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Matchroom founder Hearn recovering after ‘minor heart attack’

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn talks to press ahead of the World Snooker Championships - by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Barry Hearn, the event promoter and founder and chairman of the Matchroom Sport agency, is recovering after suffering a heart attack on Sunday.

The news was announced this afternoon by his son Eddie, the boxing promoter and group managing director at Matchroom Sport.

The 71-year-old is set to return home today.

Eddie Hearn said on Twitter: “As if we can’t thank the NHS [National Health Service] enough, I want to particularly thank the staff at Broomfield & Basildon. My dad @BarryHearn was taken to hospital on Sunday after a minor heart attack and was operated on yesterday. He is up and well and returns home today in good spirits!”

Barry Hearn, who also suffered a heart attack in 2002, said that he was humbled by thousands of “get well” wishes.

Speaking recently amid the global shutdown of sports events caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Hearn said that he was still looking at ways to stage live sports events behind closed doors.

Hearn said he was looking for clarification from the UK government over new restrictions in place to tackle the spread of the pandemic. These included the limitation on travelling to and from work “only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home”.

He told the Unofficial Partner podcast: “I’m looking at ways of creating behind-closed-doors events subject to government rules and if I’m allowed to do that. If I am allowed to do it then I can then tick another box which is something on TV screens around the world which is live and entertaining although obviously lacking the atmosphere that most of my events have.”

Darts and snooker would particularly lend themselves to behind-closed-doors events, Hearn said, with a limited number of people present and the two-metre rule being exercised.

On Matchroom Sport’s financial outlook amidst the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, Hearn said that the business is “well controlled” and has reserves.

He added: “Matchroom Sport as a company has had year-on-year profit growth for the last 31 years. So we’re fairly protected in today’s world.”