My London

My London: Ronnie O'Sullivan

Tom Horan
7 December 2001
World snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan loves eating posh nosh at Pont De La Tour, would like his ashes scattered on the pitch at Highbury, and reckons Blood Brothers is the musical not to be missed in the capital...

How long have you lived in London? Since I was two. First in a tower block in Dalston, then in Ilford.

Where do you live and why? Chigwell. I live on my own, but I rarely go a day without seeing my mum. She lives a quarter of a mile away - it's about as far as I get from her. Any further, I start having nosebleeds.

If you could change one thing about your street, what would it be? I'd take the speed cameras and traffic lights out. I love cars - I've got a Mercedes 320SLK. I'd love to have a selection, like Prince Naseem Hamed. But I don't like to waste money.

Are you a member of any club? Ilford Snooker Centre, Headon Health Club and the nightclub Emporium, in Kingly Street, W1.

What was the last CD you bought? The new U2 album. The only band I've seen live are Oasis. For some reason, in Germany they think that I'm Liam. I've signed autographs as Liam over there.
Well, you don't wanna disappoint people, do you?

Do you have a local? The Crooked Billet, down my road. You get a good bit of grub in there. Or Jefferson's, in Buckhurst Hill.

Where would you most like to spend a 'lost weekend' in London? Ronnie Wood's club and spa The Harrington. He's a good friend. I met him through Jimmy White.

What's your earliest memory of London? Watching my dad boxing in the King's gym in Dalston. His dad and his uncles were pros. We were brought up to know how to fight.

What is the most beautiful London landmark? The Houses of Parliament.

And the ugliest? The Dome.

What's the last film you saw in London? Gladiator.

When and where did you last get drunk? Two weeks ago, at a 12th birthday party for The Arches club in Glasgow. Seb Fontaine was DJ-ing. The place was going mental. I don't really drink, but I think when you do, you might as well go large. We went on till 10am.

Where is the most intimidating place in London? The Old Bailey. I watched my dad get a life sentence there [for murder], and my mum go down for her VAT. It's not one of my favourite places. My dad's in Swaleside on the Isle of Sheppey. He's done ten years, and it's another seven before he's up for parole. But I speak to him most days.

What don't you leave London without? My snooker cue. It's a one-piece. I've had it three years, and it took two years to find the right bit of wood to make it. It would cost �500 to buy. I had the last one for 14 years, but I wore it out.

What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever done? Falling over, ten-pin bowling in Leigh-on-Sea.

When did you last lose your temper? With my solicitor. It ended with me smashing the telephone up - and my hand, too.

Where did you last blow �2,000 and what was it on? I can do that on a night out. But I did buy a Prada leather jacket the other day.
What's the first piece of advice you'd give a London tourist? Go and see Blood Brothers in the West End. It's a musical, been going for years now. I've seen it five times.

If you were invisible for a day, where would you go in London and what would you do? I do what I want to do anyway.

Give us your best tip for overcoming depression. Keep busy. Don't do things you're not right with.

What's the most overrated thing in London? The club scene. The best places I've been to are in Scotland, Ireland and the North, where people go out to enjoy themselves. In London they just go out to look good.

Which shop could you not live without? Marks & Spencer. It's where I get my pants, and my food.

Have you ever been refused entry anywhere? Tramp's, after I won the World Championship. The bouncer said to me, 'Sorry, I can't. It's a members' club.'

Have you ever been a victim of violence in London? Couple of times I've been in pubs when it's all gone off. When you try and break it up, you get dragged into it.

What is the most expensive meal you've had in London and who did you eat with? At Le Pont de la Tour in SE1. This fella bought lunch with me at a charity auction as a present for his niece. When me and the girl were done, he said, 'Right - now you're having lunch with me. We're going down Pont's.' We got there at two in the afternoon. One in the morning we're still there. He's invited his girlfriend down, and a load of her mates. I thought out of courtesy I'd get the bill in. When it came it was �800.

What's your favourite meal to cook at home? I can do three things: pasta, shepherd's pie and sausage and mash.

What is your favourite view? Tower Bridge from Le Pont de la Tour.
What and where is your favourite painting or work of art? Ronnie Wood's really into his painting. He's got a couple round his house that are unbelievable. I need a nice big painting, so I think I might get one of his.

What last made you cry? Four years ago I was going through depression and I'd just come out of The Priory. I played the best snooker of my life and won the Champions Cup in Brighton. I saw these friends of mine from The Priory in the crowd, who'd come to support me. It brought tears to my eyes.

Where in London would you have your ashes scattered? On the pitch at Highbury.

If your house were on fire, which three things would you rescue? My cue, my mum and my sister.



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