Hi there and welcome to my website.
Its taken about 4 years, but I'm finally getting around to updating this website!!
As most of you will know I was a full-time Professional Snooker Referee from October 2001 until October 2005. Although I now have a ‘proper job’ I still referee all the matches in the PartyCasino.com Premier Snooker League televised by Sky Sports and in the 2010-2011 season I will again work occasionally for World Snooker
My decision to leave refereeing on a full-time basis was a difficult one as I love the sport and worked very hard to get to where I was. I refereed my first Ranking Event Final in January 2002 and was delighted to have been given the Welsh Open as my first Final as I am a very proud Welshman. The highlight of my career came in 2004 when I was given the honour of refereeing the Final of the Embassy World Championship at the Mecca of Snooker, Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.
The main reason for my leaving was the fact that Snooker was going through a very hard time financially and I found it difficult to justify the amount of time spent on the road and away from my family and friends when the salary was not very good and I barely made a living, especially considering how rare I got home to my family and spending hour after hour, day after day, week after week on Motorways, in Airports or looking for car parks and hotels.
I look back on my four years with nothing but pride, sometimes even disbelief, at what I achieved. All in all I had a fabulous time. I worked with and met some fantastic people and fulfilled just about every snooker related ambition I ever had. Eleven Ranking Finals including three in a row, Eleven consecutive Premier League Finals (and still going), Youngest referee ever to do Embassy World Final, 2 Welsh Open Finals, Masters Final at Wembley, China Open Final when Ding Junhui beat Stephen Hendry with over 115 million viewers just to name a few. The only things I would have liked to have done were the United Kingdom Championship Final and to have refereed a maximum break. But hey, I’m only 40 and I haven’t retired yet so who knows!
When I left refereeing I started work for my great friend Alun Squire as General Manager of his car showroom, Squire Cars, in Newport. I had never worked in ‘Retail Sales’ before and it was a great experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. I left the garage on 2nd March 2007 and on 4th March I took over as Manager / Steward of Tredegar Cons Club in Newport. I used the club socially for twelve years and was Secretary and Treasurer for eighteen months up until I took over properly. When the current Steward and Stewardess retired I was asked if I would consider taking the job on along with my ‘better half’, Karen, and after a lot of thought and discussion we agreed to the career change.
I basically went back to my roots because when I left school in 1987 I worked as a barman at Newport Rugby Club and following on from there I was assistant Manager at Kingsway Snooker Centre in Newport, Manager of The Emporium Snooker Club in Bargoed (where Mark Williams learnt his trade) and Manager of Chepstow Snooker Centre.
Those of you who know me will probably be surprised at my connection with the licensed trade as you all know I never touch a drop of alcohol – as if!
I worked at the Cons club for 2 years before taking some time out and finally re-opening a Cafe in October 2009.
My Cafe is about 15 miles outside Newport in the old mining town of Abertillery. You can check it out at my other website: www.karscafe.co.uk
There is a gallery of pictures from my refereeing years available for you to look at and please feel free to email me with any comments you have about the site or questions on the rules that you struggle to find the answers to. I get loads of emails and queries so please be patient, I will try and answer every one.
Thanks for showing an interest and thanks especially to all those who sent me birthday wishes when I celebrated my 40th in July and to everyone who has wished my good luck for the new season!