Hunter loses battle with cancer
Turned pro: 1998
Major titles: Welsh Open ('98, '02), Masters ('01, '02, '04), British Open ('02)
Family: Wife Lindsey, daughter Evie Rose
Paul Hunter has died at the age of 27 after a battle with cancer.
The Leeds player was taken into the Kirkwood Hospice in Huddersfield last Friday and died on Monday evening.
The three-time Masters champion was diagnosed with dozens of neuro endocrine tumours on the lining of his stomach in March 2005.
Hunter would have been 28 on Saturday. He leaves a wife, Lindsey, and a daughter, Evie Rose, who was born on Boxing Day of last year.
Hunter turned professional at the age of 16 in 1995 and won his first major title, the 1998 Welsh Open, at the age of 19.
He also won the Welsh title in 2002 and picked up the British Open trophy the same year.
But he will be best remembered for his exploits at Wembley.
Hunter recovered from 7-3 down to beat Fergal O'Brien 10-9 in the 2001 final after finding inspiration with wife Lindsey during the midway interval.
The happy-go-lucky Hunter won eight of 11 frames in the evening session and what he jokingly called his 'plan B' became the stuff of legend.
He also fought back from 5-0 down to beat Mark Williams 10-9 in the final a year later.
And he completed a hat-trick of Masters victories in 2004 when he came from 7-2 down to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-9.
Tagged the 'Beckham of the baize', a splash of wedding photos in Hello magazine confirmed Hunter as a sportsman who transcended his chosen pursuit to achieve celebrity status.
He should have reached the 2003 World Championship final, where he led Ken Doherty 15-9 in the semi-finals before the Irishman stormed back to win 17-16. Despite chemotherapy treatment, Hunter continued to compete professionally but won only one match last season and fell from fifth to 34th in the rankings
:awww: I will miss you Paul