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Page last updated at 08:45 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

UK Championship gets Pukka deal

Pukka Pies managing director Tim Storer with Leicester pro Mark Selby
Mark Selby (right) helps launch the new sponsorship deal

This year's UK Championship will be sponsored by Leicester-based food manufacturer Pukka Pies.

The deal to back snooker's second biggest ranking event is initially for this year's tournament, which gets under way on 5 December in Telford.

"It's a famous and successful British brand which makes it an apt sponsor for one of our biggest tournaments," said World Snooker boss Sir Rodney Walker.

Pukka Pies replace electronics firm Maplin UK as the title sponsor.

Snooker has faced a struggle to find sponsors since tobacco sponsorship was banned by the government in 2005.

There are two fully funded and sponsored ranking events in China but the Welsh Open, the Masters and the Grand Prix are all without backers.


Two of snooker's top two stars fully welcomed the new investment in the tournament.

Five-time UK Champion Stephen Hendry said: "Snooker gets fantastic television exposure and viewing figures so we have a lot to offer sponsors. I'm delighted that we've got Pukka Pies on board for the UK Championship."

While the world number seven Mark Selby added: "It's great news for snooker to have another big sponsor on board.

"The UK Championship is one of our best tournaments - all of the players are desperate to win it and it's up to us to make sure it's a brilliant event. As a Leicester man I'm also delighted to have a local company involved in snooker."

Last year's tournament was won by Shaun Murphy, who beat Marco Fu 10-9 in a dramatic final televised on the BBC.

See Murphy fluke pink to win UK crown

Archive - Murphy flukes pink to seal 2008 UK crown (UK users only)

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see also
Telford retains UK Championship
22 Jun 09 |  Snooker
Murphy defeats Fu to clinch title
22 Dec 08 |  Snooker
Huge financial blow hits snooker
06 Aug 08 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker

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