Alan Chamberlain

Name: Alan Chamberlain

DOB: 1st January 1943

Nationality: English

First Pro Match: 1983

147’s Officiated: 7

Career Highlights: 1997 World Championship final, Eight Masters finals, Officiating Jamie Burnett’s 148 during the 2004 UK Championship qualifiers




Career Summary

Snooker’s most experienced referee, Alan has been there and seen it all having been a professional referee for over 25 years on the main tour.

His first match on the main tour involved Steve Duggan and Bob Harris at the 1983 Lada Classic, while his TV bow came at the Grand Prix and a match between Cliff Thorburn and Mark Wildman.

Since then however Alan has gone on to referee some of the sport’s most memorable moments, including the 1997 World Championship final and the 1998 Masters final which went all the way to a re-spotted black between Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams before the Welshman came through a 10-9 winner. Arguably his most famous match however came at the Liverpool Victoria Charity Challenge when Ronnie O’Sullivan came back from 8-2 down to level at 8-8, only to see Stephen Hendry win the match with a 147!

Alan also shares the record for the highest number of maximum breaks officiated in professional competition with Pete Williamson, both having been in the middle for seven 147’s. Alan’s first came during the Matchroom league in 1988 when Tony Meo achieved the feat during the seventh frame of his match against Stephen Hendry, while the most recent was Ronnie O’Sullivan’s effort to defeat Mark Selby 9-8 during their 2007 UK Championship semi-final.

As well as the maximums, alan also holds the unique honour of being the only man to have refereed a break over 147 in professional competition as he was the man in the middle for Jamie Burnett’s infamous 148 during the 2004 UK Championship qualifiers.


Following the penultimate day of the 2010 World Championship qualifiers, Alan shocked the snooker world by resigning as a main tour referee with immediate effect. While I have not heard any reason from Alan directly, the long hours and low pay have been cited as factors and it is fair to say that he would not have been the first referee to give up the job for those reasons.

Alan during the 2011 Championship League

Alan has however continued to be involved with Matchroom Sport’s Championship League competition, during which he sported a beard in 2011!

In 2010 Alan was also elected to the WPBSA board of directors, chairman Jason Ferguson commenting on his appointment:

“Over many years, Alan has worked at the highest level of impartiality. He will play an important role on the board in our function as owner and governer of the rules and regulations of the sport.”

Major Finals:

Event Year
World Championship 1997
UK Championship ?
Masters 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003
Grand Prix 1988