Arbroath went snooker-loopy this weekend, as five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan appeared at a local club.
Widely regarded as the most naturally gifted player of all-time, “The Rocket” didn’t disappoint, knocking in astonishing shots and hitting century breaks at Shotz.
Some lucky members of the public played frames against Ronnie, but no one managed an upset win.
O’Sullivan wasn’t the only snooker legend to appear either.
Compering for the night was former professional John Virgo, perhaps best-known for presenting the BBC show Big Break, and his punditry for the BBC’s snooker coverage.
To warm up the crowd before Ronnie’s arrival, John set up trick shots for members of the audience to attempt – with mixed success –and performed a humorous impression of the late, great Alex “Hurricane” Higgins.
Ronnie said: “I think doing exhibitions is prolonging my career.
“You’re enjoying it, it’s free flowing, you’re attacking the balls, playing some exhibition snooker.
“I try to take that into my actual matches now because it’s more fun. You don’t win as much but you just want to enjoy it.”
At one point, Ronnie potted a succession of reds and blacks, with murmurs in the crowd that a maximum break was on.
“Everyone wants to see a 147,” said Ronnie. “You like a century but a 147 is like the dream of snooker.”
Ronnie’s visit wasn’t just to play snooker – he also came to stock up on Arbroath’s most famous delicacy, the smokie.
He said: “I love smokies. I got to Arbroath about 5pm and I’ve had two already. I’ve got another 12 and I don’t even know if that’s going to be enough. Because of our love of smokies I might have to get a reload.
He added: “I love doing the exhibitions with John, it’s great because otherwise I wouldn’t see as much of him. With these you’ve got two or three days on the road, for me it’s about building these friendships and it’s great – John’s like a big uncle to me. We all have a laugh, we enjoy working together, we enjoy each other’s company.”
John said: “Everybody comes along to see Ronnie and it’s usually unbelievable. If there is a more talented sportsman in the world today I am yet to see it. He is phenomenal – left or right-handed.
“You only have to look at the audience to see their jaws dropping as he is playing. The way he goes around and does it. He is not crash, bang, wallop he treats it as an art form. He is so talented that it is a pleasure to be with him.”