No #SPOTYforRonnie

Once again snooker has only got minimal coverage in the SPOTY show and neither Ronnie nor Mark Williams have been considered.

Here is Desmond Kane take of it. Desmond is writing for Eurosport

Feature – Ronnie O’Sullivan SPOTY snub reeks of ignorance, snobbery and borders on national disgrace

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s latest snub for the BBC Sports Personality of the year award is a total farce that is either genuine ignorance or a weird old case of class snobbery, writes Desmond Kane

And so the incurable malady of the Sports Personality ceremony lingers on.

The disgraceful decision to again ignore Ronnie O’Sullivan, snooker’s greatest player of all time, from SPOTY, hit a worst note than David Baddiel trying to sing Three Lions at the smug, self-satisfied annual jamboree.

The decision-making to somehow omit O’Sullivan from the shortlist is as much of a waste of space as filling Birmingham’s Genting Arena with 15,000 to celebrate a closed shop. This is an event that completely lost its sense of decorum a long time ago. Probably when blokes like Harry Carpenter and big Frank Bruno were putting golf balls around the old BBC TV Centre back in the 1980s.

SPOTY is no longer for the people who watch sport, but soiled by people who think they know what the public like or want. Who think they know better than the great viewing public.

VIDEO – ‘Absolutely ridiculous!’ – Allen slams Ronnie’s SPOTY snub

00:44

It has as much credibility as the haggard Brexit diatribe “the will of the people” by disconnected eccentrics who have completely lost any sense of what the public actually want or like.

“What has anybody done in British sport done that Ronnie hasn’t done,” said an animated Mark Allen after his 9-7 win over Shaun Murphy in the Scottish Open final in Glasgow.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that he gets overlooked time and time again.”

O’Sullivan was priced at 14-1 for the top award last night behind only Tottenham and England forward Harry Kane, and it must be said a deserving winner in Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas.

Even when the six names were trotted out by host Gary Lineker, who weirdly invited them to trudge onto the stage if they heard their name like some sort of sixth form teacher, O’Sullivan was still ahead of Lizzy Yarnold and James Anderson in the betting.

But how can he win if he isn’t allowed a place on the shortlist?

VIDEO – O’Sullivan lifts seventh UK Championship

01:06

Like him or loathe him, at the ripe young age of 43, O’Sullivan has personality, longevity and continues to be a magnificent champion at a stage of his career when other players are reaching for the horlicks.

The latest judging panel who opted against O’Sullivan for the final list of six nominees for the top award are guilty of failing to properly appreciate one of this country’s most talented sports people of all time.

Since he turned professional in 1992, O’Sullivan has astonishingly never been nominated. Yet on he goes, continuing to not only compete with age, but actually improve with 19 major events carried off from the sport.

He has enjoyed a wonderful time in 2018, finishing the year with a record seventh UK title while winning the World Grand Prix, the Players Championship, the Shanghai Masters and the Champion of Champions amid a smorgasbord of runs to the latter stages of events.

If he cannot make it onto the shortlist, you can well and truly forget the biggest snooker story of the year: the rejuvenated world champion Mark Williams winning a third world title at the age of 43, 15 years after his second gong at the Crucible. This miracle on the Sheffield mound occurred a year after the Welshman was thinking of retiring for failing to qualify for the tournament.

How can such world-class individuals be overlooked when they have spades of personality, charisma, dedication and a winning mentality?

VIDEO – When Mark Williams went NAKED to celebrate his world title – Eurosport Advent Calendar

01:43

Snooker is a game that was huge in the 1980s when it was transported from darkened spaces in working men’s clubs to mainstream TV.

It made icons of men like Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins, Steve Davis and Jimmy ‘The Whirlwind’ White, but it is interesting that snooker has been treated with more disdain at a time when standards have never been higher. At a time when the standard-bearer is an English bloke who performs such a tough, unremitting game like he is potting pool balls down the pub.

O’Sullivan brings a spiritual element to snooker that has never been seen before and is perhaps unlikely to be witnessed again. O’Sullivan has made it more of an art form than a game. Van Gogh of the green baize. Quite possibly.

Well, the working class roots of snooker are obviously sneered at, and a general ignorance about the talent levels involved in the game make a mockery of the SPOTY panel of judges. Once again.

The SPOTY judging panel have made a barmier call than the trio who thought Deontay Wilder drew with Tyson Fury in their heavyweight contest last weekend.

Like O’Sullivan, Fury does not fit into the politically correct crew who put false, manufactured persona above proper working class heroes.

Like O’Sullivan, he has suffered from a cliquish interpretation of what the man or woman in the street likes.

SPOTY will continue to be run by a cabal of misguided snobs, but it completely lacks any credibility when it decides to omit great personalities for being great. And more importantly, for being true to themselves.

Follow the link above to watch the actual videos.

Desmond’s article only expresses the sentiments that countless others shared on social media yesterday evening.

Ronnie spoke to the sponsor ahead of the UK Championship 2018

This is the interview on Betway’s blog

and it’s not just about snooker of course, in fact it’s mainly not about snooker …

Ronnie O’Sullivan on healthy eating, exercise and snooker

UK2018ronnie_BetwayInterview

If you asked a snooker fan how Ronnie O’Sullivan was able to win a record-equalling five world ranking titles last season, they would tell you it’s because he’s a genius and probably the greatest player to ever play the game.

Both statements are true. But O’Sullivan believes the reason he achieved something that is beyond most players, never mind one who’s more than 25 years into his professional career, is because he started eating healthily.

The Rocket said so himself in July 2018 while cooking a Thai curry on Facebook Live alongside Rhiannon Lambert, the Harley Street nutritionist who he says has “re-educated him” about food.

“Before I met Rhiannon, I was playing well enough, but I was running out of steam,” says O’Sullivan, who is 3/1 in the snooker betting to retain his title at the 2018 Betway UK Championship, which is the reason this phone call is taking place.

“I got tired because I was eating bad food. But once I started working with Rhiannon, I started eating differently.”

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Lambert writes on her website that ‘keeping nutrition simple is the easiest way to maintain a healthy lifestyle’, and her recipes left O’Sullivan feeling “more energised” and “alert” during matches.

“I’m getting 100 per cent out of myself now, whereas before I was probably getting 85 per cent of myself,” says O’Sullivan, who won just one ranking event the season before he claimed five. “I think the difference between winning two tournaments a year and winning five is them moments where I was able to see the match through the end without feeling like I wanted to go and have a kip.”

The 42-year-old’s explanation is not as romantic as the one about him being a genius who can pitch up to any event and win it, irrespective of whether he has been practising or not.

That’s why those who have followed his career – some for more than a quarter of a century – are reluctant to believe it. He did win five World titles eating whatever he wanted, after all.

“I think most people think I was born with a cue in my hand and that when I get on the table it’s all a piece of cake,” says O’Sullivan, “but that’s not the reality. I have to work hard.

“There’s other top players. They’re so slight, but to make those gains on your opponent takes so much hard work and preparation. They make the difference between winning 6-4 and losing 6-4.”

O’Sullivan, who describes healthy eating and fitness as his “main passion”, first met Lambert in July 2017. “I was her guinea pig, really,” he says. “I bought totally into it and it made a massive difference to my life. I’ve learned how to put better nutrition into my body.”

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He cooks every day when he’s at home and does so in batches. “I like to train, I like to go to the club, so I don’t want to be around a stove all day,” he says. “Everyone’s got busy lives, so it’s good to have food prepped and ready to go – plus you save yourself a few quid.”

Healthy eating is harder to maintain when on the road competing in tournaments – “I’ll always take stuff with me… snacks like a jar of peanut butter, some rice, some tuna” – although he says the food in Thailand and China, which host several tournaments a year, as “incredible – some of the best I’ve ever eaten”.

“I think the UK’s probably the worst place I’ve ever been for food,” he continues, unprompted. “It really is. I see what some places serve up and I just think: ‘Wow. No wonder we’re not producing great athletes.’

“You look at other countries eat and it’s fresh, proper grub. I think it makes a huge difference to your development. I travel in Europe a lot, to places like Bulgaria and Romania, and even there the tomatoes taste different, the cucumbers taste different. In the UK, it’s quantity over quality, and I’m trying to avoid being part of that system.”

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O’Sullivan wants to help others avoid being part of it, too, which is why he and Lambert will release a health and fitness book, Top of Your Game: Eating for the Mind and Body, in December 2018.

“I meet a lot of people who are trying to lose weight,” says O’Sullivan, “but they’re making decisions on food by reading food labels that say low in fat but are actually caked in sugar and certain stuff that’s worse than fat.

“That’s what Rhiannon done for me. She re-educated me. I’ve been fast-tracked in a way, and I think it’s nice to be able to pass that on. People want to be able to make proper decisions.”

O’Sullivan’s other passion is fitness and he describes himself as a “decent club runner”. Unlike eating healthily, however, he doesn’t believe keeping fit improves his game.

“You don’t really have to be fit to be a snooker player,” he says. “If you eat well and play snooker, you’ll be absolutely fine.

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“I just done it because it was a good outlet for me. I had quite an addictive nature, so I thought: ‘Well, if I’m going to be addicted, I might as well get addicted to something that’s really good for me.’

“That was running, keeping fit and training. At least if I am going to over-do it on something, the worst that’s going to happen to me is that I end up with a few sore calf muscles, or my shoulders are a bit tight.”

Or a damaged heel, which O’Sullivan currently has. It’s not stopping him from exercising, but he is likely to need surgery if he wants to perform at his best again.

He did a Park Run last weekend and finished the 5km course in 20 minutes, a time he describes as “useless”. It’s not, although it is some way below his record of 17 minutes and nine seconds.

“I want to get back that to that,” says O’Sullivan. “But to do that I’ll probably have to get my foot done. I’ve convinced myself I’m going to have the operation, so it’ll mean three or four weeks in a boot ‘til it heals properly.”

But with snooker’s glamour events still to come, any extended absence will have to be carefully planned.

“I might just wait ’til after the World Championships or after the Masters – I don’t know,” says O’Sullivan. “I do know it’s something worth getting done.”

Being “where I want to be, when I want to be” is important to O’Sullivan at this stage of his life, of which snooker remains a huge part.

“I still love playing,” he says, before correcting himself. “When I say love playing, I like playing. Some days I love playing, some days I’m like…” He exhales.

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O’Sullivan’s role as a pundit for Eurosport, which often means he provides analysis on tournaments he is also competing in, complicates that relationship further.

“That’s my problem,” he says. “I love doing it. I love sitting there with Jimmy White and Neil Foulds. I love the crew at Eurosport – there’s no pressure. And I get to talk about a subject that I’m quite knowledgeable on.

“It’s a dream job, really. But then I’ve got my other head on, thinking that I want to be competing and doing the best at snooker, so… I don’t know.”

O’Sullivan plans to keep playing competitively until that desire “goes, really” and says he’ll head to York for the UK Championship – which, at 13 days, is snooker’s second-longest event – and “give it my best”.

Providing he eats and plays well, there’s an excellent chance O’Sullivan’s best will be good enough to win yet another ranking title.

 Ronnie O’Sullivan was talking to Betway on behalf of the 2018 UK Championship, where he is the defending champion.

An interview with Steve Feeney

This interview was published today in the Independent

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s coach Steve Feeney on his innovative methods giving the Rocket another gear

The inventor of SightRight explains to Lawrence Ostlere what he can teach snooker’s greatest natural talent, how he deals with the sceptics, and reveals plans to conquer a host of other sports – even football

Ronnie O'Sullivan has not won a world title for five years

Ronnie O’Sullivan has not won a world title for five years ( Getty Images )

The snooker world first began taking Steve Feeney’s unique coaching methods seriously around the time Stuart Bingham won the 2015 World Championship. For a while Bingham had been just another journeyman with a shrinking hairline and an expanding waistcoat, so when he began playing the snooker of his life aged 39 to become the Crucible’s oldest first-time champion, the game took note.

Then there was Mark Williams. The Welshman had sat down with his wife at the kitchen table to discuss retirement before he sought out Feeney’s help; he soon won his first ranking title for seven years and within 12 months was transformed into a 43-year-old world champion.

The world titles of Bingham and Williams gave Feeney’s patented SightRight methods credibility in the face of much scepticism, and now the snooker world awaits the verdict of the game’s most natural talent. Ronnie O’Sullivan officially started working with Feeney over the summer, and won the Shanghai Masters in September before reaching the semi-finals of the English Open. There, in between critiques of the Crawley leisure centre’s distinct aroma, O’Sullivan produced a mesmerising maximum break in the second round reminiscent of his very best. “Ronnie’s loving it,” insists Feeney of his SightRight training.

SightRight works by correcting parallax error, a deception of perspective caused when inadvertently but consistently looking across the line of aim, rather than directly down the centre. It is a coaching method approved by World Snooker, and has proved most effective for older pros whose eye dominance has changed over time.

Feeney, right, with Mark Williams and the man who brought them together, Lee Walker (Getty)

“Once you’re aiming from the perfect sighting position and set up to the shot with the correctly aligned technique, it’s like me giving you a gun that I’ve already set up, aimed perfectly, it cannot move,” explains Feeney. “All you have to do is pull the trigger, and as long as you squeeze that trigger correctly, it hits the spot. I can stand on the other end of the shot and I can steer a player into the shot perfectly just by knowing how they see straight.”

An obvious question at this point is to wonder why a master of the game like O’Sullivan would need to realign his technique. In a way Feeney’s forensic approach jars with the very idea of ‘the Rocket’, a man who plays on instinct and emotion, who operates outside the laws of physics which govern the rest of us and brings unpredictability to such a methodical game. But a truth of modern sport is that unadulterated natural talent no longer really exists. Gone are the days when Alex Higgins and Bill Werbeniuk could sink six pints before a match, and another one each frame. Sporting greatness now requires an obstinate will to improve, and perhaps the reality is that O’Sullivan’s sixth world title is going to take hard work, perseverance, even innovation.

O’Sullivan is chasing Stephen Hendry’s record seven world titles (Getty)

“With Ronnie, he’s seen what’s happened with Mark Williams, with Bingham. And the best players in the sport like to stay ahead of the competition,” says Feeney. “If me working with Ronnie can keep him great for longer, that’s a great thing. People say: ‘Why would Ronnie ever need this?’. If Ronnie needs a proven method that he can transition to – well I see Ronnie as Nick Faldo: two years he worked on his swing, two years he was criticised, but the rest is history.”

It is a brave man to tell proven professionals they’ve been doing it wrong all their lives, but that is part of Feeney’s schtick. He requires an element of faith from his subjects as he shifts their entire perspective three inches to the left or right. The former world champion Shaun Murphy remembers the day he called Feeney over to his house, the year after he was beaten by Bingham in an epic 2015 final. Feeney arrived, unpacked his training gear and embarked on some testing. Murphy says he was stunned when the big reveal showed that what he thought was the centre of alignment was nowhere close – something Feeney calls “the eureka moment”.

“If you imagine the best in the world being proven that they’re off-line, that raises some big questions,” says Feeney. “It’s disruptive technology, a paradigm shift in the coaching world. It challenges the status quo. If you can keep proving and proving then in the end people can’t ignore. In the early days, any paradigm shift has to come with proof, more proof, more proof until the doubters – and Mark [Williams] was one – start saying ‘There must be something in this’.”

Mark Allen has questioned the virtues of SightRight training (Getty)

Williams once called SightRight ‘sight-wrong’, among other less polite rhymes used on the tour. One of the more outspoken cynics is Mark Allen, the world No12, who questioned whether too much credit is being sent Feeney’s way for the achievements of Williams and O’Sullivan, two of the all-time greats of the game. Allen once tried SightRight too, but said it wasn’t for him.

“If people try it, that’s one thing; if people work with me for a period of time, that’s another,” says Feeney. “Those people that are comfortable where they are, they will do the same old thing and their results won’t change. Those who want to be successful will change and do the right things.” Is SightRight not partly a mental reassurance, a kind of placebo effect? “Some say it’s all up top – I can’t agree with that. There are certain fundamental technical things that a player must have.”

Feeney is now broadening his horizons with an adaptation of SightRight for golf putting coaching. “Within the next two to four years I’ll probably have between 500 and 1,000 coaches across both [snooker and golf],” he says. He has also worked with professional darts players and has plans for basketball, cricket and even football, having already worked with a Championship striker. “With footballers it’s how they receive the ball, more accurate passing, more accurate striking, more accurate penalties. I can even find the flaws where the assistant referee is not seeing straight across an offside position. Parallax error comes across in football in quite a huge way.”

How far can SightRight spread? Feeney still has his snooker critics to persuade and much will depend on O’Sullivan; Feeney is well aware that the Rocket’s sixth world title would be the ultimate endorsement. The catch-22 of now working with one of the game’s greatest is that even if O’Sullivan wins at the Crucible in May, to claim his first world title for six years, there’s no proving he wouldn’t have done it anyway. What seems clear is that SightRight is effective for some and not so for others; Williams swears by it, one of 11 players on the tour using Feeney’s methods, a number which continues to swell.

Anyone who’s tried snooker knows the daunting feeling of standing over a vast 72 square-foot baize, on which a millimetre shift in how a pair of two-inch balls collide can produce a wholly unwelcome trajectory. Precision is everything, and so perhaps the most surprising thing about SightRight and its newfound competitors is that they didn’t take hold sooner. But then this is a sport that still requires polished shoes and a waistcoat, which still has its global pinnacle in a windowless room in Yorkshire, nostalgic traditions which make it an unlikely place for the epicentre of some kind of sport-wide coaching revolution.

Then again, perhaps that is why snooker is ripe for innovation. The basic tenets of technique still emanate from Joe Davis, the 15-time world champion of the 1930s and 40s. What if there was another whole level of biomechanical efficiency to be unearthed? And what if a player like O’Sullivan could harness it? For Feeney, 20 years after he first conceived of SightRight and in the face of all his doubters along the way, that would be the ultimate vindication. “What’s that phrase?” he says. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win.”

There are a few remarks that I want to make about this interview

  • Parallax issues are nothing new, they are well familiar to any photographer using a camera with a viewfinder, like the one pictured below: m-leica-m-cross-category-teaser_teaser-307x205When you use this camera, your eye is behind the little rectangle that you see on the top right part of the body as pictured. The light that will “impress” the film though, is admitted through the round lens in the middle. So what your eye sees isn’t exactly the same as what the lens “sees” and captures. The consequence of this is that you might have unwanted elements near the border of the picture, that you didn’t see in the viewfinder, but the lens “saw”, or, on the contrary, have elements partially “cut” from the picture whilst you were seeing them as a whole in the viewfinder. The photography technology answer to the problem is the reflex camera where you aim at your subject directly through the lens – via a mirror – which allows you to see exactly the same image as the lens, but at the cost of additional weight and noise. How does this apply to snooker? Well, imagine that the tip could see; it’s at the end of the cue, it’s the part that needs to hit the ball as accurately as possible. That would be ideal… Unfortunately the player has two eyes and neither is at the same place as the tip. Moreover, humans usually have a dominant eye. It’s not difficult to know which of your eyes is the dominant one: just look at a not too distant object, with both eyes, then close one eye. Usually what you see will “shift”, and the shift will be more pronounced with one eye than with the other. The eye causing the less shift is your dominant one, the one that primarily determines which image your brain receives. So a player needs to learn how to align so that what they see when aiming is as close as possible to what the hypothetical “eye in the tip” would see, taking into account which of their eye is dominant and how their stance might create a parallax effect. Achieving this is the main goal of the Sightright method, and correctly applied it can only work. However “undoing” habits that are ingrained since childhood, and reconstructing new habits isn’t easy and doesn’t come quick especially if you’re a player for 30 years or more. This is not instant miracle method.
  • Steve Feeney has his critics, indeed, but not all of them are criticizing his method. Actually some of the people he has a conflict with are actually so convinced by the method that they invested in his company. What those people are unhappy with is a lack of transparency in the way the company is run, the fact that their questions regarding some business decisions and expenses do not receive satisfactory answers, and the fact that, deliberately or not, Mr Feeney always deflects the debate to make it about the method and not about the way the business is run. I must say that if he has nothing to hide, then I don’t really understand why he doesn’t simply answer the questions. That would put at least that part of the debate to rest. And I’m glad that, despite innumerable attempts to bring him in those social media conversations, Ronnie has stayed away from the conflict.
  • Another thing that has also irritated some of the players he helped is the way he tends to “appropriate” their success. Now, of course, a coach who successfully helps a player to attain their goals should be proud and there is nothing wrong in promoting a successful method. I guess it’s essentially a matter of measure and how it’s done. But, at the end of the day, it’s still the player holding the cue during their matches, it’s them facing the pressure and potting the balls. It’s them also who worked on their game in order to improve. So the victory, when it comes, is first and foremost the player’s, not the coach, even if the coach played their part. One could say that Steve Peters was key to Ronnie’s successes since 2012, and yet you won’t hear him boasting about it.
  • Finally about the tone of the article … the way Stuart Bingham is described at the start of it is not very nice to say the least. Whether this description is a reflection of Mr Feeney view on Stuart, or just the way the journalist expressed himself for maximum effect, I don’t know, but either way I don’t like it. And the last couple of sentences, in the last paragraph, is also revealing …

The Importance of being Fit … bis

In this interview, reported by the Daily Star, Ronnie reveals more plans to restore health and fitness in the UK… He might have to clone himself soon if that becomes reality!

THE NEW MR MOTIVATOR: Ronnie cues up fitness trainer career

SNOOKER ace Ronnie O’Sullivan is set to be a Mr Motivator style fitness guru.

By Ed Gleave, Exclusive /

The sporting legend plans to host well-being weekends where fans can undergo training sessions with him.

Ronnie, 42, who has already penned a book on nutrition, told the Daily Star Sunday: “Health and fitness is my passion.

“I want to reach out to people who have busy lives. I want to show it’s possible to still be healthy.

“I’m on the go all the time and I travel a lot so I take boxes of food.

“I’ll be doing weekends where people can come and do exercise and learn to cook.”

SNOOKER STAR: ‘Health and fitness is my passion’ says RonnieGETTY

SNOOKER STAR: ‘Health and fitness is my passion’ says Ronnie

The five-time world champ added: “I’ll teach them some recipes and go on a run with them.

“And I’ll talk about how I’ve changed my lifestyle.

“I also want to set up my own eight-mile assault course. I’ve done a few of those challenges in the past and won.

“The guys from the Army saw me and thought ‘he’s a snooker player, he won’t be any good’, but then I did well and won it.”

Ronnie wants to spread the word about health and fitness after overhauling his lifestyle and shedding more than a stone.

NEW GURU: Ronnie reckons his new fitness empire is just what Britain needsSHUTTERSTOCK

NEW GURU: Ronnie reckons his new fitness empire is just what Britain needs

“I feel better than I have ever felt and that’s down to a combination of fitness and nutrition”

Ronnie

He said: “A while back I had injuries that meant I couldn’t run. I piled on the weight.

“So I went to see a nutritionist and since then I’ve lost about a stone and a half.

“I feel better than I have ever felt and that’s down to a combination of fitness and nutrition. I’m much healthier.

“When I get to 50, 60, 70 I want to look well.

“I don’t want to have a heart attack and end up sitting there with tubes hanging out of me. I don’t want to look a state in front of my grandkids.”

One of snooker’s greatest ever players declared: “I want to be active and live as long as I can. I want to live to a hundred and I don’t want those years to be s***.”

Ronnie reckons his new fitness empire is just what Britain needs.

He added: “As a nation we are unhealthy. There’s a tendency to eat the wrong foods.”

Ronnie is also carving out a career as a novelist. His new title Double Kiss is already a hit.

 

Things that matter in Ronnie’s life …

This little interview brings nothing really new but is refreshing: for once there is no negativity, nor reminders of past mistakes…

Ronnie O’Sullivan: 5 things I can’t live without (source: the Express)

FIVE times world champion snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan, 42, lives in Essex with his partner, actress Laila Rouass, 46

DIET GURU: Ronnie now cooks

GETTY

DIET GURU: Ronnie now cooks

1. SOHO

When I was growing up I spent a lot of time hanging around the snooker halls of Soho with my dad.

It has always been a magical place for me and one of the things I love about Soho is that although it is bursting with wonderful bars and restaurants, there is always somewhere new to discover.

My clubbing days might be behind me now but I still enjoy regular nights out in the West End.Laila and I belong to the private members’ club Soho House and it’s such a relaxing place to spend time.

2. SNOOKER

I guess I wouldn’t be living the life I have now without snooker and although it has become more of a job than a pleasure, it obviously plays a central part in my life.

As a child I always had strong hand-eye coordination and I was naturally good at tennis and golf. The first time I played snooker I was eight. I had talent but didn’t begin competing until I was 15.

As a youngster I was mesmerised by the game and spent all my spare time down at the snooker club. Back then Steve Davis was my absolute hero and I lived and breathed snooker.

However these days I prefer a bit of balance and I like to have other pleasures in my life too.

3. COOKING

I used to be someone who paid absolutely no attention to my diet and I just ate whenever and whatever.

Then a few years ago I started to put on weight and after realising how much it was getting me down, a good friend offered to teach me to cook.

Each week he would pop round and show me how to make a new dish. To my surprise, I started to really enjoy cooking and to think more carefully about my diet.

Now I regularly visit a nutritionist and I am all about meal plans and healthy snacks. I honestly can’t believe how much better I feel.

4. TAILORED SUIT

When it comes to clothes, I’ve always been a bit of a slob as fashion isn’t something that has ever interested me much.

I am happiest in jeans and a T-shirt and I’ve never really seen the point of spending a lot of money on my wardrobe.

Until recently I always bought all my shirts and suits off the peg but for my birthday, a friend insisted on treating me to a tailored suit. I think he thought I needed to smarten up for television and he probably had a point.

However now that I’ve worn my suit, I have to admit I’m sold. It looks and feels so good that I might even splash out on some designer shirts.

 

‘Running is something I have grown to love’ says Ronnie O’Sullivan

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‘Running is something I have grown to love’ says Ronnie O’Sullivan

5. RUNNING

About 15 years ago a really good friend of mine persuaded me to join him for a run and it was a life-changing moment for me.

As someone who had never paid much attention to my fitness, I unexpectedly caught the running bug and soon I was racking up 40 miles a week.

Running is something I have grown to love as it doesn’t just help me to manage my weight and boost my energy levels, it always leaves me feeling incredibly fit and relaxed too.

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Ronnie O’Sullivan’s new novel Double Kiss (£7.99, Macmillan) is out now in paperback