Sheffield snooker: ‘Barry Hearn's right - this is why world championship should should stay put’

Sheffield snooker fans have praised World Championships boss Barry Hearn after his staunch defence of keeping the tournament at The Crucible.

Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 12:53 pm

Asked if the champtionship could be taken around the country to different venues, Mr Hearn, chairman of World Snooker, said he would move the championships ‘when tennis leaves Wimbledon’.

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Sheffield snooker: Barry Hearn will move world championships from Crucible ‘when...

And he told Radio Four’s Today Programme that the Crucible had history that no money could buy, although he was open to it being in a bigger version of the Crucible.

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Sheffield prepares to welcome World Snooker back for another year. Sheffield snooker fans have praised World Championships boss Barry Hearn after his staunch defence of keeping the tournament at The Crucible.

Star readers praised his stance on our Facebook page.

Caroline Burke said: “Heard this on the radio. Being asked by London-centric presenter if it should move from Sheffield. Loved his response! Need a few more people shouting out for Sheffield! Like the Mancs do!”

Brenda Titterton added: “Its great that the snooker comes to the Crucible but what a shame Sheffield hasn’t a lot to offer to all the visitors in the way of shops.”

Jacqieline Helliwell said: “Good on him. It will put some snooker players in their place. Lets hope we will get a council that will promote Sheffield more and start trying to get more companies to invest in the city.”

The Betfred World Snooker Championship trophy at The Crucible, Sheffield. Sheffield snooker fans have praised World Championships boss Barry Hearn after his staunch defence of keeping the tournament at The Crucible. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.

‘Snooker belongs in Sheffield’

Jane Chiarello said Snooker was incredibly important to her family. She said: “My folks met because of it. My stepbrother was taught snooker by an ex-champion. My dad ran the old Grosvenor House Hotel back in the 80s where I met all the greats of the day. It belongs in Sheffield.”

Pete Will thought it was the small size and amphitheatre atmosphere that makes it what it is.

He said: "I’ve not been there for the snooker but I saw Thin Lizzy play there in the ‘70s as part of a week of music through the ages, they represented contemporary rock, without doubt that little amphitheater venue made it the most personal gig for both the performer and watcher.”

The Betfred World Snooker Championship trophy at The Crucible, Sheffield. Sheffield snooker fans have praised World Championships boss Barry Hearn after his staunch defence of keeping the tournament at The Crucible. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Chris Blackburn said: “Been loads of times, so what if it’s small? Snooker should stay there, and I’m from Barnsley so sticking up for Sheffield is hard, but leave it alone.”

Steve Thompson said he knew Mike and Carol Watterson, who he described as discovering the Crucible was perfect for the World Championships and having it moved there. He said: “Lovely people. Should stay there forever. All that history cannot be moved."

‘People travel hundreds of miles for Crucible vibe’

Mark Delmonte said: “I can casually walk in to town from where I live and chat to people who have travelled hundreds of miles, not always with a ticket just to get the Crucible vibe around the Winter Gardens. Makes me very proud to live here.”

Snooker at The Crucible. Sheffield snooker fans have praised World Championships boss Barry Hearn after his staunch defence of keeping the tournament at The Crucible. Photo: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire

Chris Barnes said Sheffield was the home of football and the home of snooker. “Long let it remain so for both,” he added.

Fasil Mahmood said: “It belongs in Sheffield, I would never move it. The history speaks for itself and furthermore it’s fitting in Sheffield. Why? because it’s the home of the world championship, it’s a unique venue. It wouldn’t be the same if it got relocated. For me I’d love to keep it in the steel city – Sheffield. In a few years build a bigger venue but I’d keep just the way it is, can’t beat it.”

Some thought a switch or changes within the city would be a good idea.

‘Convert John Lewis to snooker venue’

Pam Snape suggested converting the John Lewis Building into a snooker palace, adding there would be parking spaces.

Ronnie O'Sullivan during day one at The Crucible. Sheffield snooker fans have praised World Championships boss Barry Hearn after his staunch defence of keeping the tournament at The Crucible. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Jane Parkinson said: “Sheffield is home of snooker and it should stay even if building a new place for it to be played is needed or converting one of the many empty buildings around Sheffield.

John McFarland thought it made sense to move it to a purpose built venue, with lots of parking spaces, and a hotel included in the building, also big enough for big show nights for major stars of the day. He added: “I could add lots more ideas to this venue. Lets see if this Labour-run council, have the business sense to go ahead with it and really put Sheffield on the Map. At the same time creating jobs.”

But Phil Mcandrew said: “There is plenty of parking at the Crucible. There is a large underground car park serving the theatres including the Crucible. The whole area is pedestrianised. There are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby. It’s an ideal venue. Let’s keep snooker there.

Others were less enthusiastic.

Not enough toilets

Margaret Drury said: “Only one problem at the Crucible, two toilets six feet square – not good when 800 want to go in the interval.

Steve Platts said: “So… the answer is apparently to spend how much extending the Crucible? And for what? The relatively small crowd which the snooker championships draw in? Where are they expecting all these ‘extra people’ to suddenly come from? More to the point, why do they expect so many extra people to ‘want’ to come?! You can’t park anywhere near it… those who can will be charged an arm and a leg to do so… and it’s a once per year event. The rest of the year, the extra seating capacity will be completely unused. So basically, the plans are to spend a load of cash, because Sheffield is being held to ransom with the ‘threat’ of the snooker going elsewhere. Brilliant. This is what Sheffield has come to… desperately trying to keep hold of this one thing… because we literally don’t have anything else.”

Philip Axe said: “Don't be fooled. We're veterans who've packed it in going. The venue is poor you can't even get a cheese sandwich on the...concourse. And Hearn has jacked up the prices to eye watering proportions. No more snooker for us the quicker it goes the better. “