Burnham-On-Sea darts star Gary Anderson says he is thrilled to have become world champion and has this week thanked local people for their congratulatory messages.
The darts supremo beat the 16-time world champion Phil Taylor 7-6 in a tense match in the final of the PDC World Championships on Sunday night.
“I generally don’t get too excited – I’m a calm person, but it’s a great feeling to have finally won the title that has eluded me for so long,” he told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
“It’s been a great year for me – and a busy, hectic start to this one since Sunday!” Gary says he has been “overwhelmed” by messages of support.
He is now spending a few days relaxing at his Burnham home with his partner Rachel before heading off to the next tournament.
Gary also paid an emotional tribute to his late father and darts idol Jocky Wilson, who gave him his love for the sport.
He said: “I remember my dad cheering at the TV when Jocky won the title against John Lowe in 1982. I was a schoolboy playing around in the house, and seeing that passion in my dad and Jocky got the sport into my blood.”
“Over the years, I’ve always tried to emulate and achieve what Jocky did. He was a great battler and did Scotland proud in a sport we love. He won two world titles in a really tough era. He’s a legend.”
“It was really nice that I got a chance to meet Jocky’s family just before this year’s World Championships. I was never fortunate enough to meet him in person, so it was a great thrill to meet his grandkids, the sons and his wife Malvina.”
“It’s amazing how it all came around. It was incredible to think my dad cheered on Jocky – and that he once cheered for me.”
“I always hoped that one day I could bring the world championship back. Now I’ve done it. It would be lovely to think they were chucking a few darts and having a wee dram when I lifted that trophy.”
Jocky passed away in March 2012, aged 62, after a battle with lung disease brought on by years of smoking.
Gary’s father, Gordon, and Jocky, died two weeks apart, and remain Gary’s heroes to this day.