Belfast Telegraph

Best foot forward for Rocket Ronnie O'Sullivan in his desert boots

Eurosport, rather cheekily, has declared war on the BBC with the bold claim that it is now the 'home of snooker.'

Why do I get the feeling that behind the scenes there's an irate, blonde, Scottish woman being held back by John Parrott and Steve Davis screaming 'is that right, pal?' but Hazel Irvine needn't worry, there's plenty of other people ready to hand out a kicking.

Take Ronnie O'Sullivan. Love him or loathe him, snooker just wouldn't be the same without him and he ensured he would steal the show when he turned up at the UK Championships in York in a rather natty pair of black suede desert boots. Commentator Dave Hendon filled us in on the details of Ronnie's unusual footwear.

"As I'm sure many of you will know, Ronnie broke his ankle last week while running so he's in a little bit of pain," as I struggled in vain to get the tune of Big Break out of my head.

"It isn't really the footwear we are used to seeing in the sport, but it can't be helped," he added. Indeed, most other sports plump for a size 11 black brogue from Clark's.

This then took us limping down memory lane with other snooker mishaps.

"Stephen Hendry at the World Championships fell in his bathroom and broke a bone in his arm and went on to win the tournament - what could have been a catastrophe turned into a triumph," continued Hendon, although nothing like the injury Mrs Hendry wanted to inflict on him a while back.

"Alex Higgins won the Irish Masters hopping round the table pretty much - it wasn't a running injury with Alex," he added, helpfully, and then recalled how Bill Werbenuik had broken his leg at the Mercantile Credit Classic in 1983 while indulging in his favourite hobby of rhythmic gymnastics. I may have made that last one up.

Thankfully for Ronnie, he was up against an opponent in Peter Lines who he could have beaten with two broken arms, as expert summariser Mike Hallett summarised expertly.

"He might have only one foot in operation at the minute but he has two hands," he revealed as Ronnie limped over the finishing line much to the relief of Barry Hearn, the man still trying to save snooker.

The problem is that without the Rocket, Eurosport can claim all it likes to be the home of snooker but the reality is that snooker's best known players are more likely to be living in a home these days.

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