Ronnie O'Sullivan lifting a trophy

Ronnie O’Sullivan praises Marcus Rashford after Government U-turn

Marcus Rashford is banging in long-range screamers while the Government score own goals, reckons reigning world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.

The Rocket made the Crucible his Theatre of Dreams for the sixth time this summer, and is now chasing an eighth UK Championship title in Milton Keynes.

He keeps a close eye on affairs away from the table, however, with Manchester United ace Rashford recently forcing a Government U-turn after his calls to extend free school meal vouchers for children into the holidays.

Boris Johnson has replaced Bruno Fernandes as the man on Rashford’s radar and O’Sullivan said his achievements are making politicians look silly.

Asked if he admires the England international’s efforts, the 44-year-old said: “Absolutely.

“I think the guy is fantastic. He obviously feels very passionate about it and he remembers what it was like to go through those hard times where his mum couldn’t afford to give him school dinners.

“I think it’s phenomenal what he’s done and how passionate he is about it – I think the Government realise now that he isn’t going to go away.

“They need to get round the table, sit down and start listening to this guy and try to basically get the mood of what’s on the street and out there.

“They seem quite far removed from what the normal majority of people are going through out there, and someone like Marcus Rashford is making them look a little bit silly.

“At the moment it seems to be the Government are scoring a lot of own goals while he’s putting in free-kicks from 30 or 40 yards every five minutes. It’s great what he’s doing.”

ROCKET: O’Sullivan talks to Eurosport about Rashford

The 37-time ranking event winner is also blazing a trail and captured hearts when he stormed to a memorable sixth World Championship title in Sheffield.

He was unable to follow that up with titles at the English or Northern Ireland Open but has a shot a 21st Triple Crown glory after thrashing Irish amateur Leo Fernandez in the first round of the UK Championship.

World No.2 O’Sullivan knows there’s more to life than his baize displays, however, as Rashford combines steering United through their early season struggles with rooting out injustices in society.

The Government gave in to Rashford’s demands and the Rocket believes that should lay the foundations for a more cooperative relationship in future.

“Rather than go against him, the smart move would be to bring him on board,” he added.

“And go ‘right, we want you to be part of this initiative and tell us, help support us and tell us what we can do to make things better.’

“At some point they don’t want to be seen as ‘as soon as Marcus says something they respond or react to it’, so I think they’ll have to do the most common sense or normal thing.

“They don’t want to be seen being told what to do.”

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