Despite describing himself as “semi-retired,” the five-time world champion still manages to keep himself in snooker’s spotlight, claiming at the weekend that he “would have to lose an arm and a leg to fall outside the top 50”. Known for his unpredictable temperament and outspoken views, the Rocket has received many warnings and sanctions from snooker’s governing body for his actions over the years. But he also risked fury from Brexiteers by appearing to have inside knowledge on how leaving the EU would leave the UK snookered.
Writing to nearly 500,000 fans on Twitter two years ago, O’Sullivan stated: “Good day at the Labour conference today in Sheffield, some very interesting views from the Labour MEP on how Brexit will affect us as a country.
“From what I’ve heard, it’s not looking good for us, we are on a slippery slope to even more corporate domination.”
But it did not appear to go down well with fans.
One replied: “You’re arguably the greatest snooker player that walked planet Earth! Stick to what you know.”
Ronnie O’Sullivan risked angering fans
O’Sullivan has been outspoken on his views over the years
Another added: “Stick to snooker! You don’t speak for us ordinary folk.”
And a third stated: “Come on Ronnie, you’re not that daft.”
It was not the first time the 44-year-old appeared to detail his opposition to Brexit online.
Just one day after the historic EU referendum, in which Britain voted overwhelmingly to leave the bloc, O’Sullivan appeared to be lining up a shot to emigrate.
He tweeted: “Time to leave the UK, I think this place is falling apart at the seams, might move to Germany.”
The snooker legend lined up a shot to leave the UK
Born in Wordsley in the West Midlands, O’Sullivan grew up in the Manor Road area of Chigwell, Essex – where he still lives today.
But he appeared to clarify his stance on Brexit three years later.
He wrote on Twitter: “I have a feeling Brexit and its chaos is a consequence of years of lies from MPs, and it’s lack of care for the north of England.
“I imagine the whole world is looking at the UK and thinking, ‘you are bang in trouble now.’”
While some commentators appeared to agree with his remarks, many quickly shot them down again.
A genius with the cue in his hand, O’Sullivan has endured a rocky relationship with the sport, admitting previously that he “regrets ever playing snooker” adding “I’d probably have been happier doing something outside with an adrenalin buzz”.
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O’Sullivan is back in action later today
The Rocket will play Mark Williams
He has battled with mental health for a large portion of his career but turned his life around channelling that into something good – running and eating healthily.
There was a time the potting maestro even considered skipping a match to stretch his legs.
During the quarter-finals of the Northern Ireland Trophy in 2007, O’Sullivan’s mind was on a cross-country race.
He told INTERSPORT Running: “I’d just beat Ali Carter, had five centuries and one of them was a 147.
“I remember we had the Met League, it might have been one of our home races, I’m not sure, but wherever it was I was going to go.
“I was thinking ‘that’s on Saturday and if I win my next match it means I’ll not be able to race.’
“It was really doing my head in. Even though I was training with the local running club in Ireland, it was fantastic, but there was no feeling like racing.
“There was a point where I was starting to think ‘maybe I’ll just lose this match and get home and do the race that I wanted to do.’”
O’Sullivan is back in action later today as he looks to win his sixth World Championship.
He is currently trailing Mark Williams by six frames to two in the quarter-finals.