Snooker star Sullivan's joy as father released after serving 18 years for murder

SNOOKER star Ronnie O'Sullivan has spoken of his joy at being reunited with his father following his release from prison.

Ronnie O'Sullivan Snr was jailed for life in 1992 for the murder of father-of-two Bruce Bryan, when his son, the future world champion, was just 16.

O'Sullivan walked free from prison in Derby last week and headed back to Essex for an emotional reunion with his son and the rest of the family.

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O'Sullivan Jnr, the three-times world champion known to fans as The Rocket, said: "I am delighted to be reunited with my dad after so long.

"He has repeatedly expressed how sorry he is to the victim's family and to the authorities.

"My dad now wishes to readjust to a world which has changed dramatically since he went to prison.

"He wishes to do that quietly, privately and as a man who is deeply sorry about the circumstances and hurt caused and which led to his imprisonment.

"My dad and I are hopeful that the press and media will respect these sentiments and also that my dad will be allowed the privacy he needs at this time."

The snooker star has frequently spoken of his affection for his father.

Asked in 2003 whether his father would have accompanied him to tournaments had he not been jailed, O'Sullivan replied: "Definitely, because we are best mates. A lot of the reasons I continue playing are really about him. It's difficult to turn away because snooker is something that keeps him going."

In a 2004 interview, O'Sullivan said: "He's given me everything. If I don't want to do it for myself I can do it for him."

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O'Sullivan Snr owned a string of sex clubs in the Soho area of London, and had a snooker room built in the family home when Ronnie was a child. He allowed his son to leave school a year early on condition that he did roadwork every morning and only went into snooker clubs to practise and nothing else.

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