“Darts is a type of sports activities. Should you’ve bought that drive, you may obtain something, and he is bought the mentality of a sportsman.” That was the prophetic evaluation supplied by Wayne Mardle following Gerwyn Worth’s World Matchplay debut in 2015.
Lower than six years later, Worth is poised to start his fourth consecutive Premier League marketing campaign as the present world champion and world No 1, having loved a meteoric ascent up the darting pyramid.
To attain greatness in your chosen self-discipline is particular, however Worth’s story is much more exceptional.
Gerwyn Worth: 2021 World Champion
April 5, 2021, 6:00pm
Dwell Premier League Darts
April 5, 2021, 7:00pm
“I by no means thought I’d get to world No 1”
The 36-year-old loved a well-documented profession in rugby previous to turning into a full-time darting skilled, and though he by no means made a senior worldwide look, he was capped at U21 degree.
He additionally earned a mortgage spell with Glasgow Warriors in what was then the PRO12, though the spotlight of his rugby profession noticed him assist Cross Keys triumph within the 2012 Swalec Cup last at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
Worth harboured goals of main his nation to main glory, but mockingly it was darts that helped him fulfil these aspirations, as he and Jonny Clayton led Wales to their maiden World Cup of Darts crown final November.
“I do not suppose I’d surrender all the things in darts for that one cap for Wales,” Worth informed Sky Sports activities.
“Possibly if I used to be going to have an extended profession – an Alun Wyn Jones profession – 100 plus caps and a British and Irish Lions participant – a Welsh legend – possibly I’d give it up then, however I am joyful taking part in darts, and I am having fun with it.”
No surprise Worth is having fun with his darts. ‘The Iceman’ has shattered a number of information over latest years, and his World Championship triumph on January 3 noticed him turn into the primary Welsh PDC world champion, and the eleventh world No 1 in PDC historical past.
“I by no means thought I’d get to No 1,” Worth added. “I used to be simply somebody who needed to earn a dwelling and make a profession out of it. If I used to be fortunate sufficient to get into the highest 16, I simply needed to offer for my household.
“As time goes on and also you get extra expertise, you are taking part in these gamers week in week out and realising: ‘I can beat these, I can get to the highest’.
“I assumed I’d turn into a world champion one time, however I by no means actually thought I might be No 1 till final yr when the figures actually labored out.”
From native leagues to PDC world champion
Extremely, Worth solely started taking part in the sport a decade in the past, signing up for his native pub league at Markham Miners Welfare. The remainder as they are saying, is historical past.
“I used to be simply going to Q Faculty for a jolly actually to help the boys who had tried Q Faculty quite a few occasions. Clearly I used to be going to provide it a great crack and seeing how nicely I might play in opposition to higher gamers.”
Worth remembers his 2014 Q Faculty success…
“I used to be taking part in in opposition to the Gwent County gamers and the boys who performed Welsh worldwide for the BDO circuit, and I used to be beating all of them. I used to be like: “I am not too unhealthy at this!”
“I began going to native opens, profitable a few quid right here and there simply within the native rugby golf equipment. I met a great participant and a great mate of mine, Barrie Bates, alongside the way in which.
“He stored saying: ‘You have to go to Q Faculty. You have to give it a crack. I used to be at all times a rugby participant. That was all I needed to do, so I stored placing it off, after which in 2014 I made a decision to make the leap.”
By 2016, Worth had two Gamers Championship titles to his identify and had damaged into the world’s prime 32. This was adopted by an look in his first televised last on the 2017 UK Open.
His main breakthrough on the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts noticed him overcome Gary Anderson in probably the most contentious finals in PDC historical past, to turn into the primary Welsh winner of a significant PDC event.
Coping with the darting boo-boys
However, the fallout noticed Worth forged as the game’s pantomime villain. He was subjected to relentless hostility from crowds within the ensuing months, however his household have been additionally focused with vile social media abuse.
“When social media goal your loved ones, your daughter, it isn’t what you are within the sport for,” the world champion admitted.
“You are in it to earn a dwelling and help your loved ones, however for them to get grief from a sport that you just take pleasure in, that was only a bit beneath the belt.
“It was onerous to take. It was a wrestle at occasions, however I am glad I caught at it, and glad that I dug deep and bought by means of these occasions.”
It was a significant check of Worth’s psychological fortitude, however he let his darts do the speaking and the general public’s notion of him has subsequently modified for the higher.
Worth’s main PDC titles
|World Darts Championship (2021)|
|World Grand Prix (2020)|
|Grand Slam of Darts (2018, 2019)|
|World Cup of Darts (2020)|
|World Sequence Finals (2020)|
Previous to lifting the Sid Waddell Trophy at Alexandra Palace, ‘The Iceman’ prevailed on the World Sequence Finals, led Wales to World Cup glory and captured a primary World Grand Prix title.
Moments after Worth sealed Grand Prix glory behind closed doorways at Coventry’s Ricoh Enviornment, his kids have been proven on the large display screen, celebrating as their dad lifted his newest main title aloft.
Household is all the things for The Iceman
The visibly emotional Welshman paid tribute to his household throughout his post-match interview, and it offered a refreshing distinction to the combative persona cultivated by his critics.
“It is good for folks to really see the true facet of me. The facet of me off the stage, fairly than on the stage, as a result of we’re all on the stage to do a job,” Worth continued.
“I is likely to be on stage being actually boisterous, however then I am nonetheless an individual off the board and fully completely different to what you in all probability suppose I’m on the board.”
Household is all the things for Worth. Simply hours after toppling Anderson to realize his darting future in January, he devoted his world title triumph to his late mom in a touching Instagram publish.
“I had solely been taking part in for a year-and-a-half earlier than my mum handed away. I by no means used to love her and my dad coming to darts as a result of I used to say they have been a jinx. Each time they got here, I would not win something,” Worth added.
“When she handed away sadly, I stated to my spouse: “I am by no means going to win now, she’s going to be with me on a regular basis! It is one thing that I want she might have been there to see as nicely.”
The 36-year-old has already established a legacy, and whereas he is no stranger to coping with the highlight, that scrutiny will solely intensify given his standing as world champion and world No 1.
Nevertheless, having opened his account for the brand new marketing campaign with victory at Gamers Championship 6, he heads to Milton Keynes for the Premier League stuffed with confidence, as he bids to seal play-off qualification for the primary time in his profession.
Worth is but to actually ship within the sport’s most profitable occasion, however given his proclivity for breaking new floor, it nearly appears inevitable that he’ll be battling it out come Finals Night time subsequent month.
Watch the 2021 Premier League reside on Sky Sports activities – the motion will get underway on Monday April 5 with 5 consecutive nights of motion from the Marshall Enviornment, Milton Keynes.