Fastest 147 in snooker history: Ronnie O'Sullivan's world-record break


Back in 1997, Ronnie “The Rocket” O’Sullivan made a maximum 147 break in the quickest time ever to be recorded.

In a jaw-dropping time of five minutes and eight seconds, the record still stands today and despite 24 years passing since, it’s still remarkable to watch.

The first-round performance at the 1997 World Championship saw him pocket £147,000 in prize money for the feat which had him averaging at 8.5 seconds a shot.

The Rocket is renowned for his quick play and his bout against Mick Price highlighted his ability to score quickly. He scored only the fourth maximum 147 break to occur in the tournament’s history.

Speaking to Colin Murray on ‘Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Joy of Six’ he said: “The 147 was memorable because I was young and it was a massive payday for me at the time, I’m not used to seeing pay cheques like that.”

Whilst the Londoner went on to win the match 10-6, he was knocked out in the second round by ninth seed Darren Morgan.

It took O’Sullivan a further four years to win his first world title, twice losing in the semis, before finally catching a break against John Higgins in the 2001 final.

Since his historical performance, he has gone on to be named champion a further four times.

In March 2019, O’Sullivan became the first-ever snooker player to score 1,000 tournament century breaks when he won the Players’ Championship, scoring 134 against Neil Robertson.

Further demonstrating his brilliance, the 46-year-old is a seven-time UK Champion and holds the title for the most career maximums with an impressive 16, four clear of previous title holder Stephen Hendry, who retired in 2012.



There is no question when it comes to O’Sullivan’s class, and he is still turning heads with his performances all these years later as he continues to demonstrate his excellence at the table.

Having said that, there’s nothing like watching is classic 147 from 1997… what’s even better is that it only takes five minutes to do so!


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