Snooker is known as a sport played by gentlemen and the post-match admission of error from Ronnie O’Sullivan at the English open last night reaffirmed that idea.
‘The Rocket’ had just fended off the challenge of the precocious Chinese cueman Luo Honghao 5-3 in the quarter-final of the competition in Crawley when he was invited in to have a word with the media team of the broadcasters, Eurosport.
They went on to unveil to him a foul he’d committed during the game. It happened during the crucial sixth frame of the best of nine encounter. He trailed his young opponent 3-2 in that one but rallied to level with a break of 73, during which he fouled a red ball while playing a shot with the rest.
The indiscretion went unnoticed by both players and the referee and the world number three went on to win the frame and two more consecutively.
“Oh no...oh s***! I'll play the match again,” said the Essex man after he was shown a replay.
"I didn't even see that in a million years," he added. "Wow, wow, wow! I feel awful after you showed me that.
“I wish someone would have said something and stopped the match - that's what they should do."
His fellow snooker players, including Neil Robertson and Matthew Selt, took to social media to back O’Sullivan’s claims that he didn’t notice the foul.
He now moves on to face Mark Davis in the semi-finals of the competition tonight.