Name: Jan Verhaas
DOB: 5th October 1966
First Pro Match: 1993
147’s Officiated: 4
Memorable Moments: Officiated four World Championship finals, All three of Paul Hunter’s triumphs at the Masters, becoming the first overseas person to referee finals in the ‘big three’ events.
One of snooker’s leading referees, Holland’s Jan Verhaas has come a long way since his days working as a process operator for Shell Chemicals during the 1980’s.
It all began back in 1989 when as he told the BBC back in 2006, one of his close friends set up a snooker club in Rotterdam:
“It was by chance that I started refereeing,”
“In 1989, one of my best mates opened a snooker club in Rotterdam and I began putting the balls back for him in the finals of their competitions.
“English referee Michael Clarke used to come over for our tournaments. He taught me the ins and outs of the game. I did my exams and that’s how my rise to the top started.
“I began looking after amateur matches, but I admired top officials such as Len Ganley, John Street, John Williams and Alan Chamberlain, and I wanted to get to where they were.
“They were on the TV and big celebrities during the 1980s and 1990s. I’ve been very lucky to have achieved my ambitions, but I did work hard to get where I am.”
Jan and Tony Drago at the 1995 World Championship
And achieve his ambitions he certainly has done, taking charge of four World Championship finals, six Masters finals and many others relatively early in his career. Particularly memorable for Jan is the fact that the first three of those Masters finals involved the late Paul Hunter who recovered from seemingly hopeless positions in each of them to win 10-9 each time.
Jan was also in charge for one of the most controversial moments in recent years, the infamous walk-out from Ronnie O’Sullivan against Stephen Hendry in the quarter-final of the 2006 UK Championship. As he later told Jesters Snooker, at the time he was totally stunned like the rest of us!
Jan at the 2010 UK Championship
During 2008 Jan experienced problems with his back which resulted in an operation shortly after refereeing the World final in May. Happily however these were soon resolved and he was since able to resume his refereeing career, as well as continue of his major hobbies, cycling.
|World Championship||2003, 2006, 2008, 2011|
|UK Championship||2005, 2006, 2008|
|Masters||2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010|
|Grand Prix||2004, 2007, 2009|