Crucible Final Ref announced

Paul Collier will take charge of the final of the Cazoo World Championship in Sheffield on May 5th and 6th. The Welshman will referee the Crucible final for the fourth time.

It will be Collier’s last match as a referee on the World Snooker Tour, as he will be putting away the white gloves to focus on his role as a Tournament Director on the sport’s global circuit.

Collier first refereed on the tour in 1992, and in 2004 he officiated the World Championship final for the first time, when Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Graeme Dott. Aged just 33 at the time, he was the youngest Crucible final referee, though that record has since been eclipsed by Marcel Eckardt. Newport’s Collier was also the man in the middle for the 2016 and 2021 finals.

The 53-year-old now plays a key role behind the scenes as one of WST’s Tournament Director team.

Looking ahead to the Crucible final, he said: “It will be emotional, knowing I won’t referee again. I love driving off at junction 33 into Sheffield, knowing I’m going to be refereeing at the Crucible. It has always been the one I want to be at. I’m obviously still going to be there at the World Championship going forward, I’ll just have a different role. Not cleaning my suits before I go and counting out the pairs of gloves will be strange. 

“Without a doubt the Crucible is the best venue. Everyone who goes there loves it. It is also the most difficult to referee at, because it is so small.

“I won’t be out at the table from next season but I’m still involved in the game I love and I still have a say in it.  I’ve gone back through the eras- I refereed for Ray Reardon, John Spencer, Eddie Charlton and Cliff Thorburn. Then I went through the Stephen Hendry domination of the 90s and the modern era. It has been brilliant and I’m so proud of what I’ve done.”

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