Coggeshall: Retiring Rocket Ronnie to become a chef?

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan - Credit: PA

HE looks set to retire from snooker for good after the close of this year’s World Championships, but could the game’s greatest maverick be set for a new career as a chef?

Mark Baumann

Mark Baumann

Four-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has spent most of the last year in self-imposed exile from the sport, and claims he only returned to action because he needed the money to pay overdue school fees.

He has vowed to retire, claiming snooker is bad for his health, and after spending time learning to cook at a north Essex brasserie during his sabbatical he could be set for a new career in the kitchen.

Chef, author and food critic Mark Baumann, who runs Baumann’s Brasserie in Coggeshall, where “The Rocket” spent many hours training during his sabbatical, said he had the potential to permanently swap his waistcoat and bow tie for a set of chef’s whites.

He said: “He’s a top man and he would be a great chef. He’s a very good cook, although I’m not sure what he wants to do when he’s not playing snooker any more.

“I just enjoy having his company and he’s there a lot. He’s a cracking guy and thoroughly approachable and he’s got a willingness to learn. He loves his life and he loves his food.

“I got to know him through meeting on occasions when I have been to watch him play snooker. He’s an absolute star and a good guy.”

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The 37-year-old is currently engaged in a gripping semi-final clash with Bristolian rival Judd Trump, seen by many as his natural successor as the sport’s dominant force.

Asked earlier this week if he would be in Sheffield for next year’s World Championship, O’Sullivan said: “I’ve no intention to come back. If I find something else to do, you definitely won’t see me.

“I’ve kept my cards close to my chest but there’s no reason to keep them close now. This is my last farewell, it’s my swansong. I’m happy; I’m done. I can’t keep putting myself through being unhappy.

“I wish I could just smile it off, shrug it off, but it’s not like that for me. I wish I had the attitude of players who come here and smile and enjoy it. I just beat myself up too much and it’s not healthy.”

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