Ronnie O'Sullivan cements his name as the greatest snooker player ever

O'Sullivan's latest victory saw him eclipse Doug Mountjoy to become the oldest winner of the UK title


Leslie Wilson Jr

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Ronnie O'Sullivan poses with the trophy. — AFP
Ronnie O'Sullivan poses with the trophy. — AFP

Published: Wed 6 Dec 2023, 12:57 AM

England’s Ronnie O’Sullivan solidified his name in snooker history when he won an eighth UK Championship last weekend and then took a potshot at the sport’s governing body.

The Rocket, who has amassed 40 titles during a glittering career, justified his No 1 world ranking with a compelling 10-7 victory over Ding Junhui to become the oldest UK champion, two days before his 48th birthday.

His latest victory has come 30 years after his maiden triumph as a precocious 17-year-old in 1993.

Sunday’s victory was the Englishman's 22nd Triple Crown success but it was followed by revelations that he had received a letter from the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards (EPSB) asking him to consider his future.

"I feel a more complete player now than ever," O'Sullivan told BBC. "I've got better, I feel like I got better in many ways.

“I started off pretty raw. I was all right when I first turned pro and I lost my way. It's bonkers to be still playing and winning tournaments at the age of 48.

"I just keep playing. As long as they (EPSB) want me to keep playing I'll play. But they sent me a letter the other week saying they want me to consider my future on the tour, I don't know what's going through their heads at the moment,” he added.

"I'll just keep potting balls and trying my best and hopefully (common) sense prevails somewhere along the line."

O'Sullivan's latest victory saw him eclipse Doug Mountjoy to become the oldest winner of the UK title.

Welshman Mountjoy was 46 in 1988 when he won his second UK crown, beating the legendary Stephen Hendry.

Asked if he ever imagined that he would still be playing and winning tournaments approaching 50, O'Sullivan replied: "I'd have said, 'You're off your nut, you are crazy.'"

Ronnie O'Sullivan: The Edge of Everything, a documentary on the green baize maestro, was released on November 23 on Prime Video, and on November 24 in the UK.

The two-hour film is exec produced by former England football star David Beckham, who like O’Sullivan is also from Essex.

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