Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan could be finaed for playing shoelessGetty Images

Snooker superstar Ronnie O'Sullivan has risked being fined by briefly playing in his socks as he took a 7-2 lead in his World Championship opener with qualifier Craig Steadman.

The five-time champion almost recorded a maximum break in the first frame, potting 13 reds and blacks. However, he complained that his shoes were hurting and took them off to continue playing in his socks.

By playing without shoes he broke the dress code, before borrowing some from tournament director Mike Ganley.

O'Sullivan - nicknamed The Rocket - took advantage of errors to build a lead.

It is not the first time O'Sullivan has had to consider his footwear in a tournament, having played December's UK Championship in soft shoes after breaking his ankle while running.

This time around a fan was given the discarded pair but while O'Sullivan continued to dominate, he could not match his standard set in the opening frame, when he even asked officials what the prize money was for a maximum on his way to a 104.