Snooker - O'Sullivan working as farm labourer

Snooker's reigning world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has found happiness away from the green baize after taking a job as an unpaid farm labourer.

The 37-year-old multi-millionaire walked away from the sport before the beginning of the current season, citing what he felt were unreasonable demands on players to compete more often since Barry Hearn took over the running of the professional tour.

And it seems that the simple life is agreeing with the Rocket, whose three-days-a-week job at a smallholding in Essex has helped him stop getting bored with his life of leisure.

"The farm has got sheep, pigs, cows, goats, chickens, horses — and I've been getting the green wellies on," he told The Sun.

"I've been cleaning out stables and pig sties, taking down fences, putting rubbish into barrels and clearing mud.

"It has been mainly manual work, also getting big bales of hay in to feed the animals. I was getting so bored I had to do something, and needed a goal to get out of bed in the morning.

"I didn't want stress, as that was what was made me pull out of snooker, so I decided to go and do something unpaid.

"I get there about 8am, do my three or four-mile run first because it is right in the forest, then come back and do about six hours work.

"It has been kind of the opposite to what I was going through in snooker and I am really enjoying it."

O'Sullivan claims that he bears no grudge against Hearn, saying that "we are getting on very well", even if he has yet to take up the World Snooker chief on his offer to defend his world title at the Crucible.

"There are personal things I need to sort out before I can even think of a return. I have until February to make that decision about the Crucible, anyway," he said. "But I am still playing every couple of weeks at my mum's house."