'Who do they they think they are?' - Crawley bowlers hit back at Ronnie O'Sullivan and Peter Ebdon

Ronnie O'Sullivan won the English Open in 2017
Ronnie O'Sullivan won the English Open in 2017

'Who do they think they are?' - A group of Crawley bowlers have hit back at Ronnie O'Sullivan's comments and berated Peter Ebdon for interrupting their match.

Former snooker world champion O’Sullivan hit the headlines this week as he called K2 in Crawley a ‘hellhole’ and said it 'smelt like urine'.

The popular leisure centre is being used for for this year’s English Open.

And after his initial comments, O'Sullivan was asked again about the venue and he added further fuel to the fire by scathing the set-up and describing one 'really, really angry' bowler that he claimed shouted at Ebdon.

O'Sullivan said: "I think the venue is okay, what they should do is hire the whole back of the venue rather than have the snooker part here and then you have to walk through the bowling green to the press conference.

Crawley’s K2 is a ‘hellhole’ says snooker champ Ronnie O’Sullivan

"When I was walking through there yesterday (former world champion) Peter Ebdon was walking through and one old boy shouted 'Can you stop walking while I'm trying to play bowls'.

"Peter looked around because he thought he was joking but he was really serious and he went 'I'm going to start walking through when you are playing snooker'.

"I just thought a top player should not be subjected to one old guy who's really, really angry.

But speaking the The Sun, Colin Rivers, 68, who was bowling at the K2 with his team-mates, said: “I read the SunSport article and thought ‘I don’t like his attitude. We’re old-ish people. We enjoy our games’.

“I don’t wish to sound rotten, but who do these people think they are? It’s a busy leisure centre.

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“Players and staff walked past our bowls on Monday. We had no idea this was going on.Most stopped while we were bowling but Peter Ebdon walked straight through.

“We are really angry with the K2 management. They have now cancelled all our games this week."

Two days after his controversial comments, the five-times world champion O'Sullivan treated the crowd to the 15th maximum break of his career.

The 147 sealed his 4-0 victory against Allan Taylor in the second round of the competition.

But the 42-year-old was still critical of the venue and himself, he said: “From 40-odd I was in bits. My back and arms were like fish, flapping all over the gaff. When it goes quiet, you feel the pressure even more.

“A 147 sounds really great — but my game is far from great. I haven’t played well since this tournament last year.

“It was also really hot. They certainly aren’t cutting corners on the heating bills!

“Or maybe they are doing it deliberately to punish us even more, to see if we can play in 100 degrees? Someone must have sadistic ways up there.”

Crawley’s K2 ‘sorry and disappointed’ by snooker champ Ronnie O’Sullivan’s ‘hellhole’ comments