He first appeared on our screens in 1990, at just 14 years of age, where even then, he was as confident, flamboyant and charismatic as he is now. He then went on in 1992 and turned professional, winning his first major title in the 1993 UK championship and quickly got the nickname “the rocket” soon after.
Since then to now he has been a leading figure, or “the” leading figure in snookers recent history, breaking all types of records and winning practically every tournament there is to win.
Crowds flock in their thousands to come see Ronnie play, because they know most of the time they will get a show from him. His brilliant break building, safety game, positional play and more recently his much improved long potting game.
But behind all this, there is a man, whom like everyone else, is only human. Ronnie has had his troubles during his life, both on and off the table, going back to his childhood years starting with troubles with Ronnie O’Sullivan dad. The biggest single event in early life, was the imprisonment of Ronnie O’Sullivan dad, back when Ronnie was just turning professional. They were very close and did everything together, but when that was suddenly taken away from Ronnie, its understandable how it might effect him mentally and emotionally as it did.
During Ronnie’s career, we have seen some brilliant stuff from the genius that he is, however we have also seen a lot of unpredictability from him also. Sometimes Ronnie would lose his cool and smash balls, concede frames prematurely after missing early on in frames, tease players during games or even walk out of matches before they were over like he did in the world championships, playing against Stephen Hendry.
On more than a couple of occasions, Ronnie announced his retirement from the game, saying he finds it unappealing and boring to him. Thankfully for us fans, he has always come back and I think he’s found a happy medium in recent times, playing in tournaments that he likes, when he likes rather than playing every tournament there is. He is that good, that he can leave the game for a year, come back, play the world championships, and win it!!
This year alone, Ronnie has won the Masters and the Welsh open. Ronnie O’Sullivan 147 turndown created controversy this year choosing to make a 146. He opted to play in the Ladbrokes Grand Prix, but lost in the first round to Michael Holt in a best of 7 frames. The next tournament we will see Ronnie play is the world championships at the end of April this year. Even though he plays in such few tournaments, in comparison to most other players, he has managed to hold onto No.5 in the world. The bookmakers almost always have him down as favourite to win in every tournament. With the past regarding Ronnie O’Sullivan dad now in the past, he now looks upon this as a trivial part of his life.
I personally believe, that its the package we love when it comes to Ronnie O’Sullivan. Its not just how good he is as a player or the genius within, but also the man he is, which makes him stand out far more than any player in recent times. When people think of snooker, they think Ronnie O’Sullivan. He is in the very elite top 4, of all time players in my view, alongside Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Alex Higgins. Ronnie has far more to give to the game of snooker and we can only hope that he continues to excite us, keep us on the edge of our seats and win more tournaments going forward. Now Ronnie O’Sullivan dad can watch him make more history in snooker.