Toms: the night I refereed three pros

STEVE Toms said it was an “honour” to referee not one but three top professionals during a “memorable” charity exhibition evening at Fareham Snooker Club.

The Cuestars Section leader at Copnor Snooker Club, Portsmouth, added that it was “a very proud moment” when he was asked to officiate John Higgins, Barry Hawkins and Joe Perry.

Toms, who also acts as roving referee at Cuestars Under-21 events, told what the evening meant to him – and his wife.

“It was an honour to referee such three very high ranked professionals,” he said.

“I have refereed Joe Perry before at the Cuestars finals day but as for the other two, I never thought that I would do such high ranked pros.

“All three were gentlemen and were very easy to talk to. When you see these pros up close and the way they play, it makes the game look very easy.”

Toms was complimented on his performance by the players and even by some members of the audience but admitted to a few butterflies before the action started.

“At the start, I was a bit nervous,” he continued. “But as the first game got going, I was very relaxed and very calm around the table.

“This was the first time that I had refereed in front of over 80 people. Seeing all the people there really made the night a memorable one.

“It was very nice for my wife as well as she got to meet her favourite player, John Higgins, and had her photo taken with him.”

A massive total of £5,500 was raised for Breast Cancer Care and The Rocky Appeal at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

Pictured, from left: John Higgins, Steve Toms, Joe Perry, Barry Hawkins.

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Tim Dunkley (World Snooker coach)

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