Former referee John Street dies aged 77

Sad news to report today (6th Jan) as former elite referee John Street passes away aged 77. Click below to read more, including some of the tributes left by those who knew him…

The news was broken by current referee Eirian Williams who on his forum had this to say:

“Sadly I have to announce the death of a good friend and a great Referee, John Street. John had been unwell for quite some time and had been hospitalised for the last few weeks. Amongst many others, John Refereed five World Championship and several Masters finals. I learned a lot from him. My deep condolences go out to his wife Jean and their daughters.

Rest in Peace John.”

From a personal point of view I don’t have too many specific memories of him as a referee, I’m just a bit too young unfortunately, but I remember him being around and my favourite incident is the one above where he enlists the help of Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White during their 1992 World final.

If any readers have any memories or stories that they wish to share, please feel free to leave a comment below.

  • Samantha

    John Street was my Dad and I will miss him with all my heart. He was fantastic at his job and even better at being a father. I love him with all my heart. Goodnight Dad. I love you.

    Your baby girl Samantha


  • Maxime Cassis

    It’s very sad news for the Snooker. John Street was for the referees all over the World a kind of Tutor. Most of them learned a lot of him and I am sure will nevr forget him.
    Rest in Peace John.

  • Paul Galea (Malta)

    I am very sorry to learn about John passing away. During my career as a professional referee I had the fortune to be taught and assessed by him and the honour to be his colleague. He will be always in my memories. May God give him eternal peace.

  • Ken Hui (Chief referee of Hong Kong)

    I am deeply grieved at the sad news of John, I learned a lot from his hand book.
    I hope his family will recover from their sorrow, please accept my sincere sympathy.

  • Bontinck Daniel(Tutor Belgium)

    John,was not only a colleage but most of al a friend,my sincere condolence to his familie.Rest in peace my friend

  • Twitath Warintrakom (MC All Thailand Ranking Events)

    I had the honour of introducing John Street as referee on the match table on many occasions when he came over to referee in many World Ranking events staged in Thailand since early 1990’s. John has been a true celebrity as top referee to all the Thai fans and having him appeared on the match table in front of the crowd already excited the fans as his presence made the match looks official and important…! I am so sorry to hear of his passing away and may he rest in peace.

  • Sharon Street

    John Street was my grandad he will be missed by all his family, his wife Jean and 2 daughters alongside 8 grandchldren and 1 great grand-daughter, he was a family man and loved his girls, he wasnt only fantastic in his profession but as a husband, father and grandfather. Will NEVER forget you, LOVE YOU LOADS will miss you! xxx RIP xxx

  • matt2745

    Thank you all for your comments so far, particularly Samantha and Sharon. My thoughts are with you at this time :(

  • Brian Armstrong

    I am so sorry to hear that John has passed away and I send my condolences to all his family at this time, he will be sadly missed he was a true professional in every sense of the word and on a personal note I will miss the many discussions the he and I had over the phone on the rules of snooker and the game in general.

    Brian Armstrong
    Referee & examiner

  • Felicia Carpio (Hong Kong)

    :( We are very sad to hear the news. John Street was a nice person and has always been one of our favorite snooker referees. A sad loss to the snooker sport. Our deepest sympathy and condolences. He will always be remembered. RIP xxx

  • Malcolm Neaves(UK)

    I was so sad to that John had passed away today, I will remember him because he was the Ref when i firsted to watch Snooker in the 80’s.

    My deepest sympathy and condolence to his Family at this very sad time.

    A sad loss to the snooker sport, and it’s also sad new for the Snooker world.


    Malcolm Neaves
    A Sooker Fan for many years

  • David Potts (long time snooker fan)

    So sad to hear of John’s passing, a great referee and a true gentleman of the game.
    He will be missed by all.

  • kevin mcevilly

    I have just learned today of the sad passing of John street, he was a true gentleman of snooker and will be sadly missed, I grew up watching him and Len ganley in the 70s and 80s, May god rest his soul and keep him in eternal peace

  • Lieven Goes

    A sad week for snookergreats…Now 31 years old, living in belgium, watching snooker since 84. I was a big fan of John, as of David. Nobody could keep the crowds more quiet than John Street, he looked like perfectionist, just like the stylefull haircut, it’s al goiing to fast, and snookergreats fade away. I hope the bbc will treat the greats and the memorys with respect and honour them from time to time, they made snooker together with the players big!

  • Patrick Wood

    As an snooker fan who has watched John referee at many venues up and down the country I was very saddened to hear of John’s passing. Among my memories I quite liked the time in the World Championships Doug Mountjoy forgot the rules and when awarded a free ball just rolls up behind the ball he nominated. After John called “Foul” and explained “You can’t snooker behind the nominated ball Doug”, Doug replied “Oh of course”. John laughs and asks jokingly if he needs a rule book.

    John you have certainly provided my enjoyment of snooker that extra bit with your character and sense of humour. My you rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.

  • Dermot From Sligo/Ireland

    To John’s family and colleagues, I was very sorry to hear of the death of John Street. He was a very gracious and professional, and certainly added to the occassion of any tournament he refereed. He set the standard by which many of today’s Referees must perform. May he rest in peace. I would just like to mention David Vine also, and wish simpathy to his family and friends. He was another integral part of the game, that is snooker and especially the coverage on the BBC.

  • Roger Keech

    John Street not only distinguished himself as a top rate referee but he was one of the most approachable people in snooker when not at a tournament. I met him on two occassions and both times he was at home being amongst ordinary people and he made ordinary people feel at home around him. This happens a lot less frequently than many realise, the other great thing about John Street was that he did not mind taking a joke against himself, even when refereeing a match. The world is a lot worse off for his sad departure for which I am personally grieved.

  • af

    An absolute legend will be sorley missed.a sad day for snooker.