LONDON (Reuters) - Four-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan cruised into the semi-finals of the world snooker championship on Wednesday and said he had only returned to the tables to earn enough money to pay his children’s overdue school fees.
O’Sullivan, who has struggled with depression during a glittering career and last November said he was ending his season, only to return this year, beat Stuart Bingham 13-4 at the Crucible in Sheffield.
“I’ve realized I don’t miss snooker but I needed a bit of money,” 37-year-old O’Sullivan, world champion in 2001, 2004, 2008 and last year, was quoted by the BBC.
“I’ll be honest, I still owe the school money for my children’s school fees, I haven’t paid the last two or three terms. I didn’t know what was going to happen here but I’ve made a little bit of money now so I can go and pay the school fees now for the next two years.
“But really I don’t think snooker is for me. This could be my last proper major event.”
O’Sullivan, who can play right or left-handed, is regarded as the most natural shot-maker ever to play the game, yet his career has often been overshadowed by his threats to quit.
This time, however, he said he will put away his cue for good once he has played in the events he is contracted to play in.
“I’ve no intention to come back,” he said.
“If I find something else to do you definitely won’t see me.
“This is my last farewell, it’s my swansong. I’m happy; I’m done. I’ll fulfill my contract and keep my sponsor happy. It’s just 10 events and I’ll see them out.”
O’Sullivan will face Judd Trump in the semis.
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Justin Palmer