Barry Hearn OBE retires from Matchroom Sport group

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Barry Hearn
Barry Hearns OBE, former Chairman Matchroom Sport group

The news of the retirement of renowned British sport promoter Barry Hearn (OBE) is trending on social media. The retirement was announced this afternoon in the news on the Matchroom website and @matchroomsport tweeter handle.

Asentv.tv spoke with Idada Joachim, president Snooker and Pool Players Alliance (SPPA) about the news, who said:

“Barry Hearn has done so much for a number of professional sports especially Snooker and Darts. He has directly and indirectly mentored lots of people.  I am one of those who have benefited from such indirect mentorship. So I will use this opportunity to congratulate him and the Matchroom sport organization which he founded because he is retiring in good health.

Even in his absence at the helm of affairs in Matchroom Sport group, the SPPA is looking forward to working with the new team as we explore ways of professionalizing Snooker, Pool and Darts in Nigeria and Africa.  It is important to note that our programs are progressing and very soon we will see them manifest starting with the Joy Billiards Chinese 8 Ball Pool Tournaments and the Top 4 Challenge Series which started in 2019”

Barry, up to his retirement, was the founder and chairman of the Matchroom Sport group.  He is being elevated to become President of the group in an advisory role, dealing primarily with event and global strategy the release said.

Eddie Hearn is replacing his father as chairman of the Matchroom group of companies comprising  Sports, Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), and boxing.  They are the promoter of Nigerian born British heavy weight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua.  Eddie in his new role will manage Matchroom Media and the PGA Euro Tour.

Steve Dawon will take over from Barry as chairman of World Snooker after 2021 World Snooker Championship.  Former Professional Darts Corporation CEO, Mathew Porter is elevated to chairman of Matchroom Multisport and Katie Hearn moved to the role of CEO of Matchroom media.

Barry Hearn founded the sports promotion company in 1982, enjoying huge success with Snooker before moving into Boxing, Darts, Pool and Ten pin Bowling amongst more than a dozen different sports.

Responding to the Matchroom tweet, many Tweeter users wrote in their handle

“it’s an honour to be a part of Matchroom and learn from the best.

11 years ago, Eddie offered me a job, Katie took me under her wing & I’ve felt part of Matchroom since with Barry as the guide!

Excited and proud to see where Multi Sport can and will go – here’s to the future (puts a fist)

Emily Frazer@Emfrazer wrote

Snooker and Pool Players Alliance @sppalliance_ng wrote

“Congratulations @BarryHearn. You sure earned the respect and promotion.”

WOMEN’S BOXING CHANNEL @womensboxin wrote

“Thanks so much for all you’ve done Bal”

Barry Maurice William Hearn OBE is an English sporting events promoter and the founder and chairman of promotions company Matchroom Sport.

Through Matchroom, Hearn is involved in many sports including snooker, darts, pool, tenpin bowling, golf (see PGA EuroPro Tour), table tennisand fishing. Hearn is currently the chairman of the Professional Darts Corporation,

Other positions he has occupied include:

  • chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) in July 2010
  • chairman of Leyton Orient F.C. in July 2014

Hearn was born in 1948 on a council estate in Dagenham, Essex, and educated at Buckhurst Hill County High School. He worked and then ran a series of small businesses as a teenager, from washing cars to picking fruits and vegetables

After qualifying as an accountant, Hearn took over the role of finance director to a design company based in Kensal Green, called Deryck Healey Associates (circa 1973). He formed a new firm, Kensal House Investments, and DHA became Deryck Healey International (DHI).

In the early 1970s, looking for a property investment, Hearn bought a snooker hall in Romford, Greater London. The same year, the BBC began promoting snooker on BBC2 in colour television, resulting in queues of people wanting to play snooker.[3] Hearn and business partner Deryck John Healey then bought Lucania Billiard Halls, which formed the basis of his future career, promoting snooker via colour television.

Hearn began promoting sporting events in 1974, working with amateur snooker players Geoff Foulds, father of Neal Foulds, and Vic Harris. In 1976, he became manager of Steve Davis, who went on to win the World Championship six times.

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