This weekend is the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany so let’s all take a moment to look back at the short but incredible life of a true Snooker great.
Paul won three ranking events which would usually be the highlight of any players career not Hunters though as on top of that he will be best remembered for his courageous three Masters victories.
His first Masters win came in 2001, he trailed Fergal O’Brien 6-2 at the interval but came out a new man in the evening session and won 10-9.
Defending the title one year later he reached the final to face the in form Mark Williams. It was the Welshman that looked certain to take the title winning the opening five frames, what we learned and loved about Hunter was his attitude and unbelievably he turned on the exciting heavy scoring snooker to win back to back Masters in the decider.
His proudest Masters win was still to come when in 2004 he faced local favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan. Both men in the height of their career produced one of the best Masters finals ever and yet again we saw the bottle and class of the Beckham of the baize as he won his 3rd Masters championship with a 10-9 victory.
The standard of Snooker has never been better than it is now but it still has a huge void as we were robbed of Paul’s genius in 2006 when he lost his battle to Cancer.
He left behind a legacy that will always be remembered and even as tragic as his death was people still fondly smile when they think about the great man, he will always be missed.
By Emma Maflin
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