Ronnie O'Sullivan fans at Meadowhall Sheffield for opening of snooker star's store
and live on Freeview channel 276
There was even a famous visitor as Chinese professional player Yan Bingtao, who lives in Sheffield, popped in unexpectedly. He was asked to sign the champions wall in the shop.
Dan Hoyland, joint owner of the shop with Ronnie and his snooker manager Jason Francis, said: “It's gone great. The (World Snooker) tournament doesn’t start until next week so today we had some good crowds.”
Dan explained that the star was unable to appear as he is too busy preparing his challenge for his seventh World Championship title at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. The tournament begins on April 16.
He said: “I think the majority got a signed picture and Ronnie is not coming in until next week – I think he’s coming in after his first game – so he FaceTimed with his fans.”
Dan, who also owns the Fan Cave memorabilia store in Meadowhall, said that lots of people of all ages were playing snooker and pool in the store.
“Today we’ve had young children, grandparents – you can hire the table out per hour and we’ve also got pool tables.”
The store sells Ronnie’s branded range of clothing, official merchandise and signed items, as well as snooker memorabilia and all manner of playing accessories from cue chalk to tables.
Fans can pay to have their picture taken with one of Ronnie’s trophies. There are several on display alongside other snooker and local sporting memorabilia.
The shop will host special visits by snooker stars such as Mark Williams and Dennis Taylor, who will be there on Friday, next Saturday sports psychologist will be giving advice about mental health and the game and performance coach Chris Henry will be revealing secrets of how the professionals train.
Dan said: “It’s something for the fans. You don’t have to buy anything, it’s a nice experience and a nice time.
“You can come in and learn the history of the trophies, you can play snooker, watch snooker. You can just sit and enjoy yourself.”