PDC Chairman Barry Hearn Awarded OBE
Barry Hearn, chairman of the Professional Darts Corporation, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list, honouring his sports services for over 40 years.
Since taking over as chairman in 2001, Top Sports Promoter Hearn, 72, has played a crucial role in the growth of the PDC, with top-level darts experiencing a global boom since then.
During his time in the sport, Hearn has helped to raise prize money to record levels and introduce a worldwide circuit which is headlined by the William Hill World Darts Championship – currently taking place at London’s Alexandra Palace and featuring a 96-player field.
The implementation of the PDC ProTour and Qualifying School/Tour Card scheme has also been supervised by Hearn, allowing every darts player to achieve the dream of rising to the top of the sport and the development of the second-tier Tours.
Live broadcasts in over 130 countries and viewing numbers to contend with other professional sports are included in the global television coverage of PDC events, whilst the development of the World Series of Darts circuit in 2013 has helped promote the work of associated organisations worldwide in creating new stars.
Originally a chartered accountant, in the late 1970s, before founding Matchroom Sport in 1982, Hearn had initially begun working in sports as Steve Davis’ manager.
During the 1990s, the management firm collaborated with four World Snooker Champions, and the evolution of the business also saw them step into supporting top-class boxing activities at venues such as White Hart Lane, Old Trafford and Wembley Stadium.
The event portfolio of Matchroom Sport also includes PGA EuroProTour golf and high-profile pool activities, tenpin bowling, fishing, netball, basketball and gymnastics.
Hearn, a former owner of the Leyton Orient football club who remains the president of the club, has played a part in the growth of TV poker events in popularity.
Barry Hearn OBE
“I’m incredibly proud to have been awarded an OBE. It has been a great joy to be involved in such a wide range of sports for over 40 years, and to be recognised for that work is an honour.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the greatest players ever to play in their sport from Steve Davis to Phil Taylor to Chris Eubank, and I’ve got so many wonderful memories.
“Alongside those elite players though, I’ve always tried to create pathways and opportunities for people to reach the very top of their chosen sport and change their life in the process.
“This award is also a recognition for the hard-working, creative and dedicated staff I work with at Matchroom Sport and in our chosen sports, who share my vision and help to bring our events to reality.
“A passion for sport has been a mantra for us all at Matchroom, and I’m so fortunate to have enjoyed such a wonderful time across the last four decades.”
Very proud of my old man @BarryHearn who has been awarded an OBE for services to sport in the Queens honours list. He has dedicated his life to creating entertainment through sport and giving athletes the opportunities and platforms to succeed..well deserved!
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) December 30, 2020