Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan - I'm only back for money, I may not stay

 

The Crucible

Ronnie O'Sullivan has vowed “this is my last farewell” as he announced he would quit snooker for good before next year's World Championship.

The four-time champion at the Crucible is firm favourite to land a fifth title, having marched through to a semi-final with Judd Trump in fine style, beating Stuart Bingham 13-4 in the last eight.

O'Sullivan has spent most of the last 12 months in self-imposed exile from the sport, but returned for another shot at glory in Sheffield. He now claims that decision was motivated purely by money, explaining how he needed to cough up for overdue school fees that he had no other means of paying.

The 37-year-old said: "It's nice to be in the semi-finals but I didn't really miss snooker. But I missed having something to do and I was struggling for a bit of money.

"I'll be honest, I still owe the school money for my children's school fees, I haven't paid the last two or three terms. I didn't know what was going to happen here but I've made a little bit of money now so I can go and pay the school fees now for the next two years.

"But really I don't think snooker is for me. This could be my last proper major event.

"As far as putting my heart and soul into snooker, I don't think that's what I want to do anymore but I had to give it a go. I needed some money quick. I have signed a contract with my sponsor to play in 10 events so I'll play in those."

But O'Sullivan stated those events could include Legends tour events, and low-profile tournaments, and stressed there was no stipulation that he should appear at events such as the UK Championship, Masters or World Championship. Asked if he would be in Sheffield for next year's World Championship, O'Sullivan added: "I've no intention to come back.

"If I find something else to do you definitely won't see me. I've kept my cards close to my chest but there's no reason to keep them close now. This is my last farewell, it's my swansong. I'm happy; I'm done. I can't keep putting myself through being unhappy.

"I wish I could just smile it off, shrug it off but it's not like that for me. I wish I had the attitude of players who come here and smile and enjoy it. I just beat myself up too much and it's not healthy."

Every retirement warning from O'Sullivan needs to be treated with caution, as they have come so frequently during his career.

O'Sullivan at least vowed he would be giving it his all against Trump, and in the two-day final. "I'll be out there trying my nuts off," he said. "I'm a competitor and I hate losing. I will fight to the death. They'll have to scrape me off the table.

"I've got five days left potentially, it could possibly be three, and if I can't get through that then something's seriously wrong. The light at the end of the tunnel is it doesn't have to go on any longer."

Trump said he is not scared of O'Sullivan and their encounter promises to be a classic, just like Trump's 13-12 quarter-final victory over Shaun Murphy.

Trump had clinched his final-frame victory over Murphy in the afternoon and came out fighting afterwards, saying: "There are only a certain amount of players who have got the self-belief to beat Ronnie and scare him and I think I'm one of them.

"I've got a good record against Ronnie. I've beaten him more times than he's beaten me, so hopefully I can go out and scare him. I think people are just scared of the name. The big stage is where I want to be. I'm not scared of the name."

O'Sullivan responded to that by saying of Trump: "I've played him a few times and I've sensed he's wobbled. Even he gets scared of me. It's a hard place out there. If you play well enough and stay with him, and peg him back, he's not Stephen Hendry or John Higgins."

O'Sullivan's remarks overshadowed what had been a thrilling finale to the match between Trump and Murphy, and also came on a day when Ricky Walden and Barry Hawkins reached Crucible semi-finals for the first time. They go head to head in the first of four sessions on Thursday evening, with Trump and O'Sullivan getting under way in the afternoon.

Kent man Hawkins, 34, ousted former UK and Masters champion Ding Junhui, turning a 9-7 overnight lead into a 13-7 victory. Hawkins said: "It means everything to be in my first semi-final. I've been trying so hard for so long to make some sort of breakthrough. To come here and get to the one-table set-up is a dream come true."

Walden, 30, saw off 21-year-old Welsh qualifier Michael White 13-6 and said: "I'm overjoyed with that. It's been good so far and I'm pleased to be in the semis."

 



Suggested Topics
Life and Style
health

Do you qualify – and how do you get it?

News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
News
i100
News
Privately schooled, Oxford educated and a former editor of arguably the world's poshest magazine 'The Lady', it's perhaps unsurprising that Rachel Johnson rarely mixes with ordinary Proles.
people

The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Environment
The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
environmentNepenthes zygon had been growing for almost a decade and helping to keep down cockroaches
News
This artist impression shows a modern-day Atlantis
news
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £20,000

£12000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Langley James : IT Helpdesk Technician; earn £'s for Xmas; Brighton; £120+ p/d

£120 - £130 per day: Langley James : IT Helpdesk Technician; earn £'s for Xmas...

Recruitment Genius: Junior SEO / Content Executive

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior SEO/ORM Content Execut...

Recruitment Genius: Search Account Manager

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital