Interview with personalities - Eirian Williams

7. července 2014 v 4:49 |  Interviews

photo: Monique Limbos

by Vladimíra Procházková

Eirian Williams lives in Wales and he is one of the best professional referees, because he has the respect and charisma.

He decided the Word Championship finals in 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2010, the UK Championship finals in 2001, 2007, 2009 and 2011, and the final of the 2006 Masters.

First time we met personally at the Paul Hunter Classic in 2010.
He is a great man and I have a respect for him.

Hi Eiriane, you were originally a police officer. How many years?
I was a policeman for 18 years.

How did it occur to you to become a referee?
I enjoyed playing snooker but I wanted to get involved further in the game and I knew that I would not be good enough at playing, so I turned to refereeing.

How did the profession of referee influence your life?
Being a Professional Referee has changed my life, as it takes me away from my home and family.

Do you remember your first match that you decided?
My first professional match was between Stuart Swinburn versus Doug French in 1991.

Which match has stuck in your memory?
There are several, but there are two matches that stand out (and they involve the same players): my first World Final in 2001, when Ronnie O'Sullivan won his first World Title by beating John Higgins 18 - 14, and the 2006 Masters Final, when John Higgins beat Ronnie 10 - 9 with the 64 clearance in the final frame.

There are a lot of actions outside the UK. How do you cope with frequent travelling?
The travelling is very tiring, when you think that we travel to China at least 5 times a year, to India and Australia, but it is a part of the job and World Snooker do try to give me a bit of time off before and after long-haul events which gives me time to recover.

How do you relax? It is certainly very difficult to stand on you feet for so many hours… What's your favourite activity?
I relax when I am at home by seeing my family at every opportunity. When I am at an event, it is difficult to fully relax as I live in a hotel and very often there is no option but to go to my room and watch television.

How much are you tight to your birthplace? Could you live anywhere else?
I have always lived in the Llanelli area except when I was transferred to a small town called Llandeilo for two years whilst I was a policeman. I have no plans to leave this area.

Are the other referees just colleagues or have you got any good friends among them?
The group of referees who are in our 'A' band are a great team. Of course friendships develop but we all tend toget on with each other both as colleagues AND as friends.

Who decides which game you have to decide?
The decision as to which matches I referee is made by the tournament staff.

Can you tell us, what usually happens before the game in the dressing rooms, that spectators don't see.
Before a match, Referees prepare by getting dressed in the dressing room and make sure that they have the usual ball markers, coin, triangle, prepare the table for the match by setting the balls up and check that all the rests are in proper order. Once that is done, the scoring computers are made ready so that Live Scoring is activated on the internet.
The next step is to find the players, introduce yourself, telling them which table they will be on and, if both players are available, toss a coin to determine who is to break in the first frame. They are then told by the referee where they must be five minutes before the scheduled start time of the match so that everyone walks to the table(s) together.

What are you plans for the future?
As for the future, I don't know just yet. If I leave, I will miss the game as it has been my life for 23 years but, on the plus side, I will get to see my family a lot more.

Have you got a favourite quotation?
"West is Best". It was the favourite quotation of Ray Gravell who was a great Welsh Rugby player who later became a radio presenter. It has much to do with our 'national game' Rugby Union. Ray's heart was always with Llanelli Rugby Club, now known as The Scarlets and Llanelli was the most Westerly major team in South Wales hence, "West is Best". Sadly, he passed away a few years ago.

Eirian, thank you for this interview. All the best.

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