Alan Chamberlain dies on the age of 78

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Alan Chamberlain, one of the leading snooker referees who oversaw many of the sport's greatest finals, has sadly passed away at the age of 78.

Chamberlain was widely respected among the best players, directors and fellow referees in snooker and is deeply missed by everyone in the sport.

He was a referee on the Pro Tour for the first time in 1983 and has had a career spanning almost 30 years. Its high point was the 1997 World Cup final at the Crucible, when Ken Doherty defeated Stephen Hendry. He also donned the white gloves for no less than eight Masters Finals in London, including the 1998 epic when Mark Williams defeated Stephen Hendry in the crucial frame with a newly discovered black man.

Chamberlain was also the man in the middle for seven maximum 147 breaks, and he has the unique honor of being the only man to break a 147 break in professional competition: Jamie Burnett's 148 during UK Championship Qualifying 2004.

In 2010 he became director of the global snooker umbrella organization WPBSA and spent six years in that capacity. He was also Chairman of the WPBSA Rules Committee and Chairman of World Billiards Limited (WBL).

Chamberlain retired in 2016 to spend more time with his wife and family.

Jason Ferguson, Chairman of the WPBSA, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Alan today. He was a lovely man, a fantastic servant to our sport for well over 30 years, and made a huge contribution.

“As a referee, he was one of the best we've ever seen. His ability to control the biggest games with a calm demeanor was a perfect example for the younger generation of referees who followed in his footsteps.

“When he put his gloves away forever, he became a much admired director and put his years of experience and knowledge in both snooker and billiards to good use.

"Our condolences go to Alan's family and friends."

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