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Ronnie O'Sullivan opens up on dad's parting message before being handed life sentence for murder

Ronnie O'Sullivan opens up on dad's parting message before being handed life sentence for murder

Snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan has detailed the events in the Amazon Prime documentary, Ronnie O'Sullivan: The Edge of Everything.

Ronnie O'Sullivan broke down in tears as he recalled the moments before his father was taken to prison on a life sentence for murder.

The 47-year-old snooker icon was speaking in his upcoming Amazon Prime documentary, Ronnie O'Sullivan: The Edge of Everything, when he candidly opened up on finding out that his dad had been arrested.

O'Sullivan was only 16 when his dad, Ronnie O'Sullivan Snr, murdered Bruce Bryan – a driver of Charlie Kray, who was the brother of Ronnie and Reggie – in a Chelsea nightclub.

After a long pause during filming, he revealed his dad's five-word message before being taken to prison on a life sentence.

"He just said, 'Tell my boy to win'," O'Sullivan recalls. "Typical. 'Just tell my boy to win'. That's it."

Ronnie's mother, Maria, also recalled how she found out about her husband's arrest, as well as the difficult days that followed.

She said: "Barry Hearn phoned me up and said 'Maria, you've got to tell him.' I said 'Barry, I can't. It'll break his heart. It'll break his heart, Barry, I can't do it.' I said 'can you send Ronnie to Thailand because I'm trying to protect him.

"If he goes there three days early he won't know what's going on. It's going to be a bad dream and his dad will come back out again. It's going to be a mistake and he won't know any different."

Maria then had to deliver the news to her son, who was in Thailand at the time. Ronnie is said to have "collapsed" in the hotel room after finding out.

"I phoned up...and said 'Ron', I told him, I said 'your dad's in prison.' He said 'what for?' I said 'they've done him for murder.' And I heard him screaming, screaming down the phone.

"I went 'hold him, I'm going to start crying'. It was so hard for me to tell him because I knew how close they were. John held him and he just collapsed in the hotel room.

"I shouldn't have sent him. My regret now is that I should have told him straight away, but I thought I'd protect him. It was wrong and I don't think Ronnie ever forgave me for that. It's one regret I've got, I didn't want him to get hurt."

Image credit: Facebook/Tiffany Kushner
Image credit: Facebook/Tiffany Kushner

Ronnie, a seven-time world champion who holds the all-time record of 39 ranking event victories, would also open up on his father's prison sentence and how it almost derailed his snooker career.

"I didn't want to blame everything on that situation with my dad," says O'Sullivan. "But I just think I would rather not have the snooker, just have a normal family. Not had to have gone through that. Forget the snooker. Just normal."

O'Sullivan Snr added in a rare interview: "I know I took that man's life. But if I hadn't have done what I'd done, I would have been dead.

"When they sentenced me, I cried when I got downstairs. Not for myself, but for my family. Going to prison wasn't good for Ronnie."

O'Sullivan Snr was jailed for the murder of Bruce Bryan in 1992, and was released from prison in Derby in 2010.

Image credit: Studio 99/YouTube - Amazon Prime
Image credit: Studio 99/YouTube - Amazon Prime

Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Edge of Everything will premiere exclusively in cinemas on 21st November. The title will launch on Prime Video in UK & Ireland on 23rd November.

Featured Image Credit: Amazon Prime/Ronnie O'Sullivan: The Edge of Everything

Topics: Ronnie O’Sullivan, Snooker