He officiated in two World Snooker Championship finals, including the first to be held at the Crucible Theatre in 1977. He also oversaw the match in which Kirk Stevens compiled a maximum 147 break at the 1984 Wembley Masters. Born in Ireland, Smyth worked as a London Underground driver.
He retired from the circuit in 1996.
Shortly afterwards, he looked back on his career and said "I spent 28 years on the Underground, but gave it all up when snooker began to get big on television John Street, John Williams, and myself, got more and more work as the circuit grew.
In the end, my employers saw more of me on television than they did at work. People told me it was daft to give up the Tube, and that I"d never earn a living from snooker.
They said it would never last on television, but they were wrong."
In 1977, Smyth was instrumental in the formation of the Professional Referees" Association, and was PRA president at the time of his death in 2007.
He died of cancer at the age of 78 on 4 January 2007 at his home in Chesterfield. He officiated at the first 13 Masters events in London, with Stevens" maximum against Jimmy White one of his career highlights. "I"d got to know Kirk when he first came over", Smyth remembered in 1998.
"He didn"t have much money, so I used to drive him to the exhibitions around the country for about 18 months, while he got himself settled.
"There were something like 2,500 people packed into the arena, some of them standing. Kirk and Jimmy were such popular players that the atmosphere was incredible.
lieutenant was like nothing else.".