AARON HILL and Tomás Singleton both come from Cathedral Rd, the spine of the northside of Cork City and both have played snooker for the famous Crucible snooker club.
They share a passion for sport that is second to none, and also huge pride in being from the Rebel County.
Pride of community and all things Cork is a given with Singleton, who has been hugely successful in his business life with Singleton’s SuperValu in Hollyhill. We all predict huge success for Cork’s newest professional World Snooker Tour star Aaron Hill,but have no doubt both northsiders will never forget where they came from.
One thing is certain, and that is many clubs and players have benefited from the generous support and sponsorship from Singleton, and he is Hill’s main sponsor on this, the eve of his professional life.
Hill is grateful for his backing.
“Tomás has been fantastic to me from day one and it is something that myself and my family will never forget. It isn’t easy to play all the snooker events and travel all over Europe and further to compete at the highest amateur level.
“It costs a lot of money and if it wasn’t for Tomás we would have struggled. People are constantly saying that I will get the big sponsors interested in me now because I have turned pro, but to me Tomás is as big as it gets and his name will never come off my waistcoat.
“I can’t thank him enough and we appreciate his belief in me as a snooker player and as a neighbour.”
High praise indeed from Hill who is in great form ahead of the 2020 World snooker championship qualifiers making three 147 maximum breaks in practice over the past two weeks bringing his total number of maximums to ten.
Hill will now be part of the 2020 World Snooker Championship as qualifying is now set to run from July 21 to 28 at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
Hill will be part of a total of 128 players that will be involved in the qualification process with 16 emerging to join the top 16 players in the World rankings at the Crucible when the main stages begin on July 31.
The qualifying rounds will all be staged behind closed doors, as expected, with requisite testing procedures and social distancing guidelines in place to combat coronavirus.
Singleton has full confidence in Hill.
“Look how far Aaron has come is such a short space of time. We were all delighted to see him win the various tournaments around the country.
“Then last year I was thrilled for him when he became a European champion for the first time, but to go back to Portugal last February and defend his European title at U18 level and then go on to win the U21 European title too and become a professional player is mind-blowing.
“We are delighted to be associated with Aaron. He is a lovely young fella with incredible talent and hopefully a great life and future ahead of him in snooker and we will continue to support him and be his sponsor going forward. I must say that everyone up here on the northside and all over Cork city and county is talking about Aaron and how good he is and I wish him every success going forward in life, he is one of our own.”
Singleton is a member of the Crucible side along with Gorden Cooney and David Byrd that lifted the 1991 Orme Shield at a time when it was one of the most coveted prizes on the Cork snooker calendar and ironically, one of the only titles that Hill hasn’t won.
“I know Tomás won the Orme Shield for the Crucible, I haven’t won in that team tournament but I have won the B Orme Shield a few years ago,” said Hill.
“Look Tomás has played the game, he is a Crucible man too and that is nice to know because we have always been very proud to represent the Crucible Snooker Club.
“In regards to the World Championship qualifiers I won’t know who I am up against until about a week before.
“All I can do is keep practising hard and try to play my very best snooker and at the moment that is going well, but like every player at whatever level, there is nothing like good competitive snooker.
“I am sure that everyone is really looking forward to getting back on the table.”
This is definitely a great start to what will hopefully be a wonderful career for a Cork man in the top level of professional sport as Hill prepares for his new life and the fact that this all happened in the space of four years is quite remarkable.
“Everyone should now get behind Aaron and we are all looking forward to watching his progress in the game,” said Singleton.
“There is no doubt that Aaron will do something special at some stage in his career with the incredible talent he possesses and the way he conducts himself on and off the table — he is an example to any sports person.
“It is a tough life being a top-class professional sports star and only a few can achieve it, and we have no doubt he will be amongst the top Cork sports people in the years to come.”