Ronnie O’Sullivan’s highs and lows

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s eventful career took a turn for the worse when he made a shock exit from the World Snooker Championship at the hands of amateur James Cahill.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at the highs and lows for a man who had always commanded attention since he burst on to the scene as a teenager.

The Highs

First UK title

Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Stephen Hendry when he was still a teenager (Rebecca Naden/PA
Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Stephen Hendry when he was still a teenager (Rebecca Naden/PA

Teenager O’Sullivan, who had already made his first competitive 147-break as a 15-year-old at the English Amateur Championship, announced himself in earnest as he won the first of his record seven UK Championship titles to date in 1997.

He beat Stephen Hendry 10-6 in the final at Preston’s Guild Hall to become the youngest winner of a ranking event and 17 years and 358 days.

On top of the world

Ronnie O’ Sullivan, back, beat John Higgins in the World Snooker Championship in 2001 (Rui Vieira/PA)
Ronnie O’ Sullivan, back, beat John Higgins in the World Snooker Championship in 2001 (Rui Vieira/PA)

Four years on, the first of his five world crowns arrived as he defeat John Higgins 18-14 in the final at the Crucible in Sheffield.

O’Sullivan took a 10-6 lead into the second day of the match and although nerves played their part in a tense conclusion, he prevailed to get his hands on the trophy.

A 1,000th century break

Ronnie O’Sullivan scored his 1,000th century break in Preston (John Walton/PA)
Ronnie O’Sullivan scored his 1,000th century break in Preston (John Walton/PA)

The man nicknamed “The Rocket” for his explosive style of play wrote himself into the record books in March this year when he became the first player to register a 1,000 century breaks.

He reached four figures – he potted the decisive red left-handed for good measure – during his 10-4 final victory over Neil Robertson at the Coral Players Championship in Preston.

The Lows

Drugs shame

Ken Doherty was named champion after O’Sullivan was stripped of his title (Sean Dempsey/PA)
Ken Doherty was named champion after O’Sullivan was stripped of his title (Sean Dempsey/PA)

O’Sullivan has battled drink, drugs and depression during his career, but one of his lowest moments came when he was stripped of his 1998 Irish Masters title after testing positive for cannabis.

He also forfeited his £61,000 prize money as beaten finalist Ken Doherty was named champion following a disciplinary committee hearing.

Walk-out in York

Ronnie O’Sullivan walked out of a match at the 2006 World Championship (Alistair Wilson 50/50/PA)
Ronnie O’Sullivan walked out of a match at the 2006 World Championship (Alistair Wilson 50/50/PA)

O’Sullivan stunned both opponent Hendry and the crowd at York’s Barbican Centre when he walked out of his 2006 UK Championship quarter-final clash with the Scot after “a bad day in the office”.

Trailing 4-1, he conceded the match and left the table, later apologising to Hendry for his behaviour, for which he was ultimately fined.

From rude to lewd

Ronnie O’Sullivan had to apologise for comments made during a tournament in China (Rebecca Naden/PA)
Ronnie O’Sullivan had to apologise for comments made during a tournament in China (Rebecca Naden/PA)

The Rocket was fined and docked ranking points after making lewd comments during an interview after losing to Marco Fu at the China Open in 2008. He later apologised and offered to stay away from tournaments if anyone was offended by his remarks.

GAA podcast: Glen deliver, pacy Barrs, Bandon's history boys and the psychology of developing elite players.

- Press Association

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