Paul Alan Hunter, who lost his battle with cancer, October 9, 2006 was a talented British professional snooker player. With her blonde hair and glamorous image he was known as the Beckham of snooker tables.
Paul Hunter was born October 14, 1978 in Leeds, Yorkshire. He went to school at Cardinal Heenan High School in Leeds.
Encouraged by his family took Paul since he was seven years old, many hours on the pool table, and he was on the twelfth an outstanding junior talent. Accompanied by experienced professionals Jimmy Michie and former world champion Joe Johnson he did in July 1995, at the age of sixteen his debut in the professional rankings.
Four months later he defeated in the first round of the British championship, the then number six in the world Alan McManus. But it did not stop there: when he reached the semi-finals of the Welsh Open Regal in 1996, he became the youngest player ever to reach a place in the last four of a ranking tournament.
At the British Championships in 1996, he reached the quarterfinals of Willie Thorne, James Wattana and Terry Murphy. Quarter-final he lost to the eventual winner of the tournament, Stephen Hendry. Hunter’s efforts did not go unnoticed and in 1997 he received a wild card for the Benson & Hedges Masters, where he was in the first round from depreciating against Mark Williams.
In 1998 he got his first victory in a ranking tournament in Regal Welsh Open, making him the second youngest winner of a professional tournament. Success then remained no difference: the same year he reached the semifinals of the Liverpool Victoria UK Championship and became the Snooker Writers Association Young Player of the Year.
In 1999, he appeared for the first time at the Crucible, where he lost in the first round back in Stephen Hendry, who eventually won the tournament. That season put him in twelfth place in the world of snooker players in the 1999/2000. With this ranking, he was for the first time in his career, automatically qualified for ranking tournaments.
A year later, he released two places in the rankings, but Paul did not come to his heart and reached at least the quarterfinals next season whopping six tournaments.
Times Benson & Hedges Masters in 2001, Hunter did manage to beat Stephen Hendry in the semi-finals, after he defeated in the finals Fergal O’Brien, and so keep the Masters title. A year later, he managed to retain the title, because he became the third player in history to retain the Masters Trophy know. During these two dramatic finale, he was closely followed by the national media that bombarded him as pin-upboy snooker.
Two weeks earlier, already had his Welsh Open Regal title and won another two months later he was again defeated in the first round at the Crucible.
But 23-year-old Hunter had to go, and 2002 was a very successful year: he won a third ranking title at the British Open. In 2003, however, he failed to retain the Masters title and he was defeated in the semifinals by the eventual winner, Mark Williams. Small detail: a year before Mark Williams was second in the Masters.
In 2003 Paul Hunter ran in the biggest tournament of them all, the Embassy World Championship, where he reached the semifinals after reports of Ali Carter, Matthew Stevens and Peter Ebdon. However, it was Ken Doherty, who ensured that he did not make his first final at the Crucible. This achieves Hunter has reached a place in the top eight in the rankings for the 2003/2004 and 2002/2003 season suddenly became his most successful season in which he won a title and four semi-finals and three quarter-finals. Throughout the world, he was closely followed by the press; His appearances in TV programs, radio shows and in fashion magazines increased his popularity. Soon he was compared to David Beckham because of his appearance.
His next season was very successful, with the largest achievement to reach the Masters title again. Previously, he played with Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-9 and five centuries home.
Paul Hunter was also known for his athleticism to their colleagues. So in 2004 he was his childhood idol Jimmy White in the Daily Record Players Championship is not like the title. After the match, he showed a genuine humility and affection for his opponent, he showed all his opponents both on and off the pool table and made him so beloved.
His season was his best friend, Matthew Stevens, ended early in the second round of the Embassy World Championship in 2004. he took his loss Stevens sorry and hugged his good friend after the game.
his next season had a good start: he reached the semifinals of the Totesport Grand Prix in 2004 but lost to Ronnie O’Sullivan. In 2005, he was still in the last eight of the China Open but was unfortunately the last time he could climb as high ranking tournament.
During the 2004/2005 season he was fourth in the ranking list, the next season he dropped a place.
In recent years,
During the summer of 2004 Paul married in Jamaica with Lyndsey Fell. On Boxing Day 2005, she bore him a daughter whom they named Evie Rose.
On April 6, 2005 Hunter said that he suffered from a rare form of stomach cancer. As in his snooker game, he did everything to win the fight, he underwent chemotherapy, which, however, had only limited success, and pulled him out of shape. He was unable to win more races and he disappeared from the top 32 of the rankings.
On 27 July 2006 WPBSA confirmed that the organization would change its rules so Hunter could sit 2006-2007 season without loss of rank. Hunter wanted the full year is devoted to the treatment of cancer.
But five days before her 28th birthday, Paul lost the battle, he died on 9 October 2006. Some of the biggest names in snooker testified after his death his respects snooker table Beckham.