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Vera Selby

Postby SnookerFan

As much of a traitor that this might make me to this fine website, I was just browing The Snooker Forum. And they've thrown up a subject I found interesting. (For once.)

The guy who started the thread had been browing his Snooker Scene collection, and found this extract. (About the 1981 Lada Classic.)

"The main drama of the final arose through the replacement of Vera Selby as the referee by Alan Braithwaite. This was not due to any deficiency in Mrs Selby's refereeing - she has a Grade 'A' certificate and considerable experience which includes an amateur international - but to a burglary at her home that night.
Mrs Selby mistakenly thought that she had been the subject of a quiet complaint from the players and only realised later why two police officers had insisted to Promoter that she be spirited away from the arena without delay. Her disappointment was somewhat alleviated later when the burglars were apprehended."

I personally hadn't realised there had been any kind of female referee before Michaela. I suspect this is because the majority of experts employed by the TV channels didn't realise either.

Anybody ever heard of her before? Apparently, she was involved in billiards as well, and according to the original thread that I am plagerising, she did some commentary for the 1982 World Championships as well. And most importantly, a quick google search has informed me she once appeared on Countdown. <laugh>

Sorry if this is a ramble. I just find it interesting that there was a female so heavily involved in the sport, that seems to have gone almost forgotten whereas people like Michaela and Ivy get a lot more attention. And Michaela in particular has been creditted with breaking barriers.

I wasn't born until late 1980, but do some of the older members remember this woman?

Re: Vera Selby

Postby markj147

Vera refereed one of Hannah's first EASB junior matches at Hartlepool. I think Hannah was 9 or 10. She has well viewed videos of snooker coaching on Youtube. Some people believe that she is related to Mark Selby which is incorrect.

Very interesting article by the way. A murder no less!

Re: Vera Selby

Postby Roland

I've no problem with TSF being mentioned and Vera Selby used to commentate on the snooker in the 1980s because I've seen some old matches with her in the box with Ted Lowe or whoever else was doing it at the time.

Re: Vera Selby

Postby SnookerFan

Sonny wrote:I've no problem with TSF being mentioned and Vera Selby used to commentate on the snooker in the 1980s because I've seen some old matches with her in the box with Ted Lowe or whoever else was doing it at the time.


Do you know, did she referee any professional matches outside of the above one she was scheduled to and pulled out of?

I just find it interesting that she's not mentioned more often on commentary etc. Not that I'm saying we should make a big deal out of her gender, that would be patroising. But if she refereed professional matches, especially at the World Championships, it would make her particularly noteworthy.

Re: Vera Selby

Postby SnookerFan

Sonny wrote:I've no problem with TSF being mentioned and Vera Selby used to commentate on the snooker in the 1980s because I've seen some old matches with her in the box with Ted Lowe or whoever else was doing it at the time.


Slightly off topic, but I've always liked that about this forum. I post on forums about different sports, and I've found some forums almost take it as a personal insult if you mention another forum on the same subject. It makes it feel like the admin on this website are more secure about themselves. :hatoff:

Re: Vera Selby

Postby peter76

Yes I remember the name of Vera Selby, and I always wondered if she was any relation to Mark. I doubt it as I think it would have been mentioned by commentators somewhere along the line. I did not remember initially whether she was a player OR a referee, but it seems she was both.

Re: Vera Selby

Postby gallantrabbit

There was a Picture of her in na old snooker book I had. I think her highest competitive break was about 56. She was already getting on a bit for snooker. This was pre-Alison Fisher and the like. Don´t ever remember her commentating though.

Re: Vera Selby

Postby tumax

Hi, Vera Selby was the ladies world snooker champion and I have an amusing little anecdote about her: Mrs Selby was giving an exhibition at the local labour club and she was beating everyone who came up against her. One particular individual whom Vera had just trounced said " after that, I think I'll go home and have a baby", quick as a flash Vera responded "I'll beat you at that too"
Cheers