Ebdon ended his 29-year career due to a serious neck injury in April, but enjoyed some glorious success in the sport, most notably his 18-17 win over Stephen Hendry in the 2002 World Championship final.
The nine-times ranking event winner will also be recalled as one of the game's greatest grinders with his infamous quarter-final match with O'Sullivan at the 2005 World Championship never far from the conversation when Ebdon's approach is discussed.
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When Hendry asking O'Sullivan on Instagram in April how he was handling the UK lockdown, he replied: "It's a mental test more than anything. I’d rather play Peter Ebdon over four days at the Crucible at his slowest – that's saying something."
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O'Sullivan – the defending world champion after lifting his second of five Crucible titles in 2004 – had built up an 8-2 lead, but his opponent was not for slipping quietly into the night as he dragged himself back into the match by deploying some of the dark arts of matchplay.
Boosted by a gruesome average shot time of 37 seconds and a highest break of only 60, Ebdon slowly turned the screw on O'Sullivan, who lost all sense of momentum in somehow losing the match 13-11 from a seemingly impregnable position.
"I've never seen anybody play that slow," said the 1991 world champion John Parrott in analysing the turgid fare on offer.
O'Sullivan can see the funny side when he remembers the infamous contest that included a 12 break in the 19th frame that took Ebdon over five minutes and 30 seconds to compile – slower than the Essex player's world record 147 break of five minutes and eight seconds in 1997.
"I think Peter holds the record for the world's slowest break. It is just fantastic. I think we should have a memorial award for him," said O'Sullivan.
"World Snooker should create an award for him titled 'The best worst slow break in the history of the game'. Ebbo would be proud of that.
"It was hard sitting through that. He kept getting the ball cleaned. And took five minutes to piece together 12 points. I made a 147 in around the same time it took him to make 12. You think, 'wow, that must have been slow.'
"Every frame seemed to go like that. I was glad when it was over for me in that match."
O'Sullivan has toiled with players fraternising with slow play. He blew a 10-5 lead against Mark Selby in losing the 2014 world final 18-14 to the 'Jester from Leicester' but it was no laughing matter against a player O'Sulivan dubbed 'The Torturer' in his autobiography.
Selby has not been the only player to subject 'The Rocket' to a bow-tied torture chamber.
"Losing to Graeme Dott in the 2006 World Championship semi-finals was my worst moment when I had loads of tips on my cue..and managed to lose eight straight frames in going out. I just lost the place in that match. He kind of tortured me in that match," said O'Sullivan.
"The matches with Dott and Peter Ebdon in the 2005 quarter-finals felt like the worst few years competing at the Crucible. I never enjoyed those tournaments."
Watch LIVE coverage of the 2020 World Championship and World Championship qualifiers live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player
World Championship first round draw
- Judd Trump Eng (1) v Qualifier
- Yan Bingtao Chn (16) v Qualifier
- Stephen Maguire Sco (9) v Qualifier
- Kyren Wilson Eng (8) v Qualifier
- John Higgins Sco (5) v Qualifier
- David Gilbert Eng (12) v Qualifier
- Jack Lisowski Eng (13) v Qualifier
- Mark Allen NI (4) v Qualifier
- Mark Williams Wal (3) v Qualifier
- Stuart Bingham Eng (14) v Qualifier
- Ding Junhui Chn (11) v Qualifier
- Ronnie O’Sullivan Eng (6) v Qualifier
- Mark Selby Eng (7) v Qualifier
- Shaun Murphy Eng (10) v Qualifier
- Barry Hawkins Eng (15) v Qualifier
- Neil Robertson Aus (2) v Qualifier
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