O’Brien set to retire from playing at end of season

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Published 02/01/2024 at 17:59 GMT

Former British Open champion Fergal O’Brien has announced plans to end his elite professional career at the end of the 2023/24 season. The Eurosport pundit has compiled 240 centuries in his 33-year career which is 35th in the all-time list. The Irishman also reached the final of the Masters in 2001. This season, he reached the last 16 of the British Open where he lost 4-2 to Jack Lisowski.Who has won the major titles in snooker this season?

Fergal O’Brien has welcomed in the New Year by revealing he will bring the curtain down on his 33-year professional playing career at the end of the season.

The 51-year-old Irishman won his only ranking title at the 1999 British Open when he defeated Anthony Hamilton 9-7 in the final in Plymouth.

He lost 10-9 to Paul Hunter in the 2001 Masters final after leading 7-3 at the old Wembley Conference Centre.

O’Brien was ranked as high as world No. 9 in 2000, but finished the 2021/22 season at 76th before regaining his professional tour card at Q School.

The Irishman has compiled 240 centuries in his 33-year career which leaves him at 35th in the all-time list.

His best run this season was reaching the last 16 of the British Open in September where he lost 4-2 to Jack Lisowski.

“Obviously, I have had some success,” said the Dubliner on RTE. “I would have liked more, of course, but I think ultimately for me, you know, without sounding too corny, the journey is the reward. I always wanted to play snooker.

“I loved playing snooker and even the bad days and the disappointments were still, in some ways, fulfilling. You’re still alive. You still felt something.

“I loved playing. I didn’t want to do anything else. But as I said, I’m fortunate now that I do have other options still in snooker. That’s going to soften the blow.

“There’s kind of been a Plan B in the last couple of years.

“Obviously I’ve been busy doing the coaching in the last year or two and fortunate enough that this season I’ve started doing some commentary for Eurosport.

“Outside the playing, for me, the two best things will be doing the commentary and then the coaching. It’s not going to be so bad.”

Stream top snooker action, including The Masters, live on discovery+, the Eurosport app and at Eurosport.com.


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