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Sheffield’s top referee pots biggest prize

England's Ronnie O'Sullivan at full stretch at the table watched by referee Brendan Moore. Photo:  Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

England's Ronnie O'Sullivan at full stretch at the table watched by referee Brendan Moore. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Sheffield’s top snooker referee is looking forward to the biggest match of his life – the World Championship Final in his home city.

Brendan Moore, who lives in Meersbrook, has been working his way up the sport’s pecking order for several years.

He has refereed the UK Championship and Masters finals - but will now be responsible for the biggest match of the lot on Sunday and Monday, May 4 and 5, at Sheffield’s Crucible theatre.

The 42-year old said: “Since day one it has been my goal to referee the final at the Crucible.

“It’s particularly special because it’s my home town and I live 10 minutes away from the venue.

“I used to go every year as a fan, I went to 10 finals in a row with my dad. I’d be there queuing for tickets in the morning. I never imagined at the time that one day I’d be out there refereeing.”

Brendan, who used to work as a bus driver in Sheffield and drove past the Crucible every day, started refereeing in 2002 and rose quickly through the ranks.

His first professional tournament came in 2005 when he was chosen for the Grand Prix qualifiers.

The keen Sheffield Wednesday fan first officiated at the Crucible in 2008, which included his first quarter-final match.

Then in 2012 he moved up another level and took charge of the semi-final between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Matthew Stevens.

Brendan said: “I don’t usually get nervous, because my attitude is people are there to watch the players, so as long as I do my job everything will be fine.

“But when I walked out into the one table set-up at the Crucible for the first time, I felt nerves and I don’t mind admitting that.

“It’s completely different to any other atmosphere.

“We’ll wait and see how I feel on May 4, but at the moment I can’t wait, it will be a fantastic experience for me.”

Brendan has officiated over two maximum 147 breaks and will be hoping for a third when he takes charge at the Crucible.

The tournament starts on Saturday, April 19, and offers a record top prize of £300,000.

Qualifiers for the event start at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge International Sports Centre next Tuesday and continue until Wednesday, April 16.

 

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