The 72-year-old announced his son Eddie would be replacing him as the head of Matchroom Sport – a sporting events firm – as well as the PDC. After this year’s World Snooker Championship concludes in May, Hearn will also see his role as head of World Snooker move to Steve Dawson. Reflecting on his retirement, Hearn said he “knows the company is in good hands”, adding: “It has been a huge honour to have worked with some of the greatest sportspeople on the planet across the last 40 years and I have enjoyed so many wonderful experiences across our spectrum of events in that time.”
Hearn has become a giant in the world of sport, helping revolutionise a number of competitions, particularly rejuvenating snooker in the Eighties.
Among the other sports Hearn counts within his portfolio is pool, tenpin bowling, table tennis and fishing.
The businessman had a rags to riches life, as he was born on a council estate in Dagenham, Essex, before working and running a number of small businesses while a teenager, including washing cars and picking vegetables.
He is often incredibly outspoken, and known for his bust-ups with the stars, such as a famous ongoing spat with snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan.
But when the UK was deciding whether to vote Leave or Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum, Hearn made an impassioned plea to voters.
Taking to Twitter days before the vote, he told his followers: “Surely people understand that we must rule ourselves and not be told what to do by a faceless superstate called EU.”
In another tweet, the promoter added: “We are the fifth-biggest economy in the world.
“We have strength and Europe needs us for trade as much as we need them if not more.”
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During their three decade-association, Hearn managed O’Sullivan on two separate occasions, and helped create the popularity of snooker which has made the 45-year-old, reigning world champion, a millionaire.
Despite this friendship, tensions boiled last year when O’Sullivan threatened to create a breakaway snooker tour, after he claimed the current tour had become “deadly dull”.
Reflecting on the friendship, Hearn said: “Ronnie O’Sullivan is a lovely, lovely person, he’s also a genius, and therein lies the problem.
“A genius is not normal, they don’t say normal things and they don’t act normally, that’s one of the reasons they are a genius and we have to allow for that.
“Ronnie comes out with some outrageous things and I allow for it, in the same way that I allowed for Alex Higgins because he was a genius, Jimmy White, genius, Phil Taylor, I don’t expect normality from geniuses.
“The sad thing, for me, is sometimes the errant ideology of a genius is counterproductive to their own personal welfare.”