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Star Joe takes on challengers as snooker club fundraises in memory of 'popular' Craig

PUBLISHED: 12:04 09 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:04 09 December 2018

Professional player and world number 21

Professional player and world number 21 "The Gentleman" Joe Perry was at the tournament, taking on challengers. He played Mr Daniels in May 2017 and came along to show his support for the mental helath charity MIND. Picture: ALAN RANDALL

Archant

International snooker star Joe Perry has been in Felixstowe taking part in an event to raise thousands of pounds for a mental health charity in honour of a local player who took his own life.

Craig Daniels meeting Joe Perry in 2017. Perry played in Mr Daniels memorial tournament on November 25, 2018 Picture: GRAHAM HAYESCraig Daniels meeting Joe Perry in 2017. Perry played in Mr Daniels memorial tournament on November 25, 2018 Picture: GRAHAM HAYES

Craig Daniels was 28 when he died on July 4 – and his friends at Felixstowe Snooker Club decided to organise a tournament in his memory.

What began as an eight-man afternoon of snooker quickly snowballed into the 60-strong tournament, with players coming from clubs across Suffolk to raise money for Suffolk Mind.

The tournament opened with a speech from Mr Daniels’s mother, Wendy Wright, who thanked everyone who took the time to come along and encouraged the players to open up about their mental health.

Speaking afterwards, Mrs Wright said: “It was amazing, I had no idea Craig was so popular.

Paul Sparrow, left, beat Mark Hardy, right, to win the inaugural Craig Daniels Memorial Snooker Tournament at Felixstowe Snooker Club on November 25. Picture: ALAN RANDALLPaul Sparrow, left, beat Mark Hardy, right, to win the inaugural Craig Daniels Memorial Snooker Tournament at Felixstowe Snooker Club on November 25. Picture: ALAN RANDALL

“Everyone took the time to speak to me and had a story or such love to share about him, I can’t thank everyone enough for such an emotional day.

“If we can save anyone then the tragedy of my son’s death will be worth it. I just want to see Suffolk Mind on the map.”

Organiser Alan Randall said: “It was an incredible day and a great atmosphere – full of fun and emotion, a lot of laughs and nothing too serious.

“We wanted to raise the profile of men’s mental health and get people talking.

“We aimed to raise £2,000 – we’ve just hit £2,047 with more to count so we are over the moon,”

World number 21 snooker player Joe Perry took on challengers, gave out advice and presented the winner of an auction with a cue signed by all 2017 Masters competitors, raising £660 alone.

Mr Perry managed a break of 139 – but Mr Randall was more impressed with the time and effort he put into being part of the day and remembering Mr Daniels.

He added: “With Joe here, we made sure Craig was remembered in a positive way.

“People in that room were not afraid to speak about mental health and that has to be a positive to come from this.”

Mr Perry said: “I fully support the cause today. It was wonderful to see an event in aid of the charity and a fitting way to remember Craig.”

The competition was won by Paul Sparrow who picked up the Craig Daniels memorial trophy, beating Mark Hardy in the final.

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