Toms: My proudest moment

IT WAS the “proudest moment” of his refereeing career.

Steve Toms, who helps run the Cuestars Section at Copnor Snooker Club and is a stalwart of the Portsmouth District Billiards & Snooker Association’s management committee, was offered the chance of officiating a practice match between national treasure Jimmy White and Portsmouth professional Jason Weston.

Speaking after the best-of-19 game at Top Spot Snooker Club, Havant, Toms said: “Jimmy was a gentleman and was courteous who said the right things to me to make me feel at ease and was very professional as he posed for pictures and signed autographs when he could.”

Remarkably, or perhaps not, six-time World Championship finalist White knew who Toms was when he arrived to play on the club’s new Star table.

White took the fifth frame with a 104 clearance. Weston added a 95 after dinner but lost 10-7.

“It was a pleasure to referee a well-known player like Jimmy as the only other professional that I have refereed was Joe Perry at the Cuestars finals day last May,” said Toms.

He paid tribute to his refereeing mentor Peter Rook and added: “This was the proudest moment since I started refereeing.”

Weston, 45, turned professional in 1991 but was forced to retire in 2003 due to chronic fatigue syndrome. He regained his ticket through Q School last year.

Picture: Jimmy White (left) and Steve Toms

Report by Tim Dunkley