What got him into darts?
Well I’m from Middlesbrough and a big part of the 1980s is working men’s clubs, and it was quite normal for people my age to be leaving school and going into working men’s clubs and clearly in there is dart boards and snooker tables etc my brother was a really good darts player, and I was fascinated by him being one of the better players in the area, and then when I started playing myself, and getting that success your hooked on the game. I represented Cleveland youth round about 86/87 in the British teenage championships and it started from there
Which BDO title meant the most?
For sure the first one I dreamt for that moment for all my lifetime thing, and not once did I fall on the floor all of the times I dreamt of that moment, so by a long long way the first BDO title is my best ever moment in darts.
Why didn’t he turn pro sooner?
Yeah that’s a good question, and whenever you play the World Championships at Lakeside you sign a contract. Part of that contract is if you then go to the PDC you have to forfeit your winnings, and obviously when your winning 100,000 for winning the titles its very very difficult to give that away and there was no guarantee you then go to the PDC, because you’ve got to go through Q school, and if you’re not successful there then you’ve thrown 1000,000 grand away and your still in the BDO, so there were many things to take into consideration my age, my job, my family etc, it came out of the blue obviously when the BDO last year said they won’t penalise anyone that went to Lakeside who also go to Q school. That was an opening for me where I could win the world title then bank the £100,000 and also the chance of going to PDC Q school.
How did he find Q school?
Yeah, I went through a couple of pro tours the last couple of seasons, so I knew what the set up was like etc. I think I was surprised in the interest in me. There were 32 boards their people playing on 1 or 2 people behind each board family members; behind mine there were 100/150 people, and people raise their game, as they are playing the BDO champion, so all eyes are on me by hook or by crook I got through in the end, but it was a very difficult experience for sure.
How is he adapting to the Pro Game?
Well ive retired from work now, so now I’m a full-time darts professional, because there was no way I could take these guys on. I’m looking at my whole lifestyle right now, trying to get a little bit healthier. I’m practicing twice a day now, when I was working it was only once a day. Hopefully there’s much more recuperation so when I am, travelling, and coming back I’m not going straight to work. Ive won a pro tour event, and ive got to a final of a pro tour event, I’m well placed for the world matchplay, well placed for the grand prix in Dublin, and ive pretty much already qualified for Ally Pally. So far so go and the journey continues.
How was playing in the Premier League?
It past us by if true is told it came it was right on winning Lakeside for the 3rd time, and right on Q school, there was a lot of interest in what was going on. I wish I was playing week 7 or 8 by the time id settled in there, so the whole Premier League experience is like a distant memory already, but I’ll never forget the crowds, but all of a sudden your 4-0 down in that game, and it’s not a pleasant experience, so it past me by a little bit, but I’m sure I will bag that experience.
What did he make of RVB last week?
Well I’m a huge fan of Barney, and I’m also someone when you get interviewed so soon after a game you can say something you don’t mean I think the right decision is to go Ally Pally next year, and I think he’s made the right to decision to reverse that. You don’t want to go out on what he will always remember as a real low, but I’m a huge fan of Barneys, and he’s done an awful lot for darts, and a lot for the explosion of darts in Holland. For me he’s made the right decision not to retire just yet.
Who is his outside tip for the World Title?
In the BDO I’d love to see Jim Williams, who hasn’t had a great start too the season I’d love to see him get some success, but you can never write off players like Scott Mitchell or Scott Waites, and for me the 2 best players have been so far Wesley Harms, and Richard Veenstra, so out of them 5 I’d be surprised if it wasn’t one of them.
In the PDC for me MVG at his best is head, and shoulders above the rest of us with only people like Gary Anderson, and Michael Smith being able to stay with him at the moment so he’s my heavy favourite. Ive been impressed, with an awful lot of people. Nathan Aspinall has come from nowhere, people like Daryl Gurney, and Gerwyn Price, with their heavy schedules, but I think the outsider for me is someone returning back to PDC, and that is Corey Cadby
Prime Phil Taylor v MVG?
I’m such a Phil Taylor fan, and he will always be y hero, so I will go for Phil Taylor.