Full name: Ronald Antonio O’Sullivan
Birth date: 5th December 1975
Born in: Wordsley, West Midlands, UK
Nickname: Ronnie ‘THE ROCKET’ O’Sullivan
Known for: Natural talent, speed, centuries, occasional attitude/performance issues.
Ronald Antonio ‘Ronnie’ O’Sullivan was born 5 December 1975 in Wordsley, West Midlands. Nicknamed ‘The Rocket’ due to his rapid playing style, he is an English professional Snooker Player. He has been World Champion on three occasions (2001, 2004 and 2008), and is second on the all-time prize money list with career earnings of over 6 Million GBP, behind only Stephen Hendry.
O’Sullivan has been the world’s No. 1 Player on five occasions, has won a total of 22 ranking titles and is second on the list of competitive century breaks behind Stephen Hendry. O’Sullivan is considered by his fans as the most naturally gifted snooker player of all time. He was a child prodigy who has gone on to become one of the most popular world champions the game has produced.
More on Ronnie O’Sullivan, scores, results, events and tournaments.
Ronnie’s big breakthrough came in a professional-amateur tournament in Stevenage when he was 14. He reached the quarter-final of the tournament where he faced Marcel Gavreau, who was ranked 34th in the world at that time.
The match was played over five frames, and in the deciding frame, Ronnie produced a 120 break to clinch victory. Later, Gavreau said: ‘That kid is unbelievable. Where’s he come from? No-one’s ever played that well against me.’
Ronnie made it to the final of the competition, where he faced Anthony Hamilton. Finding himself down at 2-1, Ronnie dug deep and won a tense fourth frame on a re-spotted black. He went on to win the match and pocket prize money of 1,000 GBP – not bad for a 14-year-old. It was reward for the practice Ronnie was putting in – six or seven hours a day when he was not at school, and maybe three or four hours if he was.
Ronnie’s name was becoming familiar on the club circuit now and it wouldn’t be long before a wider audience would know his face too. Impressive as Ronnie’s performances had been early on, they were a mere appetiser for what was to come when he hit the ripe old age of 15. Ronnie lost in the final of the UK Amateur championship, but along the way achieved a remarkable feat.
He made a maximum 147 break – becoming the youngest player ever to do so in a recognised environment. Ronnie left school mid-way through his final year and shortly after became a professional snooker player. His entry into the sport was nothing short of sensational. Between 1992-1993, in his first year in the circuit, Ronnie sent records tumbling. He won 47 out of 76 matches, which included a winning streak of 38 successive victories, overhauling the previous best held by Stephen Hendry. Hendry was also on the receiving end as Ronnie beat the Scot to become the youngest winner of a world ranking event. Aged 17 years and 11 months, Ronnie was crowned UK champion.
During this time, Ronnie recorded 5-0 victories over his opponents 22 times – one of the whitewashes came in Blackpool in a time of 43 minutes. That beat Tony Drago’s record for the quickest win. It was soon afterwards that MC Alan Hughes gave Ronnie the nickname of ‘The Rocket’. In 1993, Ronnie was named WBSA Young Player of the Year and Player of the Year a 12 months later. In April of 1994, he beat James Wattana to claim his second major title – the British Open. Two more UK Championships followed in 1997 and 2001 – the latter proved to be the defining year for Ronnie. It was then that Ronnie captured the World Championship – a title which has even eluded his hero, another supremely naturally gifted player, Jimmy White.
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