Farewell Alan

As many of you will have read by now, long-time snooker referee Alan Chamberlain has now taken charge of his final match following his decision to hand in his resignation last week…

Having seen his involvement in the ‘big’ matches decrease significantly over the past few years, it is easy to see why Alan has decided to call it a day now, particularly given the extremely long hours involved at the qualifiers for very little financial reward (£80 a day according to a commentor on Snooker Scene Blog). I remember speaking to Alan in Sheffield during last season’s World Championship qualifiers and without saying it, he seemed fairly disenchanted with the job back then so I cannot say that I am particularly surprised to see him go.

Nevertheless I am sorry to see Alan hang up his gloves, indeed as one of the ‘old school’ referees he was a favourite of mine because I always felt that his application of the miss rule was fairer than most. Rather than automatically calling a miss he would sometimes use his discretion when he felt that a player had made a genuine attempt to escape from a particularly difficult snooker. It was probably not the right thing to do as far as the current interpretation of the rule stands but it was still something that I liked to see in any case.

Alan will be best remembered though for his consistent involvement with the Benson and Hedges Masters tournament, the final of which he officiated on eight separate occasions between 1988 and 2003. Surprisingly he was only handed one World Championship final, that between Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendry back in 1997, though with the likes of John Williams, John Street and Len Ganley around at the time there was certainly tough competition!

It is good to see that he will continue to officiate at the Championship League tournament though and hopefully he will continue to be in demand for some of the many invitational events that are played throughout the season.