Snooker: Financial gain fuels ‘Rocket’s’ final push

Ronnie O'Sullivan after winning his quarter-final clash with Stuart Bingham during the Betfair World Championships at the Crucible. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Ronnie O'Sullivan after winning his quarter-final clash with Stuart Bingham during the Betfair World Championships at the Crucible. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Ronnie O’Sullivan continues to make a mockery of the opposition before him, but he has revealed that the only reason he’s made his comeback is to pay some overdue school fees.

The ‘Rocket’ came within a whisker of winning his quarter-final clash with Stuart Bingham with a session to spare here at this year’s Betfair.com World Championship.

He won 13-4 to set-up a mouth-watering semi-final showdown with rising star Judd Trump, but then said this year’s tournament could be is final farewell.

“I’ve been surprised how far I’ve made it so far, but the only reason I’ve come back was because I’ve been struggling for a bit of money,” admitted O’Sullivan.

“I’m not ashamed, but to be honest,I still owe the school money for my kid’s fees.

“I need some money quick - and it wasn’t coming in so I thought I’d better get the cue out of my case quick.

“I’ve made a little bit of money, so I can go and pay the school fees, so they’ll be alright for the next two years. I want to make sure they’re alright.

“They’re expensive the school fees, especially when you’ve got an ex (wife) who is trying to do you over every 10 minutes, well you’ve got no chance.

“This could be my last major event, but I might play in the odd event because I’ve got to fulfill my contractual obligations of playing 10 events.

“Last year was one final push for me, but after having a year out I realised I didn’t really miss snooker. This is my last farewell.”

Trump edged Shaun Murphy 13-12 in a dramatic final frame shootout which gripped the Crucible.

And with victory the 2011 finalist stressed he wasn’t scared of trying to upset the ‘Rocket’.

He said: “I think there’s only a certain amount of players who have the self-belief to beat Ronnie and scare him. And I think I’m one of them. The only person I’m scared of is Peter Pan. In everyone’s opinion he’s the best player (by a country mile), but not in my opinion.

“I’m not scared of the name. He’s a very good player at his best, but in my opinion by best is just as good as his.”

Chester potter Ricky Walden will face Barry Hawkins in this year’s other semi-final after he beat Crucible debutant Michael White 13-6.

Semi-final schedule: 1pm – O’Sullivan v Trump; 7pm – Hawkins v Walden – maximum of eight frames for both matches.