Ronnie O’Sullivan believes his dad’s prison sentence nearly derailed his career.
Ronnie Senior was jailed in 1992 for murder and released 18 years later.
And the Rocket revealed: “He was a big driving force behind me, he kept me on the straight and narrow.
“To not have him there was tough, it was teamwork.
“From 1995-2000 I won a few tournaments but I was never really consistent as much as I should have been.
“I wasted probably five years of my career, messing about really.
“Once I’d won the UK Championship [my first ranking title] there was a monkey off my back.
“But dad was away and when he went away it took me a year for me to get my head around accepting that he wasn’t going to be around.
“When I won that tournament I devoted that win to him and if I never won another tournament it would be fine.
“But in a way my intensity level dropped a little bit, I started enjoying myself a bit too much thinking that I’d made it, when really I hadn’t, it was just one tournament.
“I think it would have been a lot different [with his father around].”
And five-time world champion O’Sullivan believes he could have bettered Stephen Hendry’s record of seven world titles if he had not lost his way.
“I think I’d have won the World Championships a lot earlier and won plenty more tournaments,” admitted O’Sullivan. “Absolutely, 100% it would have been different.
“But it was what it was, it was unfortunate for me and him. Things could have been so much better.
“I certainly would have enjoyed my career a lot more having him around than not having him around.”
This year’s World Championship should be on now but has been rescheduled for the 31st July to 16th August at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.
And O’Sullivan, 44, who last won a world title in 2013, said: “I think I’ll give it one good crack maybe next year or the year after I might play some more and then by the time I’m 50 call it a day.
“At some point, I can’t go on forever. It would look stupid keeping playing and playing. I love doing the exhibitions and stuff like that but if I can get another four or five years out of my snooker career that’s great.
“Obviously I’d like to do the exhibitions but then look to do stuff away from snooker.”
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