Some of the world’s best players have graced the tables at Breakers since it opened in Worksop in 1979 – but the visit of Ronnie O’Sullivan left local snooker fans awestruck.
The Rocket was the guest of honour at a special night last month, and he delighted the 190 packed into the venue with a virtuoso performance.
O’Sullivan took on a young star of the Worksop Snooker League, one of the home club’s teams and the son of a charity auction winner.
The 39-year-old then posed for photographs, signed autographs and chatted at the bar until the early hours.
Craig Frost of Breakers Snooker Club said it was the greatest night in his 10-year association with the venue.
“They’ve had Jimmy White, Alex Higgins and all kinds of professionals though, but this was the best night we’ve had,” he said.
“Ronnie was a genius at the table, he showed us how to play.”
Frost linked up with O’Sullivan to thrash out the details for the ‘evening with...’ at the World Championships in Sheffield.
“He’s a really decent bloke, comes across brilliantly,” he said.
“And when I put it up on the board, we sold out in a couple of days.”
“The place was packed, I even had to remove our glass partition from the bar area to get more people in, and the atmosphere was amazing.”
O’Sullivan first took on Hayden Staniland, the winner of the Worksop Snooker League averages.
Then it was the turn of the Breakers X team, before Ben Phillips got the opportunity of a lifetime, his dad buying the frame in aid of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
Frost said: “Ronnie didn’t miss a ball all night.”
“The first frame against us he cleared up with 122, next one he had 109.”
“He played Ben, who is eight or nine years old, and after Ben had one shot Ronnie made 137.”
“With a half and half black left, Ronnie told the lad to put it in for 144, and he did, to the biggest roar of the night.”
“It was awesome to watch.”
Breakers pulled out all the stops, even purchasing the cloth that O’Sullivan played on for the quarter-finals of the World Championships at the Crucible, to put on the table he graced on 19th May in Worksop.
“He did nine frames on it and said it made a difference,” said Frost.
“Then we had photos, he was there an hour with people, and signed everything and had a chat at the bar until 12.30am.”
“Everyone came away buzzing.”
The best bit was to come a day later however, with the Rocket insisting he was ready to do it all again.
“He text me the next day and said he loved it, it was a great crowd and same time next year if we wanted to do it again.”