Paul Collier has been selected to referee the final of the Betfred World Championship for the second time.
The 45-year-old Welshman first took charge of snooker’s biggest match in 2004 when Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Graeme Dott in the final at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. And he’ll don the white gloves again for this year’s final on May 1 and 2.
Collier, from Newport, first refereed on the pro tour in 1992 and is one of the sport’s most experienced officials. In recent years he has worked as a tournament director for World Snooker at various events.
“Even though I’ve been refereeing for a long time, to be chosen to do the World Championship final is still a great honour and it is something very special,” said Collier. “It’s the match that everyone wants to do. There have been a lot of very good referees who have only done one world final so now I’ll be moving ahead of them.
“I was the youngest referee to take charge of the world final in 2004 at the age of 33 and that record still stands, though I’m sure it will be beaten soon. There are a lot of excellent young referees coming through now and that has happened through all of the European Tour events we have staged in recent years.
“I still love refereeing and I plan to be doing it for a good few years yet. I enjoy being involved full time with World Snooker and working as a tournament director at certain events gives me variety. It has also really helped me to understand a lot more about how tournaments run.”
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. Ticket details for both the final stages and the qualifiers are available at www.worldsnooker.com/tickets