Ronnie 'The Strop' O'Sullivan And 4 Other Sporting Sulks

Super-sulker Sir Alex Ferguson has ended his self-imposed ban on speaking to the BBC but he is not alone in the sulking stakes – sport is littered with sullen behaviour, weighted silences and lower-lip pulling.
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Super-sulker Sir Alex Ferguson has ended his self-imposed ban on speaking to the BBC after its allegations against his son, Jason, in a 2004 documentary about dodgy player transfers.

For those who were sick to death of hearing Fergie gloat about last minute winners or moan about wrong referee decisions it was a joyfully silent time.

But Sir Alex is certainly not alone in the sulking stakes – sport is littered with sullen behaviour, weighted silences and ways of dealing with pent-up emotion. Here’s five other top sporting figures who turned childish tantrums and passive-aggressive behaviour into newspaper headlines….

‘Rocket’ Ronnie O’Sullivan

Foul and a miss. If there’s one thing Ronnie O’Sullivan likes more than a 147 break then it’s a 24/7 sulk.

Not content with being gifted with glorious snooker talent, O’Sullivan is a regular offender in the sulky-stakes. Maybe he’s spent too much time in dingy snooker halls and it has frazzled his mind?

Last year, the snooker sulk stunned fans at the World Open in Glasgow when he refused to pot a black to complete a stunning 147 break because he was upset about the lack of financial bonus prize.

After attempting to end the frame on 140 by walking back to his dressing room, the match official jumped in to convince O’Sullivan to nail the last black ‘for the fans.’

O’Sullivan said afterwards: ‘I thought about missing that black but the referee told me to pot it for my fans ... but it gave me no thrill, I've had so many 147s.’

Ronnie, you big child.

Pierre Van Hooijdonk

Nicknamed Huggy by Celtic fans (which is more than a reason for a sour face) the Dutch freekick specialist made his name after a mammoth sulkathon which darkened late 1990s football.

Van Hooijdonk was central to Nottingham Forest winning promotion to the then Premiership in 1997/98 after scoring 34 goals.

Things fell apart the following season when Pierre lost confidence in Forest’s ambition and put in a transfer request. When it was refused his response was to sulk off like a big girl.

Van Hooijdonk went on a solo ‘strike’, refusing to even train with Forest. He only returned when he wised up to the fact that he had no option but to play.

But it was too late. The fans hated him for his betrayal and players even chose not to celebrate with him when he scored.

The debate is simple: Sporting hero or lardy sulker?

Jon ‘Clown Prince’ Drummond

Described as the slowest 100m race in history, the Clown Prince of athletics, US sprinter Jon Drummond collapsed on the track into a 51 minute fit of sulks after being disqualified for a false start at the 2003 World Championships.

After screaming at officials that ‘I did not move’ Drummond staged a bizarre protest which resulted in the race being postponed until he pulled himself together and accepted the decision. With boos and whistles coming from the 70,000 crowd, Drummond lay down with his arms behind his head and refused to move.

Following floods of tears and probably a good amount of foot stamping, Drummond ended his sulk by insisted: ‘It's faulty equipment. They are denying me my dream.’

Get over it, son.

WG Grace

Differing opinions about WG Grace, the ‘Champion’ of cricket, rage on. The debate is simple: Sporting hero or lardy sulker?

With career statistics such as 55,000 runs, 2,800 wickets, 800 catches and more than 100 centuries it’s hard to argue the latter – but it seems the Old Man of cricket had an incredibly sulky side.

He didn’t have many friends, didn’t like to joke around and was well known to thrown his dummy if he didn’t get his way.

According to people who knew, when given out ‘he had an attack of the sulks, making him an unbearable presence for foe and friend alike.’

On one occasion after being dismissed Grace replaced the bails and told the umpire: ‘They've come to watch me bat, not you umpire.’

Still, you wouldn’t mess with an 18 stone, sulky lump holding a wooden bat, would you?

Jung-II Byun

You’d be forgiven for not knowing the name – but the knockout sulk speaks for itself. The boxer is best known for his epic breakdown which saw him sitting in the dark in an empty arena with the world laughing at him.

Bantamweight Byun’s 1988 Seoul Olympics sulk started after he was pounded to bits by Bulgarian Aleksandar Hristoy and lost the bout.

Instead of taking it on the chin like a man, Byun’s team attacked the referee and he opted to sit by himself in the ring for more than an hour.

It made headlines across the globe and only ended when officials turned off the lights and left Byun alone, sitting in the darkness.

Oh, you silly little boy.

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