PAUL Hunter Day is always a significant one within the snooker community for any that knew, played against, watched, interviewed or just generally spent any time with him.

The Leeds professional, who died at the tragically young age of 27 from cancer almost eight years ago, was not just an excellent player with major titles to his name and who might well have gone on to win the World Championship.

He attracted a new audience to snooker, managing to pull off the neat trick of combining an A-list celebrity profile with an easy charm and humble outlook.

The work done by the Paul Hunter Foundation, not least through the efforts of Chris Lovell, keeps his name alive by affording disadvantaged youngsters the opportunity to play snooker.

And on Sunday morning 50 children were invited to take part in a series of games and challenges at the Cue Zone facility in Sheffield’s Winter Gardens with legend and six-time world champion Steve Davis.

They were then escorted down to the Crucible to see play in the Dominic Dale v Michael Wasley, and Judd Trump v Ryan Day matches.

Members of Hunter’s family were in attendance, including father Alan – and there was a moving and rousing minute’s applause before play in the afternoon session. Only it didn’t last a minute - carrying on for at least two minutes, and ending only for the BBC to come on air.

There are many ways people remember Paul Hunter. It might be his three famous Masters triumphs at Wembley, or other ranking title successes. It might be the smile on his face after losing to Jimmy White in the Players Championship in 2004, so happy was he for the Whirlwind.

It might be the ‘Beckham of the Baize’ tag, or the ‘hair-band’ Masters final against Ronnie O’Sullivan. It might just be his cheery persona and popularity with players and officials.

Or in this correspondent’s case it might just be the fact that he was the first player I ever interviewed, and he rendered a potentially daunting experience very easy.

Paul Hunter remains a much-missed figure in snooker by all who came into contact with him. And it is entirely appropriate that a very successful and well-supported event in Furth, Germany – a new frontier he helped to develop - is named in his honour.