Mark Allen has lost nearly four stone after a summer of hard work and plans to lose even more weight as his dieting continues, all thanks to a conversation with Ronnie O’Sullivan in Sheffield.
Since May, the Pistol has been on a strict diet and has seen excellent results, losing a significant amount of weight and feeling much better as a result.
The world number 14 wants to keep the momentum going and hopes to lose another two stones by the British Open next month.
While Allen was aware that he needed to do so beforehand, it was a conversation with O’Sullivan after their World Championship match in April that pushed him into action.
The Rocket defeated the Pistol 13-4 in the second round in Sheffield, but instead of shaking hands and parting ways, they had a lengthy conversation back at the hotel, which has helped Allen with his impressive weight loss over the summer, which saw him take 11 weeks off from playing snooker.
‘I had a good chat with O’Sullivan after we played in Sheffield,’ Allen told. ‘I sat in his hotel room for about an hour, talking about snooker and all sorts of things, he really helped me, it was good.
‘He gave me a few pointers. For my health more than anything just to lose some weight, if it helps your snooker so be it, but if it doesn’t it will help your mindset off the table, you’ll be better round your family, round your daughter and he was absolutely right.
‘I feel like that has changed my priorities over the summer and maybe why I took such a long break.
‘Everything he said has stood me in good stead and I’ve been working hard on it, and hopefully it’ll reap rewards on the table as well.’
It may come as a surprise that O’Sullivan and Allen were chatting away in a hotel room for 60 minutes after their memorable clash at the Champion of Champions in 2020.
But, the Northern Irishman says, that’s all forgotten in the heat of battle, and he was grateful for the advice the Rocket gave him in Sheffield.
‘I’m not going to say anything about that, because whenever I’m out there I’m fiery, I want to kill people on the table,’ Allen said of the heated exchange from a couple of years ago.
‘But whenever it’s said and done, you walk away and you’re professional sportspeople. You go through similar things that people don’t realise.’