Stephen Fry hails ‘millennial man’ Ronnie O’Sullivan after latest achievement

Broadcaster and snooker fan Stephen Fry has sent a message to history-making Ronnie O’Sullivan, saying: “It’s a privilege to be alive at the same time as you”.

O’Sullivan, still snooker’s box-office attraction after 25 years at the top of the sport, wowed the crowd at Preston’s Guild Hall on Sunday night as he became the first player to make 1,000 career centuries.

In true O’Sullivan style, he did it with some extra verve, stepping away from a routine red for the landmark to tease the crowd, before returning to pot it left-handed as opposed to his usual right. The break clinched a 10-4 Players Championship Final win over Neil Robertson.

Fry is a hardened snooker fan and tweeted an immediate tribute on Sunday thanking the 43-year-old, before returning on Monday with an even more appreciative message.

“Ronnie, you’ve done it, a thousand centuries, it’s extraordinary,” he said. “How many more is it than I’ve made? It’s a thousand more than even I have made, it’s an incredible achievement. No one ever thought it would be possible, a millennium of centuries. You’re the millennial man, Ronnie.

“I know you must get tired of hearing this, Mozart, genius at work and all that, probably bores you rigid, but I wish you knew, perhaps you do, just how much pleasure you’ve given to millions of us who adore snooker, and who find watching you play one of the most thrilling sights in all of sport.

“It’s been a privilege to be alive at the same time as you, Ronnie, it’s a wonderful thing. So thank you, as well as congratulations.”

In keeping with O’Sullivan’s rock-star career, his crowning moment saw snooker’s usually conservative atmosphere kicked to the long grass.

The rest of his 134 break was made with a standing ovation, cheers and ‘oles’ accompanying every shot. To add one final twist, O’Sullivan went in-off on the final black, costing him the tournament’s high-break prize of £5,000.

It did not matter as O’Sullivan ended to wild cheers before lifting a 35th ranking title and sharing the moment with the crowd.

“I have played well all week and played brilliantly today. To cap it off with the 1,000th century was great,” he said.

“I was pleased to do it against Neil because he’s probably the nicest human being on the circuit.”

- Press Association

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