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Ronnie: A school celebrity
Around the Academy:

Ronnie in action at the world championships
Ronnie's opponents often have to just sit and wait

The records continued to fall, and would do throughout Ronnie's career.

Aged 11, he won a tournament and his first big prize money.

Ronnie collected a 450 cheque for his victory and proudly took it to school to show his fellow pupils and teachers.

His headmaster rewarded him with the afternoon off lessons and a cup of tea!

Ronnie's big breakthrough came in a professional-amateur tournament in Stevenage when he was 14.

He reached the quarter-final of the tournament where he faced Marcel Gavreau, who was ranked 34th in the world at that time.

The match was played over five frames, and in the deciding frame, Ronnie produced a 120 break to clinch victory.

Later, Gavreau said: "That kid is unbelievable. Where's he come from? No-one's ever played that well against me."

Ronnie made it to the final of the competition, where he faced Anthony Hamilton.

Finding himself down at 2-1, Ronnie dug deep and won a tense fourth frame on a re-spotted black.

He went on to win the match and pocket prize money of 1000 - not bad for a 14-year-old.

It was reward for the practice Ronnie was putting in - six or seven hours a day when he was not at school, and maybe three or four hours if he was.

Ronnie's name was becoming familiar on the club circuit now and it wouldn't be long before a wider audience would know his face too.

In an event called the Cockney Classic, Ronnie made his first television appearance, whilst still aged 14.

To qualify for the tournament, players had to win a competition in their local club - then they played a single frame against six opponents.

Ronnie was eventually beaten in the semi-finals, but one of the highlights of his experience was making a 75 break on camera.

Back at school, the video of his break was shown by his teacher who abandoned the cookery lesson the class was due to be given.


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Introduction
The Centurion
School celebrity
Record breaker

Ronnie O'Sullivan factfile
Born: 5/12/1975
Lives: Chigwell, Essex
Nickname: The Rocket
Turned pro: 1992
Maximum 147 breaks: Five
World titles: 2004, 2001


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