Ronnie O’Sullivan once gave brutal take on Queen giving him MBE: ‘Not that type of guy!’

Ronnie O'Sullivan explains why he made a 146 in 2016

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The Rocket continues his bid for World Championship glory this morning as his semi-final with John Higgins resumes. O’Sullivan surged into a 10-6 lead as he scored five consecutive half-centuries in Friday’s session. The world No 1 is hoping to equal Stephen Hendry’s modern era record of seven Crucible titles, and was aided in his pursuit of that elusive title by a lacklustre Higgins.

The Scot suffered a number of misfortunes as he pocketed the cue ball and missed a routine black in the final frame of the session.

Widely considered one of the most talented snooker players of all time, he is adored by fans across the globe for his charismatic, exciting style of play.

Such is his stature within the sport that the Queen honoured him with an OBE in 2016, one of just three snooker players to be awarded the gong alongside Steve Davis and Terry Griffiths.

Yet, three years earlier, O’Sullivan had said he did not deserve such an honour.

According to the Mirror, he said: “It would be a disgrace to give it to someone like me.

“I’m just not that type of guy, am I?

“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 anything.”

Renowned for his fast, attacking play, he gained his ‘The Rocket’ nickname after winning a best-of-nine frame match in a record 43 minutes during his opening season as a professional.

He has frequently stated his disdain for long, drawn-out games, saying that they are damaging for the sport.

Despite his 2013 comments, O’Sullivan expressed his delight at being honoured in the 2016 New Year Honours list.

He said: “I am extremely grateful for this recognition which is a great honour and has made both myself and my family very proud.

“It came as a great surprise to receive my OBE and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my family, friends and fans who have supported me throughout my career and made this achievement possible.”

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Formal recognition for his sporting achievements has never been something that has particularly bothered O’Sullivan.

He was nominated for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award in 2020, and had admitted the month before his nomination that he had “zero interest” in the annual award.

He said: “I’d just accepted that I’d never get nominated.

“They didn’t have many sporting events this year, so I probably sneaked in the back door.

“This is a great recognition for all sports people, but I always said the most important awards are the ones you win on the table.

“I always looked up to Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry, but it was because of the titles they won, not because of Sports Personality of the Year.”

Upon receiving the nomination, however, he said he was “very happy and honoured”.

Lewis Hamilton was the eventual winner of the 2020 award, with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson the runner-up, and jockey Hollie Doyle in third.

This Sunday, meanwhile, will mark the 18th time in 25 years that at least one of snooker’s so-called ‘Class of ‘92’ has made the World Championship final.

O’Sullivan, Higgins and Williams all turned professional during the 1992-93 snooker season, and continue to dominate the sport thirty years after making their snooker bow.

O’Sullivan’s semi-final with Higgins resumed at 10am, with play set to continue until 2pm.

The afternoon session begins at 2.30pm, and the evening session at 7pm.

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