It might sound a tad optimistic, but who are we to disagree? Ronnie O’Sullivan “can go on as long as the Rolling Stones” – according to the supergroup’s guitarist Ronnie Wood, one of the world champion’s biggest fans.
The Rocket claimed a fifth Masters title at Alexandra Palace on Sunday night with a 10-4 win over world No2 Mark Selby, a fitting end to another week of brilliance.
Two years ago and prior to his success at the German Masters in Berlin O’Sullivan, 38, was on the brink of quitting snooker for good and had not won a major title for two and a half seasons.
But since then O’Sullivan, benefiting hugely from the work done with sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters, has roared back. His CV now far better reflects his talent, winning the last two blue-riband tournaments at the Crucible to take his world title tally to five.
O’Sullivan’s showbiz entourage were out in force at the weekend. As well as guitarist Wood there were artist Damien Hirst, singer Antony Genn of The Hours, and Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar.
O'Sullivan did himself hint at being able to win a world title in his 40s but Wood, still rocking it at 66 years young, said: “I reckon Ronnie could go on as long as the Rolling Stones the way he is now, left and right-handed. Which is more than I can do with my guitar.
“He seems to have got the love back and sorted his head out. We have all been there for him but he is his own man and has sorted himself out.
“He is timeless, the talent Ronnie was born with. Jimmy White is another good friend, he has that talent too.
“But Ronnie has youth on his side and when his head is there that extra drive.
“The final was the second time I came to see Ronnie at this year’s Masters, I also came to see him against ‘The Milkman’ Rob Milkins, and he delivered that day too.
“When Ronnie plays like that he is in another world. John Parrott summed it up when he said we are watching a genius at work and something we may never see again.
“Only we have seen it again later in the tournament, but that is what Ronnie is like when he is on a roll."
Wood revealed that O'Sullivan had been a source of strength during his own spell in rehab - and also that he possesses a special pair of referee's white gloves for when O'Sullivan and Jimmy White come to play on one of his three tables at different houses.
He added: “It is lovely to have a friend who is a world champion in Ronnie.
“Jimmy White has been a very good friend of mine for many years, we are very close and he really helped me when I was down and drinking and all that kind of thing.
“And Ronnie has been the same, he came into rehab when I was there to support me and I really appreciated that as I am reaping the benefits of sobriety in my fifth year.
“A lot of our friends all used to be users and boozy and falling all over the place, but now Ronnie is surrounded by family and responsible people.
“I have three snooker tables, full-size ones at my art studio in Bruton Street and in Ireland, and a nine-foot one in the London place otherwise it wouldn’t fit.
“And I have my own pair of white gloves for when I am refereeing Ronnie and Jimmy.”