Ten minutes with top ref Brendan Moore

00:17:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Brendan at the 2012 WC
Tall, elegant, a true professional and often described as "a top bloke", Brendan Moore is one of snooker's best known figures. He's been in the referring business since 2002 and he's done one hell of a job so far. 

I personally remember the 2010 UK Championship final that he referred (a very special one for Brendan, as you will soon discover) between John Higgins and Mark Williams. It was total blast, the perfect mix between top snooker, tension and the good old twist-and-turns of this lovely cue sport.

Since then he's referred a lot of matches, but his Crucible final is yet to come. No doubt the magical moment will happen in the near future, but until then, let's take a few minutes and know more about the person that's often seen as a secondary participant in a snooker match, but who, in reality, has a huge impact on how the cue-crossings evolve.

I. The “Let’s get to know Brendan Moore a bit more” section:

1. First of all, can you please tell me what did you want to be when you were a child?

Brendan Moore: "When I was growing up I wanted to be a pilot, didn't get the qualifications I needed from school though. I played a lot of snooker as a child and wanted to be a snooker player, but I soon realised I wasn't going to be good enough for that."

2. What does Brendan like to do in his free time? What kind of music does he listen? What kind of films does he enjoy watching? What books does he like to read?

BM: "In my spare time I like to spend time with my family; we like to go bowling and going to the cinema. I love to go to the cinema too. I’m a big Eddie Murphy fan. I love all his films, but I’m a James Bond fan too."

"Music wise I love the 80s, I've got hundreds of 80s songs in my car and on my Ipod."

"I love reading, I’m a fan of James Patterson, Michael Connelly and John Grisham."

"I play snooker a lot, I'm the captain of a team in the Sheffield League."

3. Last time I checked your highest break was 63? Has that chanced?

BM: "My highest break in match play is still 63."

4. Born in Sheffield, brought up in Sheffield, living in Sheffield. It’s no secret that this city has a great history with sports in general and snooker in particular. Do you think it kind of influenced you to get into snooker referring? Or is just a coincidence?

BM: "I love Sheffield. I was born here and have lived here all my life."

"It's a great sporting city, we have two football teams, a good ice-hockey team and a great Basketball team. Of course we have the Crucible Theatre too, the home of snooker."

"Living here hasn't influenced me in any way in wanting to become a referee. I wanted to learn the rules seen as I was captain of my team, so went to a referees seminar. I loved refereeing at an amateur level and decided that I wanted to try and get into the professional game and do this for a living. It was the best decision I ever made as I love this job."

5. Do you have any superstitions? Snooker related or not? Any special way of preparing before a match starts?

BM: "No I don't have any superstitions."

II. The “Oh, no! Here we go again with snooker” section:

1. If you could relive a match that you refereed, what would that be and why?

BM: "If I could relive any match I have refereed so far it would be the UK Final back in December 2010."

"John Higgins came back from 9-5 down to beat Mark Williams 10-9. The atmosphere was electric and both players played some great snooker all day."

2. If you could choose a match to referee in the future what would that be and why?

BM: "If I could pick any game to referee in the future it would have to be the World Final in Sheffield. It was great walking out to ref the semi final this year, but I would love to do the final."

3.  On a scale from 1-10 how hard is to be a snooker ref?

BM: "When I first started refereeing years ago I would have said on a scale from 1-10 in difficulty that it was a 10. But I’ve been doing it a few years now and gained loads of experience so now I would say 4 or 5."

"We have to concentrate all the time and it can be very tiring. I'm very lucky though in the fact that I love doing this job, there are much harder jobs out there."

At the 2012 Masters tournament
4. The 2011/2012 season was probably one of the busiest in snooker history and that implied travelling, a lot of travelling. Many players have complied about this hectic schedule, but how was it for you?

BM: "Last season was very hectic, we were travelling all over the world. In the last nine months I’ve been to Australia, Brazil and Hainan in China. I love the travelling and seeing parts of the world that I wouldn't get to see if it wasn't for my job. The snooker season is now almost all year round. It's great to be so busy."

5. How do you see this sport evolving? Is snooker heading towards the right direction?

BM: "We have tournaments all over the world now, this sport is getting back to where it belongs and is definitely in great shape."

III. The “Fire away!” section:

1. Tea or coffee? Hm … or beer?

BM:  "Coffee or Diet Coke."

2. Referring a final or a semi-final?

BM: "Definitely a final."

3. TV or the cubicles?

BM: "TV."

4. Whitewash or decider?

BM: "Decider."

5. The World Championship or the Masters?

BM: "The World Championship."

6. Referring in the UK or “Doesn’t really matter as long as good snooker is part of the equation”?

BM: "The Crucible."

7. Elegant suit or the Shoot-Out t-shirt?

BM: "Suit."

IV. The “Fill the spaces…” section:

1. The most important quality of a snooker ref … is concentration and knowledge of the rules.

2. The moment I shall never forget (snooker or personal – your choice) … Personal life - When my kids were born.
As a Referee - the first time I walked out at the Crucible Theatre, the atmosphere there is different to anywhere else in the world.

3. The most embarrassing moment in my snooker career as a ref … haven't had one yet.

4. My proudest moment in my snooker career as a ref … was when I was given my first final to ref at the Welsh Open back in 2009

And one more question:

If, by God knows what reasons, you’d have to give up referring snooker tomorrow, what would you like to do instead?

BM: "If I had to give up my job as a referee tomorrow I’d buy a pub. I've been a bar manager in several pubs a few years ago, and I would love to have a place of my own one day."