During this year’s World Snooker Championship, we’ll be recalling some of the most memorable moments that took place at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
It was 22 years ago on this very date, April 21st, that one of the sport’s most famous breaks was compiled.
Ronnie O’Sullivan was 21 years-old when he became only the fourth player in the history of the World Championship to compile a 147 break.
Yet, it wasn’t so much the achievement of making a maximum that caught everyone’s imagination, but the style and charisma that the “Rocket” exuded as he proceeded to pot the balls at a lightning speed that will likely never be matched, at least not on such an important stage.
Such was the level of shock and awe that O’Sullivan induced into people’s psyche, the actual official time for the break has commonly been misquoted in the intervening years since.
Five minutes and 20 seconds was what was always claimed to be on the stopwatch but an examination a couple of years ago led to the record being altered.
Now ratified by Guinness World Records and approved by World Snooker, O’Sullivan’s fastest 147, beginning from when he first strikes the cue ball, is actually 12 seconds quicker at five minutes and eight seconds.
O’Sullivan wrote himself into the history books and, while he has constructed the perfect break on 13 more occasions since, none will ever compare to that first knock.
O’Sullivan has triumphed at the Crucible on five occasions but those few minutes of magic against Mick Price in the first round that year will continue to live long in the memory of countless fans around the world.
One of the more incredible aspects about it was the fact that O’Sullivan was rarely out of position and hardly ever looked like a guy who was in any way rushing around the table at a frantic pace.
It was one of those unusual gifts that sport can provide, a timeless feat to savour again and again.
If you’ve never seen it, you’re in for a treat and, if you have, then it’d be rude to neglect yourself from watching it one more time.
This article has been updated and was originally published on April 21st, 2018.