Comment: Joints and all-night benders – Ronnie O'Sullivan’s wasted tales reek of teenage desperation
'Mum said "You’re going to get caught soon. You can’t carry on like this"'
Just what the snooker judiciary needs as it embarks on the match-fixing appeal launched by Stephen Lee, a tell-all autobiography by Ronnie O’Sullivan. Though “The Rocket” has never been associated with the grave predilections that claimed Lee – all denied, of course – this still leaves a cornucopia of other vices with which he might be associated.
In case you might have forgotten, O’Sullivan recycles his favourites in purple detail in the story of his life, which is entitled Running, after the much healthier pastime that replaced the booze and other recreational pursuits of his early career.
“When I was having my weekly benders and my private life was in bits, I had a brilliant year professionally,” he said. “I remember getting to every World Championship and thinking, ‘I can’t wait ’til this tournament is over ’cos then there’s no more drug tests, I can go out and smash it’.
“I’d got caught once in my career, but that’s all. I’d get tested between events, and I was trying to judge it perfectly so there’d be no drugs left in my system, but I was pushing my luck. My mum said to me, ‘You are going to get caught soon. You can’t carry on like this’.
“I loved a joint. The only problem with a joint is that one spliff follows another, and another. [I would have] any old drink, it didn’t matter. Throw in a few spliffs. Then at 7am the sun would come up and I’d think, ‘Oh, Jesus, I’ve done it again’. The birds would be tweeting and I’d think, ‘I’m bang in trouble’. At my worst I had to have a joint first thing in the morning just to function. But loads of time snooker got in the way of my benders, rather than the other way round.”
All of this is told with the ebullient enthusiasm of a teenager recounting a first night on the tiles, practised embarrassment barely concealing his pride at being the ultimate snooker “bad boy”. It is all part of the O’Sullivan legend. It is not enough to be the most gifted player of his generation. The narrative has to be embellished with tiresome deeds that emit the aroma of teenage desperation.
O’Sullivan went head-long into print via the Twitter medium with his observations following the match-fixing judgment against Lee that saw the player banned for 12 years. He’s not the only one, was the thrust of O’Sullivan’s message, hastily retracted under the timeless excuse “my comments were taken out of context”.
There is no retraction here. This tome comes without any apology, Ronnie in the raw, take it or leave it. At least, other than in matters of taste, he breaks no law.
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao: 'Changes are not easy, but there are times when you have to'
Paul Scholes: I'm sticking my neck out - Hull to win and Newcastle to be relegated on final day
David Luiz says 'I'm not a virgin': Former Chelsea defender denies he is celibate
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
- 1 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 2 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 5 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...