O’Sullivan was at his mesmerising best throughout the Crucible tournament as he saw off David Gilbert, Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire and John Higgins on his way to the showpiece event. And he stormed to a 12-5 lead as he dominated the early stages of the final against Trump.
His Bristol-based opponent reduced the deficit to 14-11 – but O’Sullivan eventually won the match 18-13 to lift the trophy. And O’Sullivan’s cousin Maria Catalano, who also plays snooker, has revealed exactly what the victory meant to his nearest and dearest.
“We all watched it as a family – there wasn’t one dry eye in our house,” she said. “We broke down with him. He’s the spitting image of my dad – I see my dad in him a little bit. It was very emotional. I always knew Ronnie was the greatest – I can’t believe he’s my cousin sometimes. We used to spend a lot of time together when I was younger. He helped me out a lot.”
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“I was finding it difficult to practice, just feeling I was getting nothing out of it,” Catalano continued. “I didn’t practice a lot and my last season’s results speak for themselves. I feel this opportunity has turned my life a little bit.
“To be in the same competition as Jimmy is a dream for me, let alone having the chance to play him. If this can encourage any lady or girl to play, that’s my aim – to try and promote women in snooker. It’s still under the radar.”
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