Sheffield’s Brendan Moore will referee the final of the Betfred World Championship at the Crucible Theatre for the second time this year.
The sport’s biggest tournament starts on April 21 and the final will take place on May 6 and 7, with Moore taking charge. The 46-year-old from the Meersbrook district of Sheffield first refereed the world final in 2014 when Mark Selby beat Ronnie O’Sullivan, and has now been selected for this year’s showpiece match.
“I can’t wait, I’m really excited,” said Moore, who has been a referee on the professional tour since 2005, and first officiated at the Crucible in 2008. “It’s the ultimate honour for a referee. To have been picked again, given how many good referees we have now, is a great feeling.
“I loved every minute of the final in 2014. Perhaps I didn’t soak it in at the time, but I have watched the video back a few times and appreciated it more. It was two of the best players ever, fighting out one of the great finals.
“It’s the only time I have ever been nervous before the match. I was absolutely fine until five minutes before it started, when I was stood backstage and heard (MC) Rob Walker revving up the crowd.”
Last year, a deal was signed to keep the tournament at the Crucible until at least 2027. Moore, a former bus driver whose route around the city used to take him past the famous theatre, was delighted by the decision.
“It’s brilliant news for the people of Sheffield,” he said. “The build up to the World Championship in the few weeks before, especially when we start seeing the signs going up, is an exciting time for everyone in the city.
“Every week when I’m at home I walk past the Crucible, and it always gives me a buzz. I’ll always feel like a snooker fan at heart. Every time I see people queueing for tickets at the box office I remember the times before I was a referee when I’d be in that queue myself.”
The qualifying rounds of the Betfred World Championship run from April 11 to 18 at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. Tickets are still available and cost just £10 per day – for details CLICK HERE
The 16 qualifiers will then go through to the Crucible to join the top 16 seeds and battle for the famous trophy and a record top prize of £425,000.