Michael White is bidding to reach the last 16 of the UK Championship for the first time

Michael White is aiming to spoil Ronnie O’Sullivan’s birthday, despite saying it will be a “privilege” to face him at the UK Championship.

The five-time world champion is 42 on Tuesday, when he faces the Welshman in the last 32 in York.

“He’s been my idol growing up and he still is in a way. In my eyes he’s the greatest player ever and it’ll be a privilege to play him,” White said.

“I’ll try [to win]. I won’t be getting him a cake anyway, that’s for sure.”

White has faced O’Sullivan twice in the past, in minor ranking events in 2011 and 2013.

The 26-year-old from Neath lost on both occasions and is well aware how difficult it will be to beat the five-time UK Championship winner.

Ronnie O’Sullivan won the Shanghai Masters in November

England’s O’Sullivan is six short of Stephen Hendry’s record of 36 world ranking titles, after winning the English Open in October and Shanghai Masters in November.

“He’s been the player of the season so far,” White said.

“I’m going to have to play at the very top of my game just to even probably compete with him. A lot of things have got to fall in my favour.”

White won his second ranking title at the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany in August and he is bidding to reach the last 16 of the UK Championship for the first time.


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