Aaron Hill picked up a snooker cue for the first time just four years ago.
That’s the guy that has just beaten Ronnie O’Sullivan, Kyren Wilson, Matthew Stevens and Andy Hicks in his maiden professional year on tour.
After one year of playing at just 14 years of age he was the Cork U19 champion and six months later he was a national champion.
A year and a half into his career as an amateur he was in an U16 World championship finalist in St Petersburg Russia, and twelve months later in Eilat, in Israel, he would become the first ever Cork player to win a European title.
Before Eilat he notched up Munster, Cork and more national titles and this year he has defended his U18 European title and won the European U21 title in Portugal another first for European snooker.
The mind boggles at what Aaron Hill can achieve as a player as he gets more experience and professional tournaments under his belt.
Hill spoke exclusively to the Echo when he was home recently and said it was good to be back amongst family after a whirlwind few weeks on tour.
“It is nice to be back home for a while after two great weeks in my professional career which literally only really started two weeks ago," Hill said.
"It’s nice to be home with the family and enjoy Mam’s breakfasts. It’s been like a dream really the support I have got from my family, Mam, Dad, my sisters Lisa Aisling and Lorna and my girlfriend Katelin and her parents has been unreal.
"It seems like only yesterday I went into the Crucible to start playing with my Dad and over the last few years I have done ok to get myself into this position and that didn’t happen all on its own.
"There have been lots of people helping me, but I owe a huge debt of thanks to Tomás Singleton who has been with me as my sponsor Singleton’s SuperValu since the very start.
"I am proud to wear his name on my waistcoat. When no one knew who I was he was there for me and his financial support has helped me to play in tournaments abroad that otherwide I may not have got to play in.
"He is a great friend to me and I felt I had to mention his name and business when I was interviewed on TV after beating Ronnie O'Sullivan. It was my way of thanking him.
"Also recently Finbarr Corkery and the Macau Sporting Club have come on board as a sponsor too and I am very grateful to him and what he is doing for me.
"Snooker and Billiards Ireland formerly known as RIBSA were there for me too, providing me with the chance to win National titles and represent the Republic of Ireland and the structures they have in place is the reason why there will be more Irish success coming through the ranks.
Recently, there was a golf fundraiser organised by Connie O’Sullivan and David Joyce at Lee Valley Golf Club and I really appreciate what they did for me.
"I am always going to forget someone, so I just want to thank everyone that helped me along the way and a special shout out to my Crucible team mates Greg Casey, Ryan Cronin, David Cassidy and Daniel O’Regan and all the players I played with for the Crucible.
"I will continue to practice hard and try the very best I can going forward in every event and with a bit of luck who knows what might happen?”
Hill returns to the Marshall Arena in Milton Keyes around the 10th of October for the English Open.
This will be Hill’s second straight ranking event and after picking up 6,000 ranking points following his great run in the BetVictor European Masters, he is hoping to pick up more points at this event.
The Cathedral Road resident will look to build on his excellent start to the season with a visit to the Dunstable Snooker Academy prior to the tournament.
Sponsor Tomás Singleton paid tribute to Aaron.
“Aaron is really one of our own. We grew up on the same street and played for the same snooker club so on a personal level I can really connect with him.
"Have no doubt about it we were buzzing last week in Singleton's SuperValu to see Aaron do so well and so was the whole country and it was special for us to be associated with such a talented player and a genuinely lovely young fella.
"We are delighted to sponsor Aaron he has a great family and friends around him and when we saw him beat Ronnie O’Sullivan it was a moment in Cork sport nobody will ever forget.
"I hope he goes all the way, we will support him in everything that we can.”
Hill, now self-isolating since his return from the United Kingdom will put in the hard hours of practice before his next tournament and is really excited and can’t wait to get back out there competing for valuable ranking points.
Another sponsor who has come on board is the Macau Sporting Club and Casino and its owner Finbarr Corkery is thrilled to see Hill doing so well.
“We are delighted that he is having such great success and it is great to see that he has come right through the ranks at the Crucible snooker club and that will inspire more people to take up the game.
"We are delighted to be associated with Aaron Hill he really is a terrific talent and everyone should get behind him and at the Crucible and at the Macau we are thrilled to be a sponsor of this great player,”