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Big time Charlie

There’s a lot of bleating about how there aren’t any characters in sport any more, that everything is so sanitised and dull that you can even get completely drunk the day before a game and put in a shocking performance that is an insult to the people who pay your wages. Ah, the good old days, right? When men were men and being a nob was tolerated. Well, you can all throw your behind Ronnie O’Sullivan who has got the ‘character’ act down pat.

Never before has a sportsman acted so jack the lad and so sensitive at the same time, complaining about the game of snooker and threatening to quit whenever he has a bad run of form. Worst of all the sport knows that without him their sport is finished, as people really do want personality with their sport, not a succession of Graham Dotts.

So no-one should be surprised at The Rocket’s latest act of buffoonery at the World Open in Glasgow: asking about the prize money for a 147 break two balls in, being all sniffy when being told there was only £4,000 for the highest break, then after getting down to the black refusing to pot it until the referee pleaded with him to finish it off. But why?

‘I wasn't going to pot the black because to make 147 and not really get a nice bonus was a bit disappointing because they are magical moments and they deserve magical bonuses,’ he said. ‘But the ref played a guilt trip on me and said: ‘Come on, do it for your fans.’

‘And I thought: ‘OK, because I haven't got long to play anyway, so I might as well go out on a high.’ But I wasn't going to pot it because four grand, once you've paid the taxes ...’

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