Barry Hearn qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1970 and spent several years with a major firm of international accountants before moving into the commercial world as Finance Director of Kensal House Investments.
After a period in the fashion industry and property development, he became chairman of Lucania Snooker Clubs in 1974 and began to involve the snooker hall chain in amateur tournament promotions.
In 1976 Steve Davis began playing at the Romford Lucania Club and the two struck up a friendship which was to have a major influence on the world of snooker.
In 1982 Riley Leisure acquired the chain of Lucania Snooker Clubs for £3.1 million leaving Barry free to concentrate on the development of snooker, both in the UK and overseas.
With the formation of Matchroom Sport Limited in 1982, Hearn was able to turn his abilities to developing a stable of top snooker players and ultimately to produce televised events.
A long-term boxing fan, Barry moved into fight promotion in the late 1980’s and has promoted hundreds of British, European and World title fights for television over the years.
Through the 1990’s Hearn turned a number of niche sports into major TV attractions with a succession of innovative ideas. In 2001 Matchroom Sport Limited took a major shareholding in the Professional Darts Corporation, with Barry being appointed Chairman he has spearheaded a phenomenal growth in the sport of darts. Growth in terms of both an increase in the number of televised events in the UK and in the establishment and promotion of new events throughout the World.
Into the second decade of the 21st century, Barry has developed Matchroom Sport into one of the world’s leading independent suppliers of quality sports television programming.
Barry turned his attention back to Snooker in June 2010 acquiring a controlling stake in the commercial arm of the sport and awakening its potential and reversing its fortunes. Turning it from a dwindling tour of 6 events and £3m in prize money to a thriving tour of over 25 events and £14m in prize money. All of this in the backdrop of a global economic recession.