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Northern Snooker Centre Celebrates 40 Years

The Northern Snooker Centre on Kirkstall Road in Leeds is celebrating 40 years in business with the renaming of its snooker arena as The Paul Hunter Matchroom in memory of the three time Masters champion.

Local hero Hunter passed away in 2006 at the age of 27 after losing his battle with cancer. The Paul Hunter Foundation (PHF), set up to help give youngsters of all abilities an opportunity to play snooker, is donating a Star Match table, used for the Gdynia Open European Tour event, for the arena as part of a wish to keep Paul’s legacy alive.

Six time World Snooker Champion Steve Davis, who is a trustee of the PHF, will be opening the arena on Saturday 15th February by unveiling a plaque, followed by a snooker exhibition on the new table. Davis will play the winners of a special competition held by the Northern Snooker Centre over the past few weeks, and will perform trick shots.

Since opening in 1974, the Northern Snooker Centre has hosted many leading players such as the legendary Joe Davis, Ray Reardon, Alex Higgins, Jimmy White, Tony Knowles, Dennis Taylor, Cliff Thorburn, and Joe Johnson followed more recently by Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O’Sullivan, the late Paul Hunter and Neil Robertson to name but a few.

The Northern Snooker Centre has flourished over the last few years while other clubs have closed in the area. The ‘Northern’ has managed to survive by providing customers with a quality experience at reasonable prices, coupled with the sponsoring and hosting of Leeds, Yorkshire, English and World Events. This year the World Ladies Snooker Championship, the Home Internationals, World Billiards, British University Championship and SnookerBacker Classic are all being held at the club. Players from all over the country and indeed the world will attend (18 different countries in 2013).

Still in the ownership of the Williamson family and managed by Chris Williamson, the club is proud to be an established part of the Leeds community and the wider world of snooker, billiards and pool. With some customers of 40 years standing and new customers from 7 years to 70 plus, the club caters for all. The younger demographic, including the student contingent, are attracted to the 8 ball and 9 ball pool facilities on the upper floor but there are always budding snooker players coming through the Junior Coaching.

Leeds snooker players Ian Williamson, once ranked at 32, and Peter Lines, with a highest ranking to date of 42, provide coaching at the ‘Northern’ for all ages.