Ronnie O'Sullivan and Stephen Hendry compared, with Rocket now snubbing party life to Scot's romance with younger Wag | The Sun
THEY are the two greatest snooker players of all-time.
Ronnie O'Sullivan, 47, and Stephen Hendry dominated the game in their respective eras.
The Scot smashed off seven world titles between 1990-1999.
While Rocket has just as many wins at the Crucible, following last year's epic World Championship win.
But the Essex potter will have to wait to break his rival's record after being dumped out of this year's event in a shock quarter final loss to Luca Brecel.
Away from the baize, the pair lead different lifestyles.
Here's how Hendy and O'Sullivan compare – starting off with their greatest achievement in sport.
Lucky number seven
The Golden Boy, as Hendry was known, took snooker by storm from a very young age.
By 16, he had turned professional, by 21 he was the youngest ever World Champion – and well on his way to making his now £12.5million fortune.
Ronnie, who also made his debut at the tender age of 16, was 25 when he was victorious in Sheffield for the first time.
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But while he wasn't the youngest, he made history as the oldest.
Last year's World Championship win at 46 years and 148 days eclipsed previous oldie Ray Reardon's record, who was 45 years and 203 days old when he claimed the title.
Hedonism? No thanks
Throughout his career, Hendry played life with a straight bat.
He once told the Big Issue: "I looked at Jimmy White gambling, drinking and going to nightclubs and thought it looked glamorous. But my management would say, “You are not going anywhere near that.”
"There were distractions everywhere if you wanted to go down that route. Alex Higgins struggled with drink all the way through his career – and he was not a nice drunk either. When he’d had a drink he was one to avoid. I saw the huge drinking culture.
"I would tell my younger self to choose moderation and definitely avoid drugs – from what I have seen, they seem ridiculously easy to get hold of."
Hendry was, by admission, a 'boring' winning machine.
Hellraiser Ronnie embraced fame, making celeb pals along the way including Liam Gallagher, Rolling Stones rocker Ronnie Wood and artist Damien Hirst.
He threw himself into the party lifestyle, falling foul of "dangerous" nights out with the Oasis singer, as he called them.
In his mid-20s, O'Sullivan checked himself into the Priory to treat drug addiction, after admitting he was having suicidal thoughts.
His mental health was a continuous issue as he struggled with the pressures demanded of him.
That expectation led to depression, as he strived for the impossibility of perfection.
But, today's Ronnie is a totally different animal.
After admitting he may have wasted nine years of his career througha hedonistic existence, he is teetotal.
O'Sullivan has swapped cannabis and booze to become a runner. He's also devoted to yoga, pilates and healthy eating.
A year after retiring for the first time in 2012, Hendry's personal life appeared to be crumbling underneath him too.
After confessing he was having an affair with children's entertainer Lauren Thundow, he split from his wife of 19 years, Amanda in 2013.
In his autobiography Me and The Table, Hendry revealed he met Lauren at a snooker event where she was selling merchandise.
As that chapter of his life ended, Hendry handed Amanda their £1.2million sprawling estate in Auchterarder, Perthshire, as part of their divorce settlement.
O'Sullivan's love life was just as turbulent.
Now, he's settled with stunning Footballers' Wives actress Laila Rouass.
They briefly split in 2022, but soon reconciled months later.
Before that, O'Sullivan was in a relationship with Sally Magnus, who gave birth to his first child, Taylor-Ann.
He then met Jo Langley at Narcotics Anonymous – and had two more children with her, Lily and Ronnie Jr.
The two were present last year when their dad achieved his record -equalling feat at the World Championships.
Embracing reality TV is something the pair have both done.
In Australia and the US, Ronnie starred in Hustle – a show that explores the history of pool.
It's something he enjoyed so much, back in 2017 he considered dropping out of the World Championships to film a new series.
Ronnie has recently finished filming a warts-and-all documentary about his life too.
Hendry, on the other hand, ventured completely out of his comfort zone when he appeared on The Masked Singer.
Playing character Rubbish, he sang Kaiser Chiefs hit Ruby in a rubbish bin costume.
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Sadly, the general public thought his performance was close to his outfit.
However, in sporting terms, you could never accuse these two of being trash.
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