RONNIE O’Sullivan will return to York Barbican next week looking to ‘defend’ the UK Championship title he won two years ago.

Absent from last season’s tournament, the greatest player of his generation is now back in business but divides his time between snooker, television work, and a blossoming literary career.

His third book, ‘Framed’, was released this week, a crime novel about a young man left running a Soho snooker club in the 1990s after his mother disappears and his father is jailed for armed robbery.

The similarities between the story of the main character Frankie James and the author are there for all to see.

During his teenage years, O’Sullivan saw his father jailed for murder and his mother for tax evasion. The pair owned a string of Soho sex shops.

His own life has been a cocktail of controversy and colour which has been documented in two autobiographies.

And now, approaching his 41st birthday, the ‘Rocket’ may be heading towards the end of his days as the best snooker player on the planet.

But speaking ahead of the Betway UK Championship which starts on Tuesday, O’Sullivan insisted that he was still capable of winning another ranking event.

“Anything is possible with me – I have stopped trying to predict what I am capable of and what I ain’t (sic) capable of,” he said. “On my day, I am a match for anybody. There are people that have doubted me but I am still not done yet.

“I am still capable of winning – whether I win another, who knows? – but I still have that desire.”

With 28 ranking wins, including five world titles, O’Sullivan’s place in snooker’s Hall of Fame is guaranteed.

In the eyes of many, of course, he is the best player to ever pick up a cue.

Away from the game, he has battled personal demons and come out on the other side a better person. He was awarded the OBE in January and is now shaping a future that will not necessarily revolve around the green baize.

“Snooker is something I still love, it’s in my blood, and nothing will ever replace that buzz, but there is more to life,” he said.

“I know now, if I never play snooker (again), I will be fine. I have started to look for things that I enjoy. I am playing snooker because I want to, not because I have to. It’s a transitional period.

“I am trying to visualise what the next 10, 15, 20 years are going to be like,” he explained. “I can’t imagine I am still going to be winning tournaments in five, six, or seven years.

“Writing this novel has been fantastic,” he said. “I have really enjoyed doing it. I was approached by (publishers) Orion because I had done a couple of autobiographies. With the help of a writer, I was able to put something together.

“There are a lot of similarities between ‘Frankie’ and how my life has been,” he admitted. “In my autobiographies, I couldn’t really go into much detail about certain things. In this book, I have been able to play about with it a little bit and I think people will be able to read between the lines and see exactly what it was like for me. Hopefully, people will enjoy reading it and we can do another one after that!”

O’Sullivan plays Thailand’s Boonyarit Keattikun at the Barbican on Wednesday night. Two days later, he will be signing copies of ‘Framed’ at Waterstones, Orchard Square, in Sheffield, from 12:30pm.