Ronnie O’Sullivan’s ‘porn star moustache’ has actually been grown as touching tribute


Ronnie O’Sullivan admitted his radical lockdown moustache is a tribute to stricken pal Willie Thorne.

The Rocket walked out for his Championship League matches at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes sporting some impressive whiskers.

Five-time world champion O’Sullivan triggered an internet explosion with responses to his striking new look.

Comparisons were made to Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, Freddie Mercury, 1970s porn star Ron Jeremy and the Pringles crisps logo.

But O’Sullivan, 44, revealed that the person he had most in mind was former pro and respected commentator Thorne.



Ronnie showed off the new look when he returned to snooker on Friday

The 66-year-old from Leicester, now living in Spain, revealed in March that he has been diagnosed with leukaemia – and is undergoing chemotherapy.

Julie O’Neill and former top golfer Mark Roe have set up a fund-raising page to try and help Thorne financially.

O’Sullivan said: “I set myself a challenge in lockdown. I tried to grow a beard but it was a bit itchy, and my partner suggested going for the tash.

“I thought why not – but it is for Willie Thorne really. I wanted to look like him, just with some hair and a barnet.

“I know he hasn’t been too well so hopefully he will be okay and all right.



Snooker legend Willie Thorne has been diagnosed with leukaemia
Snooker legend Willie Thorne has been diagnosed with leukaemia

“I know it looks a bit radical and I have had plenty of people telling me how they thought it looks.

“Apparently I could be El Chapo, the infamous Mexican drug lord – and a few others reckoned Freddie Mercury.”

Meanwhile the Tour Championship has been rescheduled in a THIRD slot.

The prestigious tournament for the season’s top eight performers was originally being held in Llandudno in March.

It was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and then rearranged for late July – just before the Betfred World Championship.



O’Sullivan pictures on ITV as he made his return to snooker

But the success of the health, safety, medical and hygiene measures used this week in Milton Keynes has prompted a change of heart and venue.

And the event, featuring world No1 and world champion Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, John Higgins and Mark Selby, will now take place at the Marshall Arena from June 20-26.

World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to confirm dates for this event, coming hot on the heels of the Matchroom.Live Championship League.

“The feedback we have had this week from the players at the venue in Milton Keynes has been excellent.



O’Sullivan plays a shot with his new look

“Any concerns they may have had about their own welfare have been laid to rest – in fact one player described it as ‘probably the safest place on Earth.’

“We have proved that despite the many challenges associated with running events in the current conditions, it can be done.

“There is no sport which can meet the required regulations on isolation, sanitisation and social distancing as rigorously as snooker can.

“This is a huge tournament with a stellar line up and massive prize money on offer. It’s another major event for the fans and players, ahead of the World Championship.”





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