Collier to Join Select Group

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Yesterday it was announced that Paul Collier has been selected to officiate the Betfred World Championship final this year for a second time, 12 years after he became the youngest ever referee to take charge of snooker’s biggest match.

What is perhaps surprising however is that while 15 referees have previously donned the white gloves for the Crucible final, prior to Collier just seven have done so on more than one occasion.

The list is as follows:

  • John Williams – 9
  • John Street – 5
  • Jan Verhaas – 5
  • Len Ganley – 4
  • Eirian Williams – 4
  • Michaela Tabb – 2
  • John Smyth – 2

Joining that group in little over a month’s time, Collier will move clear of the remaining final referees, who comprise Jim Thorpe, Alan Chamberlain, Lawrie Annandale, Colin Brinded, John Newton, Brendan Moore and Olivier Marteel.

You can read Paul’s reaction to his appointment here.

Whilst looking at Crucible refereeing statistics, I was interested to see that all three Crucible finals to have gone the distance and finished 18-17 were officiated by the same referee, namely John Williams in 1985, 1994 and 2002.

In respect of maximum breaks officiated meanwhile, it is Len Ganley and Terry Camilleri who lead the way on two apiece, while John Williams, John Street, Jan Verhaas, Colin Brinded, Eirian Williams and most recently Zhu Ying have all presided over one.

The Betfred World Championship runs from April 16 to May 2 at the famous Crucible. The top 16 seeds will be joined by 16 more players who come through the qualifying rounds at Ponds Forge from April 6 to 13. For ticket details for both the final stages and the qualifiers CLICK HERE