‘Mr Crucible’ Mike Watterson dies aged 76

The man responsible for bringing the snooker World Championship to the Crucible Theatre passed away on Friday.

Mike Watterson, the former snooker player-turned-promoter, brought the competition to Sheffield in 1977, after his theatre-loving wife suggested it as a venue.

Since then, the Championship has become one of the biggest attractions in Sheffield, drawing a record 18.5m TV viewers in its 1985 heyday.

Watterson also played snooker professionally, having won the National Amateur Championships prior to turning pro in 1981, before retiring in 1986.

He would go on to create and manage most of the big events on the professional tour, and regularly commentated on the sport for Sky Sports in the 1990s.

Outside of snooker, the long-time Chesterfield resident created the BDO World Darts Championship in 1978, and was chairman of Derby County in the early 1980s, bringing legendary manager Brian Clough to the club from local rivals Nottingham Forrest.

His influence on sport will be missed, and he leaves behind twin sons Andrew and Nicholas, 13, and wife, Diane, 44.