Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan’s best ever career moments
Lee Gormley | 6 December 2016
Ronnie O’Sullivan best moments
The talents of snooker’s biggest star Ronnie O’Sullivan seemingly know no bounds, as the veteran cueist continued to showcase his incredible abilities at the 2016 UK Championship.
A five-time Crucible victor, the Rocket is showing no signs of slowing down as he rallied to the final at the Barbican Centre in York in an eventual 10-7 defeat to world champion and number one ranked star Mark Selby.
The day after O’Sullivan’s impressive attempts at a comeback against this year’s UK champion Selby, he still has cause for celebration as he turns 41 years of age.
So, following his latest brilliance on the baize and most-recent controversial comments, as well as it being his 41st birthday, Coral look back at the best moments from the Rocket throughout his career. Enjoy.
Downing Hendry to become youngest UK champion (1993)
The Rocket looks likely of going on and winning many more ranking titles in his already illustrious career and he is a promising 11/4 to secure his seventh Masters crown next year.
Back during the 1993/94 snooker season, O’Sullivan announced his arrival as the next upcoming star of the sport when overcoming the legendary Stephen Hendry 10-6 in the UK final, becoming the youngest-ever winner of the event at just 17.
Having began that campaign ranked number 57 in the world, a teenage Rocket had launched himself up to ninth position after that UK success, as well as other notable performances.
Becoming youngest Masters champion (1995)
Later in his career, but still just 19 years and 69 days old, O’Sullivan again made history by becoming the youngest-ever Masters champion.
Toppling John Higgins 9-3 in the final, the still teenage Rocket was swiftly earning a huge reputation as one of the most promising potters on the circuit.
Fastest-ever maximum break (1997)
One of the greatest moments ever to occur in snooker took place in the 1997 World Championship, as O’Sullivan remarkably racked up the fastest ever maximum break.
In his first round match against Mark Price at the Crucible, the Rocket compiled an incredible 147 in five minutes and 20 seconds, averaging 8.8 seconds per shot. This record still stands today and doesn’t look in danger of ever being beaten.
Maiden Crucible crown (2001)
In 2001 O’Sullivan reached the pinnacle of snooker, as he rallied to an impressive 18-14 victory over Scot Higgins in the World Championship final to lift his maiden Crucible crown.
The West Midlands-born cueist dedicated his success to his father, with this being the first of five triumphs to date in Sheffield.
Showing sportsmanship to Ding (2007)
Before taking to the baize for 2007 Masters, O’Sullivan had been involved in plenty of controversial incidents, but he showed a compassionate side in his eventual final victory over Ding Junhui.
His Chinese opponent had become visibly upset by an overly partisan member of the crowd, who was later ejected form the venue, with the Rocket taking time from the match to comfort Ding and encourage him to continue playing.
Record-breaking 147 (2008)
On the way to his 2008 Crucible coup, O’Sullivan overtook Hendry’s then record of most career maximum breaks, as he racked up his ninth impressive 147 against Mark Williams.
In light of his latest maxi, the Worsley potter stated “I can finally buy a Bentley Continental GT”, with Hendry claiming he was the greatest player of all time during commentary duties.
Forced to pot black for maximum (2010)
Against recent Coral Northern Ireland Open winner Mark King in the 2010 World Open, O’Sullivan provided snooker fans with plenty of drama and excitement on his way to his 10th career maximum.
After pausing to ask the referee what the prize money was for a 147 he turned his face up in disgust when discovering there was only a highest break award. He went on to clear the table for a maxi, but was forced by the official to pot the final black – which he did in nonchalant fashion.
Becoming oldest world champion since Reardon (2012)
O’Sullivan became the then oldest player to be crowned world champion since Ray Reardon as he overcame Ali Carter in the 2012 final, though Stuart Bingham has since beaten such a feat.
The now 40-year-old also secured the highest break ever in a Crucible final when notching up a 141 against the Captain, and was subsequently inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Returning to defend Crucible title (2013)
During November of the 2012/13 season, O’Sullivan took an extended break away from the sport, opting out of any event during the campaign which he had signed up for.
Although, despite being inactive he returned to the Crucible and incredibly defended his world title. Beating the likes of Bingham and Judd Trump in the run-up to his final appearance, he had not once fell behind in a match.
The Rocket then capped off an incredible return with a dominant 18-12 win over Barry Hawkins, breaking Hendry’s record of 127 Crucible centuries in the process, as well as becoming the only player to score six tons in a world final and just the third to retain the crown since the event moved to Sheffield.
Winning UK with broken ankle and another century record (2014)
O’Sullivan managed to emerge victorious in the UK Championship for a fifth time in his career during 2014, but this was in spite of him possessing a broken ankle. He had earlier played a match in just his socks due to shoes hurting his injury.
After his final decider victory over Trump in that event, the all-time snooker great then recorded further history in the Masters over Marco Fu as he made his 776th career century. This saw him overtake Hendry for the most centuries ever made in the history of the sport, receiving a rapturous standing ovation.