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Ronnie: Giving me the MBE is just potty

Postby Andre147

He may talk rubbish often, but he can sometimes be spot on in his analysis: ... just-potty

RONNIE O’SULLIVAN has shrugged off his MBE snub, claiming: “It would be a disgrace if they ever gave me a gong.”

The Rocket, 38, brilliantly claimed a fifth world title in May after taking an entire season away from top-level snooker.

That puts him within one Crucible triumph of legend Steve Davis’s haul of six world titles and two shy of Scot Stephen Hendry’s record of seven.

O’Sullivan’s unmatched ability and fluent style have resulted in huge popularity and have almost certainly persuaded more snooker-loopy kids to pick up a cue than any other player in history.

And with Davis, Hendry, John Higgins, Jimmy White, John Parrott, Ray Reardon, Mark Williams and Terry Griffiths having received honours, O’Sullivan’s absence from the list appears an oversight.

However, controversy has always dogged O’Sullivan’s career, regularly landing him in hot water.

He was fined £20,000 for assaulting an official at the 1996 World Championships and was stripped of the 1998 Irish Masters title after testing positive for cannabis.

O’Sullivan also walked out in the middle of a UK Championship match against Hendry and was fined for making obscene gestures at a China Open press conference.

He has also regularly been accused of not doing enough away from the table as an ambassador for snooker and of letting down fans by pulling out of tournaments late.

O’Sullivan, whose autobiography, Running, is published this week, said: “It would be a disgrace to give someone like me an MBE. I’m just not that type of guy, am I? I’m not that interested. I don’t really want one and I don’t really even know what they are for.

“As long as I am loved by my fans and my public, and when I die people might still have a look on YouTube and say, ‘This guy played the game better than anyone who ever played,’ then for me that is better than any MBE, any knighthood or anything anyone could possibly give me.

“That’s a legacy and I am more interested in the legacy I leave.

“That could last for generations. And when I am gone, my grandchildren could find something and think, ‘Wow, grandad was pretty good at what he did.'” However, O’Sullivan feels one honour is well overdue – a knighthood for Davis.

A professional for 35 years, Davis has also made his mark in broadcasting and charity work.

O’Sullivan added: “There is absolutely no doubt that The Nugget should be Sir Steve. The man is an absolute legend.

“You have to love Steve Davis. He has been a fantastic ambassador for the game.

“He was fantastic as a player, and it is incredible that he is still competitive and getting into ranking events.

“He has been a professional for 35 years or something mad, and he is still ranked at No51 in the world and is beating top names.

“But even outside that, he has helped promote snooker as a broadcaster on TV and is a respected pundit.

“He now goes out there coaching in schools and all over the place, doing work for the Paul Hunter Foundation charity.

“What more do you have to do? He is part of the furniture in this country.”

O’Sullivan is still cherry-picking the events in which he competes but suffered a shock loss in the Ruhr Open in Germany on Friday night, losing 4-3 to world No33 Ben Woollaston.