Ronnie O'Sullivan was once fined for headbutting official

April 22, 2022
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Snooker star Ronnie O'Sullivan is a man usually in the spotlight thanks to his way of words and actions at times, but perhaps none more so than when he was once fined £20,000 for headbutting an official at the 1996 World Championship.

The incident occurred ahead of the quarter-finals, with O'Sullivan asked to remove a guest from the press room by assistant press officer Mike Ganley. The pair then got into an argument which ended with O'Sullivan headbutting Ganley, who is now World Snooker's Tournament Director.

O'Sullivan was brought before a disciplinary committee and risked getting disqualified from the tournament altogether. However, after admitting to the assault, he was fined £20,000, handed a suspended two-year ban and advised to donate a further £10,000 to charity, with his previous good behaviour being taken into account.

In a statement, O'Sullivan said: "I would like to apologise most sincerely to Michael Ganley, my fellow professionals and Embassy for my out-of-character behaviour. I would like to thank the disciplinary committee of the WPBSA for giving me the opportunity to play the game I love.

"I give them an assurance that from here on I shall use my very best endeavours to be a model professional and ambassador for the game of snooker and the association." O'Sullivan went on to win his quarter-final match against John Higgins, beating him 13-12.

However, he was eliminated in the semi-finals, losing to Peter Ebdon 16-14. Stephen Hendry ultimately won the title that year, defeating Ebdon 18-12 in the final.

It was not the only controversy O'Sullivan was involved in at the tournament, having earlier been branded "disrespectful" by Alain Robidoux for playing left-handed during their first-round clash. Robidoux refused to shake O'Sullivan's hand after the game and raged: "Ronnie was being disrespectful to his fellow professionals and should save shots like that for exhibitions.

What is the maddest O'Sullivan moment ever? Let us know in the comments section.

O'Sullivan also angered Alain Robidoux in their first-round clash at the World Championships by playing left-handed
O'Sullivan also angered Alain Robidoux in their first-round clash at the World Championships by playing left-handed

"I wasn't playing well and he was rubbing it in. He's a good all-round player and doesn't need to do it. In fact, he shouldn't be allowed to play like that in a professional tournament."

O'Sullivan hit back at Robidoux, saying: "I didn't give him any respect because he didn't deserve any. I'm good left-handed, I've made 90 breaks playing that way. In fact, I'm better left-handed than he is right-handed. If he wants to act like a baby that's up to him. The crowd enjoyed it, that's the main thing."

O'Sullivan later revealed he and Robidoux had patched things up, telling Eurosport: "It was unfortunate for Alain, but he apologised to me a couple of years later and said he didn't realise I could play as well as with my left. I accepted his apology. And we were good friends after that."

This post appeared first on Daily Star - Snooker.

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