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Snooker star Paul Hunter dies at 27

Yorkshire snooker star Paul Hunter died of cancer last night, aged just 27. The Leeds player was diagnosed with dozens of neuro endocrine tumours of the lining of his stomach in March 2005.

He was taken into the Kirkwood Hospice in Huddersfield last Friday and died yesterday evening.

Despite chemotherapy Hunter continued to compete professionally but won only one match last season and fell from fifth to 34th in the rankings.

Hunter turned professional at 16 in 1995 and won his first major title, the 1998 Welsh Open at 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 the Wembley Masters.

He completed a hat-trick of Masters victories in 2004 when he came from 7-2 down to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-9.

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.