcement of his early death is still the first page of my snooker file.
RIP Paul

Betty Logan said...

God, he was a good looking man wasn't he!

Anonymous said...

11 21 and 3 40 . lets name him it was shaun (christian)murphy. he was the only player out of the 64 asked to vote on it that said no . as a fellow pro i find him disgusting on this. as for jamie brannon im sure he will come to his defence.i think he must have a photo of shaun by his bed which he kisses every night. and i did approach murphy face to face on this brannon ,get the facts kid before typing.

jamie brannon said...

I think Murphy was wrong to say he shouldn't have his ranking frozen, but that doesn't mean he is tarnished as a person forever, I am actually not a huge Murphy fan, I was just saying that there was nothing hippocritical at him being upset when Paul passed away.

Anonymous said...

I still remember the day I found out he died, closest I have come to crying as an adult. Don't see why they needed to end the Scholarship just because the Academy is being used more regularly, they could easily use the South West Academy.
Paul Hunter, still very much missed.


Anonymous said...

313 course it was hipocritical.also murphy is the only player who would claim a frame for his opponent not having his chalk.(maguire) .stop looking at this guy through rose tinted glasses and see him for what he really is,a fake .he makes ronnie look genuine.

Anonymous said...

You want a lasting tribute to Paul Hunter that will live as long as the professional game?

The Paul Hunter World Rankings.


Anonymous said...

tb, with all respect, whaat happens in 30 years when something similar happens?

a tournament in his memory, in england as the country he was from, is fitting in my book


Anonymous said...


I fail to understand why a "Something similar", happening in the future, would be an argument against almost anything.


Anonymous said...

cos then somebody from that era would want to rename it after the most recent......as PH wont be as fresh as the next player to....

Betty Logan said...

The problem with naming trophies is that it could be an issue for sponsors down the line - I know this sounds awful but some sponsors might have issues with an event that is perceived as a memorial.

They have the Paul Hunter English Open which is a mid profile pro-am, and maybe they could have given the winner a "Paul Hunter wildcard" into the Masters and done away with the Masters Qualifier. That way they could have linked the tournament played in his honour to the event he's most associated with.

Anonymous said...

good suggestion betsy

Anonymous said...

can anyone tell me where paul is buried?please