Brendan Moore will officiate the 2023 World Snooker Championship final, it was announced last week.
But the bigger news about one of the sport’s favourite referees is that this outing will be his last ever on the World Snooker Tour.
Sheffield’s Moore, who has worked on the professional snooker circuit since 2004, will move to a new role in pool for Matchroom Sport following this year’s World Championship.
It’s fitting then that he will get a third opportunity to guarantee order in the title decider at the Crucible Theatre – adding to his previous finals in 2014 and 2018.
“I already get emotional thinking about it now of what it’s going to be like,” Brendan Moore told Rob Walker during Judgement Day at the World Championship qualifiers on Tuesday.
“It’s always special walking out at the Crucible anyway, but knowing it’s going to be for the last time, I get emotional thinking about it.”
“The social media (reaction) has been brilliant, as have all the referees and the players here this week.
“Everyone has been so complimentary, it’s been really good week for that. Social media can be toxic at times, but there have been really good comments. I’m obviously going to miss the job.”
An emotional Moore refereed the 2014 final between Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan, but an even more memorable occasion materialised four years later when Mark Williams overcame John Higgins in a thriller, 18-16.
“The evening session was when I knew (it was a special). In the afternoon at one point it looked like there wouldn’t even be an evening session the way Mark was playing.”
“So for John to come back the way he did, you knew it was building up and the atmosphere got more intense.
“You can feel it on the floor, and obviously I know both players pretty well anyway.
“But when Mark is on that break on the pink to win the match, he misses. And at that point as the referee you’re thinking, ‘Higgins is the player that can dish this’.
“He did, but when they’re coming out you’re thinking, ‘Williams is the one who can put this to the back of his mind and carry on,’ which he did.
“It was phenomenal to be involved in it. Looking at both sets of families as well and what it means to them, it was unbelievable.
“The 2014 final is special because it was my first, but the sheer spectacle of what happened in the second one – everyone goes on about me always reffing deciders, so I thought this is nailed on.
“It got close, but that was a really, really great night.
“The actual job part, I’ll just do it (in the 2023 final). But walking out at the start and then the closer it gets to the end, knowing this will be the end for me, that could be touching tears.”
The 2023 World Snooker Championship final will take place on Sunday, April 30th and Monday, May 1st in Sheffield.
Featured photo credit: WST