RONNIE O'SULLIVAN has revealed that his dad once offered him a crucial piece of advice when he was a child, which ultimately spurred him on to become one of the greatest snooker players of all time.
O'Sullivan – also known as the Rocket – clinched a record-equalling seventh World Championship title in May following a 18-13 victory over Judd Trump at the Crucible.
But, in a recent Eurosport documentary he admitted that he didn't think he was destined for success until his dad offered him some much-needed guidance.
When speaking about Ronnie Snr shortly after his historic championship victory, the Rocket said: "He wasn’t here for a lot of years to share these moments.
"For me, I just wanted him here to experience it and get a feel for it.
"If it wasn’t for him in my early days I probably wouldn’t have been a professional sportsman or anything, he instilled that discipline in me. He came from a hard background.
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"I was a bit flaky, just wanted to have fun and have a laugh. He was like, no, we don’t do it like that.
"He incorporated that bit of seriousness into how I go about my career really."
Ronnie Snr was jailed in 1992 for killing a driver for gangster Charlie Kray.
It meant that he was not present for his son throughout the early stages of his snooker career.
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The Rocket also admitted that he felt like he lacked support while his dad was imprisoned, which led to battles with addiction.
He said: "I would change quite a lot of things in my life. A lot of the things I’ve done have made long-term damage.
"Some things are out of your control, like my dad going away. I’m not blaming my dad for that, I just lost a lot of that support mechanism.
"I went on a wild bender for six years. I think I would change those years because I became so dependent on changing the way I felt.
"I never felt comfortable in my own skin, but up until that point, I had always felt comfortable in my own skin. I think that is where a lot of my problems arose.
"That then became a crutch because if I wasn't feeling good, the first thing I would go to was the drink or something to change the way I felt.
"I think once you have crossed that line, it is hard to go back to the person that you were.
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"I would much rather go back to the kid that was 16, 17, or 18 that was innocent, and never have to do any of that, but I have only got myself to blame.
"I would definitely change that, a million per cent, but things change."
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