Ronnie O’Sullivan opens up on winning the Masters just days after almost checking into mental health hospital

7 months ago 83

RONNIE O’SULLIVAN once won snooker’s Masters just days after almost ending up checking into The Priory.

January’s 16-player tournament is one of the sport’s most prestigious and he has claimed the Triple Crown event a record seven times.

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Ronnie O’Sullivan’s pal Damien Hirst has revealed how the snooker legend nearly pulled out of the Masters[/caption]

Yet on one of those occasions, Ronnie was struggling behind the scenes and came close to pulling out and heading to the private rehab and mental health hospital.

It is well documented the seven-time world champion has dabbled with drink and drugs in the past and suffered spells of depression.

The revelation is made by pal and world-famous artist Damien Hirst in new documentary, Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Edge of Everything.

Hirst, 58, revealed: “I had a time when Ronnie called and said: ‘Look, I’m in the Masters. But I’m f***ed — I need to go to The Priory’.

“I went: ‘You’re not bad for pulling out if that’s what you feel. We’ll come and get you’.

“I went and he was a complete mess. I said: ‘Look, I’ve got the car, I’ve called The Priory, I’ve booked you in. You can go. It’s all sweet’.

“Then we sat down, had a cup of tea and he calmed down a bit. He said: ‘Do you want a little knockabout on the practice table before we go?’ I went: ‘Yeah, sure’.

“We did a knockabout, then he went: ‘I think I might play this afternoon’. I stayed with him — and he won the f***ing tournament.

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“Now I tell that story, it’s ridiculous. But it’s all real. It’s totally genuine. It’s harrowing.

“Sometimes we’ll go to The Priory. I always try to look at him and go: ‘It’s about you. No glory is worth it if you aren’t all right.’ ”

Hirst is a long-term friend of O’Sullivan, 47, and often watches him play in tournaments.

In the new film, released this Thursday on Amazon Prime Video, Hirst added: “Ronnie is much more on the edge than anyone I’ve ever met.

“It’s the edge of risk, it’s the edge of danger, of fear,  of doubt, of surety, of confidence. It’s the edges of all those things.

“It’s not a comfortable place to be. But it’s the only place for him to be.”

l Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Edge of Everything is showing in cinemas from tomorrow and on Prime Video from Thursday.

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