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Ronnie O'Sullivan taken aback...
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Ronnie O'Sullivan taken aback by encounter with 'pissed-up' fan

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

22:00 17 Apr 2021

It was only natural that a few fans would take getting back to sporting events a little bit too far - and Ronnie O'Sullivan has recounted an experience with a fan who was a little worse for wear.

'The Rocket' was back on the baize in front of fans in one of the first sporting events to allow spectators back in attendance.

His victory over Mark Joyce in the World Snooker Championships was marred a little by a fan who had had a little too much drink taken.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

"99% of the people are fine but it is just the odd one who was a bit boozed up and having a mental one. It was so busy, and this geezer was a nightmare," the Rocket said of his Crucible return.

"He was pissed up and coming at me and I was like, ‘Mate, please.‘ What can you do? I’ve got to stay indoors and stay away.

"If I didn’t have to be clean for this tournament it wouldn’t matter, but if I reached the quarter-finals it would be a sickener to have to pull out. As a sportsman, I can’t work if I get ill so that is my only problem."

O'Sullivan was happy to have fans back.

"It was great to have the crowd in there, they miss their snooker and I probably would have given up mentally in that match if there was no crowd there.

"I’d have thought, I’ll get out of here and go home and do a bit of punditry, but because the crowd are here you feel you have got to perform because they have paid their money and come out to watch.

"When I think back to my great matches and you see the crowd’s faces and the pleasure that you give them when you play an unbelievable performance, that sticks in your mind that that’s what I’m here to do."


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