Just found out about Paul Hunter Cancer. I am watching a tournment on Live TV (I wrote the news on the other post). One of the best snooker player in this planet. With only 27 years old.
Here goes the news from January 2006 taken from the Ofiicial Paul Hunter Site:
Preview – 2006 Masters
2006 Saga Insurance Masters
15th - 22nd Jan, 2006 - Wembley Conference Centre, London
While media talk ahead of the 2006 Saga Insurance Masters may have rightly focussed around the renewed affection of defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and his stated return to the fifteen red fold, those with a long standing love of snooker cannot fail to reflect on the fortunes of former three-times Masters champion Paul Hunter, who courageously makes his return for the first time to the scene of his most memorable professional achievements since being diagnosed with cancer ten months ago. The ensuing side effects during extended periods of chemotherapy treatment have left the 27 year-old Yorkshireman understandably short of match practice, but with the recent birth of his first child on Boxing Day, the likeable Leeds professional will gather all the inspiration he requires from daughter Evie Rose as he continues the battle to regain both his health and his form going into the 2006 Saga Insurance Masters…
Now relegated to second position on the provisional world rankings by the recent resurgent efforts of legendary Scot Stephen Hendry MBE, Chigwell based O’Sullivan will be keen to make a winning start to his title defence when he faces either Joe Perry or wildcard Ian McCulloch on Day 2 of competition at the Wembley Conference Centre in London. The “Rocket” took top honours twelve months ago with a stunning 10-3 demolition of Wishaw’s John Higgins, and although the current official World No.1 is without a major title to his name this season, he deservedly starts favourite to retain the game’s most prestigious invitation event.
With a rebuilding process very much on the agenda in the Hunter camp, the former champion features on the opening day when he takes on out of form Welshman Mark J. Williams in a re-run of their compelling 2002 encounter which saw the current World No.5 recover from 0-5 down to snatch an amazing deciding frame 10-9 victory. Having already demonstrated his will and determination to carry on competing under the most difficult of circumstances, a standing ovation from the Wembley Conference Centre is assured for Hunter who can be relied upon to give his all in the best of eleven frames Round 2 tie.
A winner of this coveted event on no less than six previous occasions, Stephen Hendry MBE, opens his latest campaign on Day 3 at the impressive London venue against fellow Scot Alan McManus and is expected to provide the most likely finalist from the bottom half of the draw. Undeniably back to something like his irresistible best of the 1990’s, Hendry is certain to carry the support of many amongst the gambling fraternity, while the biggest threat to his much fancied progression will probably come from another Scot in the form of World No.6 John Higgins, who, if he overcomes a partisan London crowd and the attentions of Jimmy “The Whirlwind” White MBE on Day 4, could well make a bold challenge for a place in the best of nineteen frame final despite the likelihood of a meeting with reigning World Champion Shaun Murphy at the last eight stage.
Other likely contenders for the 2006 Wembley crown include veteran Steve Davis OBE, young Glaswegian Stephen Maguire, and Welshman Matthew Stevens.
Although a beaten 2005 UK Championship finalist at the hands of rising Chinese teenage star Ding Junhui, veteran Davis did little wrong during his December campaign in York, and for the 48 year-old who tackles wildcard Stuart Bingham in Round 1, a repeat performance could well see the “Nugget” vying for further glory as the week of Wembley drama unfolds.
Very much at the other end of the age and experience scale, World No.3 Stephen Maguire is yet to replicate his impressive best this season, but with what appears an inviting initial tie against an out of touch Stephen Lee on Day 2, the former 2004 UK Champion should have every chance to gain a confidence boosting victory which in turn may prove the catalyst for greater things from the highly talented young potter.
Welshman Matthew Stevens won this event in 2000, and the Carmarthen based World No.4 has so far captured both invitation events on offer this season. His form in each of the opening two ranking events this term is in stark contrast however, and the Welshman will need to be very much on his guard if his to repel what is guaranteed to be the toughest of Day 3 opposition from diminutive Larkhall professional Graeme Dott.