They play a sport not renowned for its emotion but there was no disguising the anguish on the faces of some of snooker's biggest names yesterday as they laid to rest one of their own.
Household names including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Steve Davis and Jimmy White joined relatives, friends and hundreds of members of the public for the funeral of Paul Hunter.
They were joined by the likes of John Virgo, Willie Thorne, Peter Ebdon, Ken Doherty and Shaun Murphy as they remembered the 27-year-old who lost his battle with cancer last week.
Speaking outside the church, former world champion Dennis Taylor said: "Paul just stood out a mile. He was just so good for our game.
"It’s just a dreadfully sad loss. He would have certainly been a world champion, that’s for sure."
Taylor recalled a particular final clash between Hunter and Ronnie O’Sullivan, saying the two of them walked to the table like "two pop stars".
Hunter, who was known as the "Beckham of the baize", left his wife Lindsey and ten-month-old daughter Evie.
Mrs Hunter watched as the coffin was carried into the church by six pallbearers wearing the snooker player’s "uniform" of a dark suit with a black bow tie.
One of the pallbearers was Hunter’s friend and fellow professional, Matthew Stevens.
Mrs Hunter, aged 31, followed the coffin into the church as an undertaker carried sleeping baby Evie in a child’s black car seat.
The two-car cortege arrived at the back of the parish church and Mrs Hunter spent a few moments waiting and chatting with church officials before the coffin was taken out of the hearse.
She looked composed and even managed the occasional smile as she talked to those waiting with her. The hearse was covered in floral tributes.
Down one side, the words "My daddy" were spelt out in pink roses and next to a photograph of Hunter was a card which simply said "From your princess".
Other flowers on the car spelt out the words "Legend", "Son" and "Bro".
Hunter’s father, Alan, gave the first of four personal tributes, saying the massive turnout "would make our son Paul so proud" and showed "just how much our beautiful son was loved".
Fighting back tears, he said his son told him simply that he had been "dealt a bad card".
He said: "We will miss you so much, we are all so proud of you, Paul."
Mrs Hunter appeared composed as she read a poem, A Tribute To A Champion - Paul Hunter, by Don Clarke.
She read: "There’s one bright star in the heavens tonight and oh how it shines for all to see, for this star is special, it has a smile and laughter for now it is free."
The poem continued: "He played the game that he loved, he played with passion so rare, and all of the crowd that saw him were privileged because they were there.
"So if you stood at the great gates of heaven with one look that you would understand, for amongst a great host of angels would be one with a cue in his hand."