Europe

Ronnie O’Sullivan said it would be ‘disgrace’ for Royal Family to honour him

Saturday Kitchen: Ronnie O'Sullivan discusses his fish diet

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The snooker ace, 45, has made it into the second round of the English Open after defeating Cypriot player Michael Georgiou. The Rocket, who won the competition in 2017, hit 461 unanswered points to win the match 4-1. O’Sullivan sealed his place in the last 32 with the victory, which saw him score an 82, a 127, a 129 and a 108. However, he was not given a smooth ride in Wednesday evening’s session after rushing to the match and not having enough time for his pre-game routine, which involves meditation.

The Six-time world champion arrived late to the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes and was still in his jeans and trainers with just minutes to go.

O’Sullivan had been enjoying a “long lunch” of a kebab and baklava in a Turkish restaurant with friends.

He told Eurosport: “I was having something to eat and it was like 4-2 [between Murphy and O’Connor] and I just had to rush over.

“I had seven minutes to get ready and come in and was obviously a bit rushed.

“No excuses, but just the frame of mind, I just kept trying to settle, settle, settle.

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“I feel like I’m cueing all right so I know that there is some good snooker in there but you still need to be ready mentally.”

O’Sullivan has hailed his pre-match routine as one of the reasons for his success over the years.

He said: “I’d rather be late for the match in fact and miss the first frame.

“I’d rather be 1-0 down in a good place than 0-0 and thinking I want to smash my cue into a hundred pieces and go home.”

O’Sullivan is no stranger to controversy and has previously been slapped with fines for assaulting an official, walking out of a match and making obscene gestures during a game.

Often hailed as a genius and regarded by many as the best snooker player ever, he has also battled drink, drugs, anxiety and depression.

Back in 2013, Ronnie hit the headlines again as he claimed it would be a “disgrace” for someone like him to receive an honour.

The comments came in the run-up to the publication of his second autobiography, ‘Running’.

He said: “It would be a disgrace to give someone like me an MBE. I’m just not that type of guy, am I?

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“I’m not that interested. I don’t really want one and I don’t really even know what they are for.

“As long as I am loved by my fans and my public, and when I die people might still have a look on YouTube and say, ‘This guy played the game better than anyone who ever played,’ then for me that is better than any MBE, any knighthood or anything anyone could possibly give me.

“That’s a legacy and I am more interested in the legacy I leave.

“That could last for generations. And when I am gone, my grandchildren could find something and think, ‘Wow, grandad was pretty good at what he did.’”

However, despite his comments, a couple of years later, in 2015, Ronnie was finally awarded an OBE for his services to snooker.

On receipt of the gong, he said: “I am extremely grateful for this recognition which is a great honour and has made both myself and my family very proud.

“It came as a great surprise to receive my OBE and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my family, friends and fans who have supported me throughout my career and made this achievement possible.”
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