Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will start in8CancelPlay now

Get our daily coronavirus email newsletter with all the news you need to know direct to your inbox

Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email

Snooker icon Ronnie O'Sullivan claims the players' bubble system in place in Milton Keynes reminds him of when he used to visit his father, Ronald John, in prison.

O'Sullivan, 44, is currently competing in the Northern Ireland Open, though World Snooker is holding all events in Milton Keynes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Players are competing behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena, which has a hotel to host everyone involved in putting on tournaments.

But six-time world champion O'Sullivan is less than impressed by the set-up, comparing his situation to being incarcerated after his 5-2 victory over Ding Junhui in the quarter-finals.

O'Sullivan says his living conditions are like those of an "open prison"
(Image: Benjamin Mole/WST/REX/Shutterstock)

Read More
Related Articles

  • Ronnie O'Sullivan 'proud' after shattering Northern Ireland Open silence with loud fart

Read More
Related Articles

  • Judd Trump opens up on partying with Harry Maguire before Man Utd star's Mykonos arrest

"This is like prison – an open prison," O'Sullivan said. "I used to go and visit my dad quite a lot and I watch players who are here now who aren't playing until next week.

"They have their little bit of food and going up to their room and it's lonely, it's horrible.

"It's like you could go out and get a little job in a charity shop and that's your privileges.

"Otherwise you are in here hitting a few balls and having a chat with the lads."

The Rocket was just 16 when his father was jailed for life

Ronald John was jailed for life in 1992 after killing Bruce Bryan – the driver of East End gangster Charlie Kray, the elder brother of Ronald and Reggie.

Ronnie was 16 when his father was put behind bars and he used to visit around his snooker triumphs, which included victory at the UK Championship in 1993 when he was just 17.

Ronald John was released in 2010 after serving 18 years in prison, though Ronnie believes he would have had an even greater career had his father not been locked up.

O'Sullivan clinched his sixth world championship this summer
(Image: BBC Two/PA Wire)

"My dad was away and when he went away it took me a year for me to get my head around accepting that he wasn’t going to be around," O'Sullivan told Eurosport earlier this year. "He was a big driving force behind me, he kept me on the straight and narrow."

He added: "I think it would have been a lot different [with his father around]. I think I’d have own the World Championships a lot earlier and won plenty more tournaments. Absolutely 100% it would have been different.

"But it was what it was, it was unfortunate for me and him. Things could have been so much better, I certainly would have enjoyed my career a lot more having him around than not having him around."

O'Sullivan will face fellow Englishman Ali Carter in the semi-finals.