Welshman Gerwyn Price has won darts’ world championship, beating Scotland’s Gary Anderson 7-3 in the final to earn his biggest career victory since swapping a career in professional rugby for the ever-more lucrative pub game.
Price, 35, earned a lucky break to take the first set after Anderson had missed three darts and he proceeded to out-class the more experienced Scot to take a 6-2 lead in the showpiece at an empty Alexandra Palace, which was missing the usual hum of boisterous supporters due to coronavirus restrictions.
The former Neath RFC hooker pocketed £500,000 in prize money in the process.
“I’ve never ever felt pressure like that in my life,” said Price, who becomes world No.1.
Price played rugby in the Welsh Premier League before quitting in 2014 to fully focus on darts after earning his place on the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) as a qualifier.
He fairly regularly makes references to his rugby days, admitting that he misses the sport.
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“Gerwyn qualified for a club cap but missed the presentation at the end of the season,” Neath rugby secretary Mike Price explained to the PA news agency.
“He then went to Cross Keys and disappeared into the world of darts. We were going to organise something for him last season before Covid intervened. But we hope something can be arranged when the restrictions are lifted. Gerwyn is welcome here at any time and we will be delighted to give him his cap.”
Price amassed 128 caps for Neath and had a short period at Glasgow Warriors.
But with a bank balance that no doubt dwarfs what he would have made in rugby, he is probably satisfied with the career switch.
He has moved to the top of the world rankings with earnings over the past two years in excess of £1m. He’s only the fourth player to surpass that in the PDC Order of Merit – joining Phil Taylor (2010), Michael van Gerwen (2015) and Peter Wright (2020) in an exclusive club.
The PDC Order of Merit is based on earnings over a two year period, with him notching up £1,317,500 – moving him up to first in the world rankings.