Former world champion Gerwyn Price. Pic: Getty Images.

Gerwyn Price . . . From £500 A Week Rugby Player To A Heavy £500,000 For One Night’s Work

By Paul Jones

Gerwyn Price joked: “I hope 500K feels this heavy” as he struggled to hold aloft the World Darts Championship trophy moments after also becoming world number one.

It’s been a long journey to the game’s summit for the Welshman whose darts career took off after he gave up on his dream of playing rugby for Wales.

Tonight, that trek reached its destination as Price beat Gary Anderson 7-3 to claim his first title, the £500,000 first prize and end Michael van Gerwen’s reign at the top of the sport’s rankings.

The 35-year-old from Markham cruised through the early exchanges but wobbled as he missed nine match darts for a 7-2 victory as his previously spectacular display of finishing – that had sat at 75 per cent for periods – deserted him when he needed it most.

But Price steadied himself and finally, with his 12th match dart, managed to pin the outer ring, sinking double five and then to his knees to breathe a huge sigh of relief as he claimed the title and much more besides.

“There were numerous times I felt I was going to lose this,” he said.


“I looked over at the scoreboard and saw it was 6-3. I just thought I hope I can get a few more chances. I thought, ‘please – just give me one chance.’ I needed Gary to give me that opportunity, but I took it.

“Double five is close to double top, but it’s not my favourite! But I have never felt pressure like that in my life.

“It’s tough to win this, when you haven’t won it before. I think it’s going to take a couple of days to sink in. I’m on cloud nine.’ I can’t even speak. This means the world.

“I don’t care if I don’t win it again. I’m world No.1. I never dreamt this could happen until this year.”

Along the way, Price achieved the best set in PDC world championships history with a 136.64 average.

Price didn’t throw a dart until leaving school. There was a board in the bar of the local rugby club where he worked and occasionally if it was a quiet morning Price would have a little throw.

He wasn’t particularly good, but later he would start playing in the pub on Friday nights, and discovered he had a natural aptitude for the game.

Gerwyn Price played for Neath before making switch of sport.

He had played semi-professional rugby for Welsh Premier Division teams Neath and Cross Keys, then joined Glasgow Warriors, but never earned much more than £500-a-week.

He quit the sport at 28 to attend the Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC) qualifying school in 2014 where he scored enough wins to earn a two-year tour card.

He said at the time, “I’ve really got a decent future ahead of me in darts rather than rugby.

“It didn’t really work out with me professionally in rugby. I was only with Glasgow for a couple of weeks on loan and I was only playing Premiership semi-professional.

“I went to qualifying school and was lucky enough to get through on the second day and win my tour card.

“I had to make a decision whether to stick with the rugby or go with darts and I think it’s gone with darts now.”

His big breakthrough came when he beat Anderson to win the World Grand Slam of Darts final in Wolverhampton in 2018.


Going into this year’s world championships, Price had won the 2020 World Grand Prix and World Series Finals and was third in the PDC rankings behind Dutch star Michael van Gerwen and 2019 world champion Peter Wright.

Price had £1.5 million in career earnings before the tournament, compared to Anderson’s £4 million in a career stretching back to 2001.

Having entered the tournament 19 days ago as the man with the most titles on the tour this year, Price added the biggest of the lot with a dominant victory that featured an average of 100.08, 13 180s and three 100+ finishes.

Before the tournament Price had said: “I had great times and great memories of rugby and I’ve got great memories from darts now, but I would have loved a Welsh cap.

“That’s something I’ve always dreamt of since I was really, really young and while I don’t think I’d give everything up for one cap, I just wish I could give rugby another crack, go back a few years.


“I’d go back and do a lot of things differently and give rugby that little bit extra. I wasn’t as mature back then as what I am now and I think about what would have been.

“I always believed in my ability but I just never got my full international cap.

“I think I sort of missed the boat a little bit. I wasn’t good to myself – I used to like going out having a few beers so that didn’t help.

“I look back and think, if I hadn’t had left Cross Keys, could I have had a better chance getting in with the Dragons, getting the foot through the door?

“But then I probably would never have been a darts player.”


3 thoughts on “Gerwyn Price . . . From £500 A Week Rugby Player To A Heavy £500,000 For One Night’s Work

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *