In the fast lane: Former Sheffield bus driver lands Crucible final

Ronnie O'Sullivan talks to referee Brendan Moore at the Crucible
Ronnie O'Sullivan talks to referee Brendan Moore at the Crucible

Former Sheffield bus driver Brendan Moore will referee the final of the Betfred World Championship at the Crucible for the second time, this year.

Snooker’s biggest tournament starts on April 21 and the final will take place on May 6 and 7, with Moore in charge.

Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore

The 46-year-old, from Meersbrook, first refereed the world final in 2014 when Mark Selby beat Ronnie O’Sullivan.

“I’m really excited,” said Moore, a referee on the professional tour since 2005 who 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.”

Last year, a deal was signed to keep the tournament at the Crucible until at least 2027.

Moore, whose one-time bus route took him past the famous theatre, said. “It’s brilliant news for the people of Sheffield.”

He added: “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 £10 per day – for details visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets