Snooker Referees are usually the silent ones in the game - often seen more than heard - but they are the gatekeepers of the baize.

But don't get on the wrong side of Sarah Mcmanus, 40, because, if you do, you might get thrown on the table or attacked with a rest.

Yes, the Basildon amateur referee, slowly rising through the ranks of the amateur and pro scene is a black belt in Shotokan Karate

For those of you who don't know what Shotokan Karate is, it is a martial art form which originated from Japan in Okinawa.

Remember in the Karate Kid film part two, Mr Miyogi in his Dojo in his hometown of Okinawa?

Shotokan consists of three parts, basic technique, then forms or patterns and then sparring,

Dojos became popular in the West also known as Karate Halls.

The pioneer of the movement was Gichin Funakoshi, and in 1945, the Shotokan Dojo was destroyed due to war. Those who do achieve brown or black belt level in the discipline are often experts in throwing and joint locking.

But onto the snooker

Amateur referee Mcmanus will be refereeing her first pro event in August's Paul Hunter Classic, and, while she is not yet nervous about it, she says come the day she will be, but when she gets to the table the nerves will stop and she will get on with the job.

But, she, like most female aspiring referees, dreams of following in the footsteps of Michaela Tabb who was the first female referee to referee a World Championship final in 2009.

See a tour in this video below, behind the scenes at the World Championships...

Mcmanus explains how the offer to referee at the Paul Hunter Classic in Furth, Germany, came about.

"I was asked to referee at Q-School in Preston this year and I jumped at the chance to referee under the watchful eye of some of the World's best referees in the game."

She added: "I am very honoured and privileged to attend and assist at such a prestigious event.

I am looking forward to this like a child looks forward to Christmas, Birthdays and Easter all rolled into one!"

Mcmanus also has a claim to fame, she went to school a year younger than former 2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham, and she supports the Reds, Liverpool FC.

She talks about the ladies on the circuit.

"All of the ladies on the snooker circuit are very friendly, and I enjoy spending time with them.

Heidi De Gruchy is an absolute crackpot, and never fails to make me laugh."

De Gruchy, from Grimsby, is slowly rising up the ranks of the ladies tour - after only being on the scene for more than a year.

McManus is also friends with many other lady players and their families.

Talking of attacking snooker players...

She recounted how at last year's charity snooker event the Pink Ribbon, she accidentally knocked David Grace with a rest, (recently a winner in the pro-am in Vienna) who also appeared at the Crucible in April.

She said: "He was playing on a table adjacent, I stepped back to replace the rest, and at the same moment as David stepped back, I hit him on the arm. I was so embarrassed but David was great and just took it as a big dramatic joke."

Over the weekend, McManus refereed another in her long line of exhibitions at Faversham Snooker Club.

This time, in the middle of the legend Patsy Fagan and Phil O'Kane, all for charity to raise money for the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

She spoke of Patsy: "A true gentleman. His knowledge of the modern players was wonderful, and it was really lovely hearing him talk with such passion."

The Paul Hunter Classic is due to be played in late August, and Mark Selby is the defending Champion, with the venue being played in the Stadthalle, in Furth, Germany.

The ladies will also play there for the second time, with Hong Kong's Ng On Yee as the defending champion.

Finally, Mcmanus has this advice for anyone wanting to become a snooker referee.

"If you want to be a referee, then put in 100%, be dedicated and pro-active.

Learning the rules is always a bonus, she joked."

For more details, if you want to know how to become a snooker referee, visit the WPBSA website which tells you in full how to get into snooker refereeing.