Barry Hearn


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Barry Hearn thrilled by crowd returning to World Snooker Championship as tickets go on sale

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Barry Hearn is ‘thrilled’ by the ‘fabulous news’ that fans will return to the Crucible next month as the World Snooker Championship is used as a pilot event for crowds at live action again. It had looked like it was going to be a behind-closed-doors World Championship, with the event running from 17 April to 3 May, before the 17 May date at which we can meet inside again, or the 21 June date when many pandemic restrictions will be lifted. However, World Snooker Tour have secured the pilot event status for their showpiece tournament and a limited number of fans will be at the iconic Sheffield venue. ‘We are thrilled to once again be selected as a crucial participant in the UK Government’s progress towards leading us out of the coronavirus pandemic and back on the road to normal life,’ said WST chairman Barry Hearn. ‘This research programme will provide evidence required to show that people can get back to doing some of the leisure activities they love, such as visiting theatres, indoor concerts and sporting events. ‘It is yet another challenge for us, but so far over the past year we have risen to every challenge and met it successfully. We have proved again and again that we can stage events where the safety of the players, officials and fans is paramount. The Betfred World Championship will be no different and we look forward to working day and night over the next few weeks, alongside our Government advisors, to ensure that all necessary measures are in place. MORE: SNOOKER Judd Trump aiming even higher despite superb form as World Championship approaches WST Pro Series Phase Two groups, schedule, draw, TV channel, live stream and prize money Ronnie O'Sullivan vs Tom Ford descends into farce at WST Pro Series event ‘This is fabulous news for the players, who have really missed the buzz of playing in front of a crowd. The atmosphere on the first morning at the Crucible will be better than ever. And for those lucky few who have a golden ticket it will an amazing experience. ‘Snooker continues to lead the way in the sporting world as we fight back against difficult times.’ Last year, the event was given ‘pilot’ status as well, but fans only attended the first day and the final, with cases increasing and the government removing the pilot status for the majority of the competition. As Hearn explains, the pilot events will be reviewed and hopefully lessons learned as to how fans can return to other indoor performances in the near future. Ronnie O’Sullivan is out to defend his title in Sheffield (Picture: PA) Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: ‘These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing. ‘We will be guided by the science and medical experts, but will work flat out to make that happen. We want to get the people back to enjoying what they love and ensure some of our most important growth industries get back on their feet. ‘These are important steps towards the safe and special summer we all crave and that I’m fully focused on delivering.’ Tickets are already on sale and some sessions have sold out, but there are still plenty available here.

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FA Cup final and World Snooker Championship on list of pilot events to test return of fans :​

It wouldn't be the first time PM Boris 'Bonkers' Johnson let down Emperor Barry Hearn OBE .

Fingers crossed it happens .


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Monday 22 Mar 2021 01:41PM
WST Chairman Barry Hearn has described the new WST Pro Series as a “fantastic addition to our tour” following the conclusion of the event on Sunday.
Mark Williams won the inaugural title by topping the final group, finishing ahead of Ali Carter, with Sam Craigie third and Judd Trump fourth.
The world ranking event started in January with an innovative format, giving all 128 tour players the opportunity to play seven matches a day in a round robin group in Milton Keynes. The players were split into 16 groups of eight, with the top two in each group going into phase two.
Those 32 players were split into four more groups of eight for phase two, with the top two in each contesting the final group on Sunday.
The event was broadcast on the Matchroom.Live platform, which gives fans around the world the chance to watch a wide range of WST events. The action was also broadcast on selected betting sites and online platforms in China.
Gary Wilson was the only player to make a 147 during the event, and in total there were 146 centuries.
Hearn said: “The WST Pro Series has proved a fantastic addition to our tour this season. It has provided every player on the circuit with the opportunity to play a series of matches in top class conditions, for significant levels of prize money. The format has worked well, with most groups going down to the last round of matches. It has provided plenty of entertainment and drama for fans watching on platforms including Matchroom.Live. My congratulations go to Mark Williams as the inaugural champion.
“We are now working on a packed calendar for the 2021/22 season, to be released in due course. Given the success of the WST Pro Series it may appear on the schedule again next season.”
The event had total prize money of £420,500, here’s where it went:
Allan Taylor £500
Fan Zhengyi £500
Zhao Jianbo £500
Billy Castle £500
Anthony McGill £500
Ken Doherty £500
Lei Peifan £500
Brandon Sargeant £500
Martin Gould £500
Kuldesh Johal £500
David Grace £500
Farakh Ajaib £500
Alex Clenshaw £500
Joe O’Connor £500
Jamie Wilson £500
Barry Pinches £500
Rod Lawler £1,000
Kacper Filipiak £1,000
John Astley £1,000
Ashley Carty £1,000
Peter Devlin £1,000
Brian Ochoiski £1,000
Anthony Hamilton £1,000
Michael White £1,000
Peter Lines £1,000
Dylan Emery £1,000
Jordan Brown £1,000
Duane Jones £1,000
Gao Yang £1,000
Lukas Kleckers £1,000
Chen Zifan £1,000
Hossein Vafaei £1,000
Jak Jones £1,500
Yuan Sijun £1,500
Gary Wilson £1,500
Scott Donaldson £1,500
Lee Walker £1,500
Michael Holt £1,500
Leo Fernandez £1,500
Zak Surety £1,500
Elliot Slessor £1,500
Tian Pengfei £1,500
Riley Parsons £1,500
Gerard Greene £1,500
Oliver Brown £1,500
Eden Sharav £1,500
Mark Joyce £1,500
Steven Hallworth £1,500
Daniel Wells £2,000
Li Hang £2,000
Liam Highfield £2,000
Chris Wakelin £2,000
Si Jiahui £2,000
Xu Si £2,000
Mitchell Mann £2,000
Jackson Page £2,000
David Gilbert £2,000
Chang Bingyu £2,000
Igor Figueiredo £2,000
Alexander Ursenbacher £2,000
Robbie Williams £2,000
Matthew Selt £2,000
Tom Ford £2,000
Jimmy White £2,000
Matthew Stevens £2,500
Pang Junxu £2,500
Jamie O’Neill £2,500
Jamie Clarke £2,500
Andy Hicks £2,500
Alan McManus £2,500
Ashley Hugill £2,500
Andrew Higginson £2,500
Ian Burns £2,500
Simon Lichtenberg £2,500
Noppon Saengkham £2,500
Jimmy Robertson £2,500
Nigel Bond £2,500
Soheil Vahedi £2,500
David Lilley £2,500
Jamie Jones £2,500
Lu Ning £4,000
Fergal O’Brien £4,000
James Cahill £4,500
Ricky Walden £4,500
Ben Hancorn £5,000
Louis Heathcote £5,000
Oliver Lines £5,000
Zhou Yuelong £5,000
Zhao Xintong £5,500
Luo Honghao £5,500
Lyu Hoatian £6,000
Shaun Murphy £6,000
Robert Milkins £6,000
Joe Perry £6,000
Mark Davis £6,000
Sunny Akani £7,000
Stuart Carrington £7,000
Luca Brecel £7,000
Mark Selby £7,000
Dominic Dale £7,000
Ryan Day £8,000
Martin O’Donnell £9,000
Ben Woollaston £9,000
Barry Hawkins £9,000
Jack Lisowski £12,500
Xiao Guodong £13,500
Stuart Bingham £15,500
Kyren Wilson £16,000
Judd Trump £19,000
Sam Craigie £20,500
Ali Carter £24,000
Mark Williams £31,500


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Fan pilots: Crowds to return at FA Cup semi-final and World Snooker Championship this weekend :​

Quote .

The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield will be around a third full for the first round of the World Snooker Championship, which begins on Saturday, with the final on 3 May set to be played in front of a capacity crowd of 980 people.

"It's important we are successful because we are sending out a message to all other indoor sports, cinemas, theatres," World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn told BBC Sport.

"The data that comes from this is going to be vital to getting to the land of milk and honey of normality."

'A full Crucible will be one of my greatest moments'​

The Crucible
Fans returned to the Crucible in July 2020 for a brief period
At the Crucible, fans will also need to show they have had a negative lateral flow test to gain entry and, as at the football, fans have been asked to undertake pre- and post-event PCR tests for research purposes.

The pilots are part of the Events Research Programme (ERP) and will inform the government's decisions on step four of its roadmap out of lockdown. Step four - when the government hopes to lift all legal limits on social contact - will begin no earlier than 21 June.

A document about the programme released by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has revealed that so-called 'Covid passports' will not be used during any of the pilots announced.

"There will be no requirement for participants to show proof of vaccine," it says.

"Participants in the ERP pilots published to date will have to provide a basic Covid certification that they have tested negative for Covid-19."

The events will provide data on how large-scale crowds could be able to return to stadiums safely after this point.

"We're starting at a third capacity, going up to 50%, 75%, and then for the final two days 100%," said Hearn.

"In my 45 years of promoting sport, if we are full up for the final after the year we've been through at the Crucible, with 500 million watching this around the world, I think I'm going to put this down as one of our greatest moments."

He added: "It's exciting to be part of this process. I don't want to name drop, I was talking to Andrew Lloyd Webber the other day and he was like, 'Come on, get me crowds back in my theatres' and I'm like, 'Andrew, I'm doing my best'.


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Tuesday 20 Apr 2021 07:30PM
Eddie Hearn will become Chairman of the Matchroom Sport Group of Companies as Barry Hearn OBE steps aside after almost 40 years to become President of the Group in an advisory role, dealing primarily with event strategy and global development.

Barry and Eddie Hearn with Steve Davis
Eddie will become Chairman of the Group of Companies and Chairman of Matchroom Sport, Professional Darts Corporation, Matchroom Boxing, Matchroom Boxing USA, Matchroom Media and the PGA EuroPro Tour.
Also, in the group, Steve Dawson will take over from Barry as Chairman of the World Snooker Tour after this year’s World Snooker Championship. Matthew Porter will become Chairman of Matchroom Multi Sport and Katie Hearn CEO of Matchroom Media.
Hearn founded the sports promotions company back in 1982, enjoying huge success with Snooker before moving into Boxing, Darts, Pool and Tenpin Bowling amongst more than a dozen different sports.
Through the 1990s Hearn turned several niche sports into major TV attractions with a succession of innovative ideas. His acquisition of a majority shareholding in the PDC in 2001 and the World Snooker Tour in 2010 saw him appointed Chairman as both companies went from strength to strength.
Matchroom supplies a wide range of sports programming to broadcasters worldwide, producing over 3,000 hours of action annually across over 600 event days in addition to original documentaries and shoulder programming for all platforms.
Following several years in the sponsorship and event management industry, Eddie Hearn joined Matchroom Sport in 2004, he assumed the role of Chief Executive of the PGA EuroPro Tour and subsequently headed up Matchroom Sport’s rapidly expanding poker and online gaming operations. With the swift growth of the company in recent years Eddie has assumed the role of Group Managing Director and will now become Group Chairman.
Eddie’s most notable public face is as the head of Matchroom’s Boxing division, promoting a stable he has grown, and which is littered with World Champions and Olympic gold medallists.
Under Eddie’s leadership, Matchroom Boxing has returned to the forefront of the sport around the world. In 2018 he agreed a historic $1billion deal with live streaming platform DAZN to stage 16 fights a year across America under Matchroom Boxing USA.
Barry Hearn OBE said: “It has been a huge honour to have worked with some of the greatest sports people on the planet across the last 40 years and enjoyed so many wonderful experiences across our spectrum of events in that time, from snooker’s glory days of the 1980s to record-breaking boxing shows and the incredible growth of professional darts, as we have created opportunities for thousands of sportsmen and women during that time.
“Great challenges have been met, but none more so than the Covid pandemic. I have been determined to stay in charge until this disaster passed and now there is light at the end of the tunnel and I believe it is the right time to pass control of Matchroom to my son Eddie and the brilliant teams we have assembled across all our activities.
“I shall continue to be available to all Matchroom companies as non-executive President, an advisory role concentrating on group strategy and global expansion, but Eddie will be elevated to Group Chairman with overall responsibility for the entire group.
“I could not be prouder of the Matchroom Group of Companies and the outstanding teams that operate in a highly competitive marketplace. Matchroom has grown from two employees operating in an office under a snooker hall in Romford in 1982, to the global powerhouse it is today due to the efforts and performances of all our staff, contractors, broadcasters, and partners.
“I know the company is in good hands with Eddie at the helm and with my daughter Katie heading up Matchroom Media, Matt Porter at the PDC, Frank Smith at Matchroom Boxing, Emily Frazer at Matchroom Multi Sport, Steve Dawson my Chief Executive for over 30 years and Dan Godding at the PGA EuroPro Tour, along with all their teams.
“Now is the time to give all Matchroom employees the opportunity to take this great British company to the next level and beyond”.
Eddie Hearn commented: “Anyone that knows me is well aware of what Matchroom means to me and our family. It has a legacy that spans 40 years from a small office under a snooker hall in Romford to a global powerhouse of sports entertainment. My father has dedicated his life to the company and since I joined in 2004 I have done the same. Now a greater responsibility falls on my shoulders and I am very proud to continue his great work and lead the business and the incredible team that we have built at Matchroom. We have seen astounding growth in the last ten years but we have only just begun. I look forward to continuously evolving and continuing the global growth of this astonishing family business.”


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Barry Hearn entrusts Matchroom chairmanship to son Eddie upon retirement :​

Barry Hearn OBE steps down as PDC chairman :​

James Wade on Barry Hearn STEPPING ASIDE | "It's a BIG CONCERN.. It was strange the way it was done" :​



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Former Masters champion Mark Allen has praised outgoing World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn for transforming the fortunes of the sport during his 11-year spell in charge. Hearn, 72, is retiring at the conclusion of this year's World Championship after successfully helping grow the sport over the last decade. :​



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Barry Hearn wants legacy to be helping people 'change their lives' :​

Matchroom Sport founder Barry Hearn says he hopes his legacy as a sports promoter has been creating opportunities for people to "change their lives and chase a dream".

Hearn, 72, has stood down as chairman of the company he set up in 1982.
He also leaving his role as chairman of World Snooker and the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).

"Sport is about ability and ability knows no barriers," said Hearn, who was raised on a Dagenham council estate.

"It's not who you are, where you come from, what your dad did, or how much money is in the family.

"It's the opportunity we can create for people to change their lives and chase a dream."

Hearn said returning to snooker in 2010 and making World Snooker a subsidiary of Matchroom Sport was one of the "crowning moments" in his 50-year career.

"I remain passionate about a sport which changed my life and made my life 40 years ago when Steve Davis won his first world title," said Hearn. "I have never forgotten what I owe snooker."

In those 11 years, the sport has gone from six ranking events plus the Masters and £3.5m in prize money to more than 30 tournaments and a prize fund of £15m.

"We have achieved some unbelievable results and there is a lot more to achieve," he added.

"It is a time to step aside. It is not a sad day; it's a happy day. I look forward to going back to being a fan.

"It was an easy decision to make. I am still full of energy but there is a team at World Snooker and Matchroom who can do a better job in some areas. I need to be big enough to admit that and move on."

Emperor Barry Hearn OBE .

I think the first time I seen or heard of Barry Hearn was when Steve Davis won his first World Snooker title and this guy runs up to embrace Steve Davis and at first I'm thinking what's going on here ? This guy doesn't look like Steve Davis's dad , must be an intruder from the crowd , hope there's no trouble here but it turned out to be Steve Davis's manager Barry Hearn .

The Hearn/Davis duo got on my nerves , constantly beating my Snooker hero's Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins and Jimmy 'Whirlwind' White then along came my latest Snooker hero Stephen 'The Wonder Bairn' Hendry to put Hearn/Davis in there place . then along came Ronnie 'Rocket' O'Sullivan and the feud against Barry Hearn began .

Of course I took Ronnie O'Sullivan's side when he was putting his views on the Snooker scene as to what Barry Hearn was doing to the Snooker calendar . You can pick and choose what event you want to enter said Barry Hearn so Ronnie O'Sullivan did and after taking a year out he came back a recharge player and is now seeking a record equalling 7th World Snooker title .

Time Marches On .

Most people mentioned above have got a 'Gong' of some sorts as to services to the sport of Snooker but I very much doubt I will get a 'Gong' from Her Majesty for services to AzBilliards but that's okay with me as I post for the love of the game of Billiards . He kept me busy through the lockdown ! ;)(y)

Emperor Barry Hearn OBE has passed the torch onto his son Eddie Hearn and I think it's fitting to open up a new thread called Eddie Hearn as he is the new chief of Matchroom Sports .

Enjoy your retirement Emperor Barry Hearn OBE .

Signed .



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WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson has today paid tribute to the enormous contribution made to our sport by Barry Hearn OBE following the announcement that he is to step down as chairman of World Snooker Tour (WST) after more than a decade at the helm.

With an association with our sport dating back to the 1970s, Hearn returned to snooker in late 2009 at the behest of our playing members, at a time when the number of events had reduced to worrying levels, with total prize money across the tour at £3.5m.


Since then, the 72-year-old, together with his team at Matchroom Sport, has been instrumental role in taking our sport to new heights, with total prize money increased to £17m by 2020, with over 25 events staged annually. Hearn’s significant expertise in respect of event delivery and commercialisation has been fundamental to this.

His son Eddie will now become Chairman of the Matchroom Sport Group, with current WST Chief Executive Officer Steve Dawson taking over as Chairman of WST following this year’s World Snooker Championship.

Following his return to the sport, one of Hearn’s first decisions was to ask Jason Ferguson to return to the sport as chairman of snooker’s world governing body the WPBSA, a role which he continues to hold to this day. Together, both the WPBSA and WST have overseen not only the expansion of the professional tour, but the significant globalisation of our sport as a whole, which has never been as popular both in terms of participation and viewership around the world.


Jason Ferguson said: “I am hugely thankful for the time that I have had working alongside Barry. He is an inspirational character who works tirelessly for sport, sportsmen and women the world over. He is the type of character that just makes you want to get up early everyday and get the job done.

“At our first players meeting just over 10 years ago, Barry said to our players, “I wont let you down”. Well Barry, you certainly didn’t. Like every great champion in any sport, through dedication, hard work and discipline, you stepped up to the plate and produced incredible results.”

“On behalf of every snooker player, I can only say a heartfelt thank you for your outstanding contribution to our sport.


“Although the past 12 months have not been without challenges, our sport has never been in better shape and this is testament to the hard work of Barry and the team over the past decade.

“In Steve Dawson, we have someone who knows our sport inside out, with over 35 years of experience at Matchroom Sport, including 10 years as Chief Executive of WST. He has been an integral part of our business already and I am sure our path of global expansion will continue during his time as chairman.”


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Barry Hearn recently announced his retirement from Matchroom Sport after a 40 year career with son Eddie taking the reins including in the PDC. :

Gary Anderson’s manager Tommy Gilmour has worked closely with Hearn over the years and the Dunvegan supremo discussed him stepping down and his career as a whole.

“I think it’s the right thing that he’s done. Eddie has done a great job and it’s the right time now to step aside,” said Gilmour to Oche.

“Barry knew before anybody else that I was retiring or he knew when I was having a problem. The same way he told me last week that he was stepping down. There’s just things you can tell your pals and they’re sacred.

“He’ll still be the guy I go to to moan at. You can’t break a habit of a lifetime! He can’t help himself but stick his nose in. But he’s got a young vibrant team that he’s handing things over to.

“The change won’t make any difference to darts whatsoever. Eddie will be in control but darts will run under Matt Porter as usual. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

“There’s been people I’ve worked closely with but Barry has been the best. He always had that vision, vibrancy and creativeness.

“I was nuts and bolts in the joint ventures that we did together. He was much more flamboyant.

“It’s so diverse what he’s done. From the world of boxing to the world of ping pong. From fishing to ten pin bowling.

“He’s taken sports that people have enjoyed and taken them to a different level. He always wanted to make it enjoyable, not just to watch but to participate in.”


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PDC & NENT secure new broadcast agreement :​

The PDC is delighted to announce a new multi-year broadcast agreement with Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) to show coverage of leading events across the Nordics, Baltics, Iceland and Poland.

The deal will see all PDC televised events - including the World Darts Championship and Premier League - broadcast on NENT Group's Viaplay streaming service.

The agreement is part of a wider deal across the Matchroom portfolio - which also includes snooker, pool, ten-pin bowling and more - with NENT Group to continue coverage to Viaplay viewers in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland and to broadcast for the first time in Iceland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.

NENT Group has been a long-standing broadcast partner of Matchroom in the Nordic region, with viewing figures continuing to grow year on year making it a key partner as part of NENT Group's international expansion strategy.

NENT's expansion strategy with Matchroom sees it as an opportune moment to grow the vast portfolio of sports with Viaplay, with over 700 hours of coverage annually.

Michael van Gerwen (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Barry Hearn, President of Matchroom said: "We're delighted to expand our existing partnership with NENT Group over the next few years offering sports fans fantastic access to some of the biggest moments in sport.

"NENT Group have been huge supporters of our sports over the years and we hope this continues to grow."

Viaplay will also broadcast snooker events including the World Championship and Champion of Champions as well as Matchroom Multi Sport events such as the Mosconi Cup pool, Weber Cup ten-pin bowling and World Championship of Ping Pong.

Peter Nørrelund, NENT Group Chief Sports Officer, said: "Our vision is to be the European streaming champion, which means Viaplay should offer something for everyone.

"We co-operate closely with Matchroom in the Nordic region and will now bring live coverage of some of Europe's fastest growing sports to our newest markets.

"We work continuously with rights holders to develop sports properties together, so this agreement is great news for these sports and their fans across Viaplay's rapidly expanding footprint."

In the Nordic region, NENT Group holds rights to Bundesliga (SE/NO/DK/FI/IS) to 2029; Premier League (SE/NO/DK/FI), IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship (SE/NO/DK/FI/IS) and national football team qualifiers (SE/IS) to 2028; NHL (SE/NO/DK/FI/IS) and FIS winter sports (SE/NO/DK/FI) to 2026; and UEFA Champions League (DK/IS), UEFA Europa League (SE/NO/FI/IS) and Formula 1 (SE/NO/DK/FI/IS) to 2024.

In the Baltic countries, NENT Group's sports rights include Bundesliga, NHL, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League, and Formula 1. NENT Group recently extended its Polish rights to Bundesliga football to 2029, and will show UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League in Poland from the autumn of 2021.


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Outgoing PDC Chairman, Barry Hearn was in the role for 20 years overseeing the rise of darts into a global phenomenon with his son, Eddie now set to take the reigns.

Hearn spoke to the Weekly Dartscast as part of their 200th episode and discussed in detail the reason for stepping down.

"I've been thinking about it for a year or two. I'm 73 in June, I'm still fit, I'm still capable but the clock's ticking and in some way when I first walked into darts and the PDC and Matchroom, that was the right time. Life's about timing, now's the right time to say to the youngsters, the people that are running the business. It's your time," said Hearn to the Weekly Dartscast.

Getting involved in darts

As a sport like Hearn alluded to that is working class, he discussed the appeal of bringing the masses together both on the oche and in the crowd.

"I've been thinking about it for a year or two. I'm 73 in June, I'm still fit, I'm still capable but the clock's ticking and in some way when I first walked into darts and the PDC and Matchroom, that was the right time. Life's about timing, now's the right time to say to the youngsters, the people that are running the business. It's your time," said Hearn to the Weekly Dartscast.

Getting involved in darts

As a sport like Hearn alluded to that is working class, he discussed the appeal of bringing the masses together both on the oche and in the crowd.

"When I first got involved, it was in the middle of a quite bitter time between BDO and PDC. But I did put a hand out to the BDO at that time to say let's sit down and talk. I was rebuffed, they were arrogant. One of my concerns then was to destroy them, to boost our prize money, create more opportunities and make them irrelevant."

"They're now history and a lesson to be learnt for everybody."

Biggest achievement

But what is Hearn's biggest achievement during his time as head honcho of the PDC? He didn't give a specific moment but the success that darts has achieved both in prize money and on a standard level.

"I think people will judge you by prize money and opportunity you give. The essence of all sport in my book is that it should be as level a playing field as possible. There should be as few barriers to entry as possible and players that are prepared to dedicate themselves should be rewarded as highly as possible for success."

"It's a sport that is governed by success and that's probably the biggest achievement was the standard of play has improved so much and it is a by product of increased prize money because players have become far more professional with their approach due to the rewards on offer."

"They're now history and a lesson to be learnt for everybody."

Biggest achievement

But what is Hearn's biggest achievement during his time as head honcho of the PDC? He didn't give a specific moment but the success that darts has achieved both in prize money and on a standard level.

"I think people will judge you by prize money and opportunity you give. The essence of all sport in my book is that it should be as level a playing field as possible. There should be as few barriers to entry as possible and players that are prepared to dedicate themselves should be rewarded as highly as possible for success."

"It's a sport that is governed by success and that's probably the biggest achievement was the standard of play has improved so much and it is a by product of increased prize money because players have become far more professional with their approach due to the rewards on offer."


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A Reward for your Efforts :​

A Reward for your Efforts​

By Elliott West


Some of the greats of the sporting world gathered the other night to celebrate the 20th year of the Sport Industry Awards. This was the first time that the entire sports sector could come together since the outbreak of the pandemic 18 months ago. Hosted by Laura Woods and Mark Durden-Smith, the stars of the evening to be rewarded for their efforts were the footballer Marcus Rashford and former chairman of World Snooker, Barry Hearn.

Formidable Forces

Marcus Rashford

The England and Manchester United forward deservedly received the prestigious Integrity and Impact award for his fantastic work on and off the pitch, especially for his campaigning for free school meals, food banks and his fight against racism following the tragic death in the USA of George Floyd, working with causes such as Black Life Matters.
Although unable to attend on the night, Marcus appeared to the attendees via a video link, Rashford gave a very humble speech, thanking the judges for the award and reiterating how lucky he is to have the position he does in society and how sport can be a driving force in changing the way society governs and functions, especially to those who don’t have the loudest voice and who are hugely underrepresented. A scenario that has made him hugely driven and determined to help people out of poverty, something he knew too well as a child, where his family worried where the next meal would come from. Thoughts echoed by the former Paralympic Dame Tanni Grey Thompson.
Putting your head above the parapet as an athlete comes with some risk, and openly holding the Prime Minister and government to task is another level. Marcus’ voice has been prominent in the fight against racism and tirelessly campaigning against food poverty and for free school lunches forcing a government U-turn and bringing relief to thousands of families nationwide.”

Barry Hearn

Barry Hearn has been involved in sport since the 1970s, providing management in boxing, darts, gymnastics, pool and especially snooker. A man who has always been highly motivated and innovative, Hearn has revolutionised multiple sports and brought snooker back from the brink. Having worked as the chairman of Matchroom Sports for the last 40 years. Starting in humble surroundings in Romford, Hearn began with organising snooker tournaments, believing that could invigorate sport and help produce stars of the future. A burning ambition based on his own love of sport but unable to play any to a high standard.
On the night, Barry was presented by his son, Eddie, the Coutts Lifetime Achievement Award. He received a standing ovation and made a very powerful speech, including these words:
“In 1975 I started promoting the sport, I did it for one simple reason because I’m a failed sportsman. I love sport, I’m passionate about it. I always wanted to be a heavyweight champion or to play for England.
“I’ve ended up, since 1982, the Chairman and now the President of Matchroom Sport. We have given young men and women the opportunity to change their lives through sport. Irrespective of where they have come from, sport lets you get even against the world, and that’s what sport is about. It’s why we dedicate ourselves and go the extra mile and create a work ethic no one else can live with. Because we are special. Sport unifies the nation, irrespective of colour, creed, religion. Sport is all-embracing and we need it more than anything else through these difficult times.
“There are over 150 people in the Matchroom group and I want to thank every one of them because I wouldn’t be here without them, including my son who reminds me so much of me. He steals all my quotes, none of what Eddie says is original.
“To receive this award, I’m eternally grateful. Thank you.”
Other recipients on the night, included Sky Sports, Sport England and the Football Association. All deserving winners and so refreshing to be able to celebrate in a live event rather than the online presentation last year due to the pandemic. An event that shows how valued sportspersons are, the difference they can make and the unified community that exists within sport.
Barry Hearn receiving his lifetime achievement award.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So does that make him "Your Lordship" or "Your Grace" or what? If I happen to run into him, I don't want to commit a faupah.

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