‘Wow amazing!’ – Ronnie O’Sullivan on “the incredible” Paul Gascoigne, the “legend” Ayrton Senna and the awesome snooker

Ronnie O’Sullivan has given his take on a trio of sports legends – Paul Gascoigne, Ayrton Senna and Joe Davis – after being asked about their heroes, early memories and favorite players.

The Rocket will arrive in Sheffield ahead of the World Championship as world No 1 after usurping reigning world champion Mark Selby after the Tour Championship in Llandudno, Wales.

O’Sullivan heads to the Crucible in search of a record seventh world title as he seeks to equal Stephen Hendry’s world championship record in a matter of weeks.

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In an extensive interview ahead of the World Championship, O’Sullivan spoke about some of the sporting heroes he’s had over the years and which pool legend he’d most like to share a table with.

“The first live sporting event I attended was when I saw Gazza score that free kick against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport.

” He beat [David] Sailor from 30 meters. I remember being right in the back thinking, ‘wow, amazing!’ It was amazing to see Gazza play that day.

“Ayrton Senna, I loved this guy,” he said. “I think he was a legend. Brilliant. Much missed.

“He brought so much to Formula 1 and the sport. As a human being, he seemed like a real top.”

When asked which snooker star, past or present, he would most like to play with, O’Sullivan returned to a man who was a dominant force in snooker from the 1920s.

“I would probably like to play someone like Joe Davis – he was a legend of his time,” he said.

“So yeah, I wouldn’t mind having a knockabout with someone like him.

“I strongly believe that anyone who was the best of their time would adapt to any era. That’s what makes them great, that they’re good at adapting.

“He probably would have played a good enough game to rival what was happening at the time.”

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O’Sullivan then reflected on his first sporting success when he won his first junior tournament aged just 10 – and it remains a very dear triumph for him.

“My very first sporting memory was when I won my first junior competition at the age of 10,” he said.

“I received a £5 voucher for a free table lamp. It was my first sporting memory.

“My first trophy was when I won that junior tournament at the age of 10. I still have it at home. It’s probably one of the most important trophies I’ll ever have – the first.

“My dad was telling everyone then that I was going to be world champion. I think he had more confidence in me than anyone.”

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