Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Ronnie O'Sullivan should be BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

Ronnie O'Sullivan celebrates with the trophy after winning the final match during the Betfair World Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 6, 2013. See PA story SNOOKER World. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Ronnie O'Sullivan celebrates with the trophy after winning the final match during the Betfair World Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 6, 2013. See PA story SNOOKER World. Photo credit should read: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Ronnie O'Sullivan is back on top of the snooker world and, frankly, they might as well give him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award now.

Not just because snooker is one of the very few sports that the Beeb covers live but his World title success, after a 12-month absence, was simply sublime.

Not only did he take on the best and find the resolve to triumph at the Crucible but the style in which he turned back the challenge of semi-finalist Judd Trump – the heir apparent to Rocket Ronnie – and then a gutsy Barry Hawkins in the final was breathtaking.

Without doubt he is the finest player ever to have graced the green baize and he can go on and retain the title for years to come – if he can be bothered, as we know that his interest in the sport ebbs and flows.

Of course, snooker does not have the physical demands of sports such as boxing, tennis, athletics and cycling from which other strong candidates will come for the 2013 Beeb award and should Andy Murray win Wimbledon or David Haye regain the World heavyweight title then you can see how O'Sullivan will be down the pecking order in the eyes of many.

But, nevertheless, O'Sullivan is special and this was an equally stunning achievement.

A controversial character he is a box office attraction, being able to play as well with his left hand as he can with his right.

In a British sporting landscape filled with too many robots, O'Sullivan sparkles like a rare jewel.

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