Archive Page

Betfred Presents Cheque To Jessie May

Mark Pearson of Betfred presents the cheque to Barry Hearn ( Zac Goodwin/PA Wire)

World Championship sponsor Betfred has presented a cheque for £25,000 to WST’s official charity Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home, following a barrage of century breaks in the tournament at the Crucible.

Before the tournament started, Betfred pledged £200 for every century break, to be rounded up to £25,000 if the ton tally reached 80. Amazingly, that target was hit with seven days of the event still to be played, when Mark Williams made the 80th.

The massive £25,000 donation will help pay for the incredible work done by the charity, which provides a hospice at home service for terminally ill children, offering care to families in the South West area. For more information about Jessie May visit

Chris Roys, Chief Executive Officer of Jessie May, said: “We’ve said it time and time again, but there just are no words that can truly explain what this means to everyone here at Jessie May, and the families we support.

“We are coming up to our 25th Anniversary, and so this £25,000 donation has an even more special meaning to us. Thank you so much to Betfred for their phenomenal generosity this year, World Snooker Tour for their continued support in this, our fifth year, and of course to the players whose fine form has triggered this incredible gift.”

WST Chairman Barry Hearn OBE accepted the cheque on behalf of Jessie May at the Crucible on Saturday. He said: “This is a remarkably generous donation from Betfred and my sincere gratitude goes to Fred Done and his fantastic team. I know how difficult it has been for Jessie May to keep their fund-raising going over the past year in these challenging times and I have been amazed by the dedication they have shown to maintain support for the many children and families who rely on their care. This donation will give them a huge boost.

“Congratulations to the players for their skills on the table, we are well on course for a record number of centuries.”

Barry Hearn OBE Steps Aside As Eddie Hearn Becomes Matchroom Sport Group Chairman

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.

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 World Snooker 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 World Snooker 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.”

Barry Hearn Awarded OBE

Steve Davis and Barry Hearn

Barry Hearn, Chairman of the World Snooker Tour, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours for his services to sport.

The award comes as recognition of Hearn’s achievements in sports promotion over more than 40 years.

The 72-year-old Londoner has been involved in snooker since the 1970s, initially as manager of Steve Davis who went on to dominate the sport throughout the 1980s. Hearn formed the Matchroom stable of players, which also included stars Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor, Willie Thorne, Cliff Thorburn, Neal Foulds, Tony Meo and Terry Griffiths.

In 2010, Hearn was elected Chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association – the sport’s governing body – and subsequently of its commercial arm the World Snooker Tour.

At the time, snooker was at its lowest ebb for 40 years, with just six ranking events on the calendar and total prize money of £3.5 million.

Over the decade that followed, Hearn led a global revolution of the sport. The number of tournaments grew to over 25, with total prize money increasing to £15 million. Events have been staged in over 20 countries worldwide, while snooker’s global television audience has grown to a massive 500 million fans. The professional tour now has 128 players from 21 different countries and regions.

Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, this year there have been 20 tournaments, providing earning opportunities for the players and high quality live sport for viewers around the world. In July, snooker’s World Championship was the first UK indoor sporting event to safely welcome a crowd, following the national lockdown.

Hearn was inducted into the Snooker Hall of Fame in 2018.

He has enjoyed similar success with the Professional Darts Corporation, Matchroom Boxing and a wide range of other sports. Hearn was Chairman of Leyton Orient Football Club from 1995 to 2014, and is still President of the club.

He is Chairman of Matchroom Sport, one of the world’s leading sports promotion companies. In 2019, Matchroom staged a total of over 650 event days globally.

For 38 years, Matchroom Sport has donated millions of pounds to a wide-range of charities, including sports and community charities, and hospices for both children and adults.

In 2016 the Matchroom Sport Charitable Foundation was established and oversees funding to a number of charities, foundations and hospices across the UK.