By Rosa Silverman, Press Association
November 20, 2010
Ronnie O'Sullivan said he was "delighted" to be reunited with his father, following his release from prison.
Ronnie O'Sullivan Snr was jailed for life in 1992 for the murder of father-of-two Bruce Bryan.
He walked free from prison in Derby on Friday and headed back to Essex for an emotional reunion with his son and the rest of the family.
O'Sullivan Jnr, the three-times snooker world champion, said: "I am delighted to be reunited with my dad after so long.
"He has repeatedly expressed how sorry he is to the victim's family and to the authorities.
"My dad now wishes to readjust to a world which has changed dramatically since he went to prison.
"He wishes to do that quietly, privately and as a man who is deeply sorry about the circumstances and hurt caused and which led to his imprisonment.
"My dad and I are hopeful that the press and media will respect these sentiments and also that my dad will be allowed the privacy he needs at this time."
The snooker star has frequently spoken of his affection for his father.
Asked in 2003 whether his father would have accompanied him to tournaments had he not been jailed, O'Sullivan replied: "Definitely, because we are best mates.
"A lot of the reasons I continue playing are really about him. It's difficult to turn away because snooker is something that keeps him going."
Robert Mendick, Jack Lefley and Shekhar Bhatia
The father of snooker world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was today enjoying an emotional reunion with his family after spending 17 years in jail for murder.
Ronnie O'Sullivan senior, 54, who was sentenced to life when his son was just 16, was released from prison this week and finally allowed home.
O'Sullivan senior, who acted as a mentor to the snooker champion even while behind bars, was jailed in 1992 for the brutal stabbing of Bruce Bryan, a driver to the gangster Charlie Kray, in a nightclub in Chelsea.
This week he was reunited with Ronnie, his wife Maria and their grandchildren at the family's £1 million home in Chigwell, Essex.
O'Sullivan senior, who made millions running a string of Soho sex shops, was holed up in his home, just a few doors down from his son's own £1.5 million house. The snooker player has made frequent visits, driving there in his black Mercedes.
O'Sullivan senior's wife said, in a statement issued through World Snooker, the sport's governing body: "We prefer to have our privacy at this time. We just want to be left alone."
A family friend, speaking from inside the house, said: "He has served his time and he is out now and he wants to put it all behind him. He just wants to live his life in peace and be left alone.
"He is not interested in talking about it at all to anybody. He is not interested in selling his story or making any money. Ronnie is just delighted his father is home and is right behind him."
Sources have told the Evening Standard O'Sullivan is currently out on a rehabilitation scheme after so long behind bars.
It is thought he will be returned to jail at the weekend, ahead of his full release later this year or early next. He has already spent the occasional day working in a charity shop near a prison in Derbyshire.
He is thought to be serving the rest of his sentence in Kent.
O'Sullivan was ordered to serve at least 18 years for the murder of Mr Bryan, a father-of-two. Then aged 37, O'Sullivan senior had been "binge" drinking on champagne with a friend in 1991 when he went "looking for trouble" at a club in the King's Road.
He set upon Mr Bryan and his brother Kelvin, allegedly hurling racist abuse at the pair, who are black. Pulling out a six-inch hunting knife, O'Sullivan stabbed Bruce Bryan to death.
"It was like a horror movie," Kelvin said later. "He turned on Bruce and began stabbing and slashing at him with a huge knife. My brother had his arms up as protection but O'Sullivan was in a frenzy."
O'Sullivan then turned on Kelvin, stabbing him in the stomach. O'Sullivan has always argued the attack was not racially motivated. His son has stood by him, insisting his father has "never been a trouble maker".
O'Sullivan junior, now 33 and widely regarded as the greatest talent ever to play the game, dedicated his first of three world championships to his father.
He has battled depression, which some have suggested might even be linked to his father's absence.
When he was 19, both his parents were in jail after his Italian-born mother was given a one-year sentence for tax evasion.
Ronnie had to look after the family business and younger sister, Danielle, while rising to the top of his sport.
He owes his career and £6million prize money to his father's support. O'Sullivan senior built his son a snooker room in the back garden where he practised for hours.
Nicknamed the Rocket, he said a few months ago: "He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and it certainly wasn't a murder, it certainly wasn't premeditated murder.
By GORDON SMART
Published: 18 Aug 2008
THE killer dad of world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has chalked up his own glory on the green baize — in prison.
Ronald O’Sullivan, 55, potted his way to victory in a jail tournament.
But while Rocket Ronnie, 32, won Ł200,000 with his title, murderer Ronald scooped Ł50 worth of biscuits, tobacco and chocs.
A worker at the nick where he is being held said: “He’s a pretty nifty player. You can see where Ronnie gets it from.
“There were some decent lads he was up against and when it got down to the final matches it was really tense.
“There might only have been sweets and cigs up for grabs but the games were run in a proper fashion, with another inmate as ref to make sure there was no funny business.
“Ronald’s a good bloke and immensely proud of his son.
“Everyone knows who he is and who his son is so he doesn’t need to large it around the place.”
Ronald beat all-comers in a weekend of best-of-five matches at cushy Sudbury Jail, Derbys, which has three full-size snooker tables.
Ten inmates each pledged a fiver’s worth of treats from their supplies.
Prisoners earn Ł10 a week that goes into an account spent on luxuries and treats.
Ronald is in the 16th year of an 18-year sentence for stabbing the driver of Charlie Kray — brother of twins Ronnie and Reggie — in a London club in 1991.