Len Ganley

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Len Ganley MBE (born April 27, 1943 in Lurgan , County Armagh , † August 28, 2011 ) was a Northern Irish snooker referee .


Although Ganley only planned a short stay with his sister in Burton-upon-Trent in 1971 , he lived from then on in England. After initially working as a milkman and bus driver, he began his career as a professional snook referee by chance in 1976: the appointed referee did not appear during an exhibition match with Ray Reardon . Ganley stepped in for this and immediately convinced with his energetic demeanor. So Reardon advised him to referee more often from now on.

Between 1983 and 1993 he directed four World Snooker Championship finals . He was also appointed as the final referee of the UK Championship 1983 and also directed the game between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mick Price during the 1997 World Snooker Championship, in which O'Sullivan was able to achieve the fastest maximum break in snooker history. After Ganley ended his active career in 1999, he helped train young referees.


Ganley grew up as one of 11 children in Armagh, Northern Ireland.

He started playing snooker in Northern Ireland and won various local titles in Great Britain and Ireland. His highest break was a 136 break.

In 2002 he suffered a heart attack before Ganley, who had diabetes, died on August 28, 2011 at the age of 68. Instead of the usual condolences, his family asked for donations for the Paul Hunter Foundation .

“Len did a very good job of being a referee and a personality at the same time. A referee is supposed to be unseen and he liked the limelight, but he still managed to do the job properly. He was a great character off the table, but in the arena he was an excellent referee. He knew the game as a player, having made century breaks himself, so when he was in charge of your match it was nice to know how well he understood the game. ”

- Steve Davis : worldsnooker.com, August 28, 2011

“Len was both a great referee and a great personality. As a referee you should always be invisible ; he loved the spotlight, but he always behaved correctly. He had his quirks away from the table, but at the table he was an excellent referee. He also knew what was happening from the perspective of a player who had already scored century breaks himself. So it was good to know how much he understood the game if he was responsible for your match. "

His son Mike Ganley is the WPBSA Tournament Director.

Appearances in the media

Despite not drinking alcohol, Ganley appeared in a commercial for the Carling beer brand in the early 1980s . In it, Ganley crushes the white ball with his own hands after John Spencer knocked it off the table during a game against Terry Griffiths .

In 1985 he was sung by the English indie rock band Half Man Half Biscuit with the song The Len Ganley Stance .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b worldsnooker.com: Referee Len Ganley Dies Age 68 , August 28, 2011
  2. a b c d e independent.co.uk: Keith Elliott at Large: Jolly giant of the green baize: The chimney sweep turned professional snooker referee was once described as the 'godfather of punk' , December 18, 1992
  3. burtonmail.co.uk: Legendary snooker ref Len Ganley is mourned ( September 7, 2011 memento in the Internet Archive ), August 31, 2011
  4. a b c bbc.co.uk: Take a look at me now , May 4, 2001
  5. a b bbc.co.uk: Ganley on road to recovery , July 4, 2002
  6. bbc.co.uk: Northern Ireland snooker referee Len Ganley dies , August 28, 2011
  7. telegraph.co.uk: Higgins fumes at World Championship exit , April 26, 2008