Ronnie O'Sullivan's 'only reason' for not retiring from snooker explained by former star with talks revealed

Ronnie O'Sullivan's 'only reason' for not retiring from snooker explained by former star with talks revealed

WATCH NOW: Ronnie O'Sullivan wins the Masters for the eighth time

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 01/04/2024

- 13:13

The Rocket has been in outstanding form this year

Former snooker star Tony Knowles believes the 'only reason' Ronnie O'Sullivan hasn't retired yet is because the 48-year-old has so many matches to play.

The Rocket has suffered with depression throughout his career, while also battling drug and alcohol addiction.

O'Sullivan has, however, still been able to establish himself as arguably the best snooker player of all time.

The 48-year-old is hoping to win all three Triple Crown events this year, having made a brilliant start to 2024.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan is still going strong despite everything he's achieved throughout his snooker career


And former snooker star Knowles, speaking to the BBC Frames podcast, believes O'Sullivan's 'only reason' for still going is because he's had so many matches to keep him busy.

"I think Ronnie has done amazing to come back because he went through a bad period," he said.

"I fully understand the period that he went through.

"I think the only reason he's come out of it and I didn't is that we didn't have the matches to play."

"He's had a lot of matches to actually recover.

"Being able to come back and build it back up again. Now he's got into a position where he's happy with it.

"So many times he's been in a position where he's wanted to quit. I've been through that. Of not feeling right."

Knowles says he's talked to O'Sullivan throughout his career.

And he claims fans don't always understand the demands of sporting stars and what they go through.

He continued: "I don't think people appreciate the actual pressure it puts you under when there is a general public out there.

"A lot are very nice, and some who aren't nice. You've got to just stand there and take it.

"That's why I relate to Ronnie, and talk to him a bit. I don't think they understand the volume."

O'Sullivan said back in January that he wouldn't be retiring any time soon.

He did, however, confess that he wasn't enjoying his snooker.

Speaking on his way to victory at the World Grand Prix, he said: "I'm always having to find reasons to play, saying I'll do it for this and that.


Tony Knowles

Tony Knowles has admitted to speaking with snooker star Ronnie O'Sullivan


"I've never thought I actually really want to do this.

"There have been moments I've been flying. And it's been great: And you think: 'I'm on top of the world'.

"There hasn't been enough good form. I feel like I've been playing on autopilot.

"I've been lucky to have had the last 10 or 12 years since I started working with [sports psychiatrist] Steve Peters.

"I feel very fortunate for that, but you get to my age and again there's always a reason to keep playing.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan is hoping to win all three Triple Crown events this year


"There's lot of reasons to incentivize me to keep playing, but I'm not sure they're worth it anymore.

"I'm not saying I'm going to retire, because everyone says when are you going to retire, I never said that word, so don't quote me on that.

"But I'm not enjoying my snooker, no.

"It's hard to walk away from it when you are still winning.

"That niggling voice in the back of your head, that makes you think if I can get my game half right, I'll stroll tournaments."

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