Ronnie O’Sullivan has spoken of his love for Arbroath smokies during an exhibition in the town.
The five-time world champion, considered by many as the best snooker player of all time, was in Shotz for a second time after performing in May 2016.
The ‘Rocket’ played frames against members of the public on Friday and Saturday night. The 43-year-old also signed autographs and shared selfies with the 300-strong audience who saw him over the two days.
Video highlights of Friday’s event are above this article.
He said: “I love smokies. I got to Arbroath about 5pm and I’ve had two already. I’ve got another 12 and I don’t even know if that’s going to be enough. Because of our love of smokies I might have to get a reload.”
The nights were compered by fellow snooker legend John Virgo, who warmed up the crowd with trick shots ahead of O’Sullivan’s appearance.
O’Sullivan said: “Doing exhibitions is prolonging my career. You’re enjoying it, it’s free
flowing, you’re attacking the balls, playing some exhibition snooker.
“I try to take that into my actual matches now because it’s more fun. You don’t win as much but you just want to enjoy it.”
“I love doing the exhibitions with John, it’s great because otherwise I wouldn’t see as much of him.
“With these you’ve got two or three days on the road, for me it’s about building these friendships and it’s great – John’s like a big uncle to me. We all have a laugh, we enjoy working together, we enjoy each other’s company.”
Virgo said: “Everybody comes along to see Ronnie and it’s usually unbelievable. If there is a more talented sportsman in the world today I am yet to see it. He is phenomenal – left or right-handed.
“You only have to look at the audience to see their jaws dropping as he is playing. The way he goes around and does it. He is not crash, bang, wallop he treats it as an art form. He is so talented that it is a pleasure to be with him.”
Congratulations and Thankyou to our referee for this weekend Tony!! ???? Faultless role played , and can tell you loved every minute of it!! Well done my friend ??
Brothers Marc and Ryan Fleming have run the Shotz snooker halls in Dundee and Arbroath for the past seven years.
“There is a massive pull for it,” Mark said. “It is not as though you are having to sell it. As soon as you say Ronnie O’Sullivan is coming here a lot of people want to get involved. Even if they have seen him before.
“We try to use the ticket money to pay for expenses over the two nights. The only money we make is off the bar and raffle so it is not a huge earner but it gets people to come back to the club.
“They get to see what the club is like and after seven years some people don’t know what it’s like.
“The event is not targeted at elite players but people who have sat in their living room watching him for years who want to meet him.”