“I’ve done my back in again lifting that trophy,” joked Gary Anderson upon being asked for his first thoughts after retaining the enormous Sid Waddell World Championship prize.
“It’s great. I played absolutely fantastic last night [in the semi-final] and I thought turning up today this was going to be a cracker and then we get on stage and it just went flat. Shoulders were down, I was trying to straighten up and I think Aidy was the same. It was just a slog.”
Having appeared to miscount the total he required when throwing to win legs on at least two occasions, Anderson put his apparent carelessness down to a combination of his well-documented shortsightedness and the distraction of the raucous crowd. “I’m seeing numbers that aren’t there,” he said. “The other night I was going for 148 and I went treble twenty, treble twenty, bang ... because I seen 128. You just want the ground to open up and swallow you.”
Unwilling to wear contact lenses or undergo laser surgery because of their intrusiveness, Anderson was prepared to concede it might be time to wear spectacles on the oche, employing some good old-fashioned rhyming slang in the process. “Next year I may have the old Gregorys [Gregory Pecks] on and I think if you wear glasses it’s going to take a wee while to get used to them. I’ve tried with the reading glasses and the board’s crystal clear but I end up knocking the glasses up my face.”
With not a single ticket unsold for this tournament, Anderson was happy to pay tribute to an audience who spent large portions of the evening paying loud homage to various darts players who were not actually on the oche.
“The fans were great but they’re usually shouting against me,” he said. “When they’re shouting for you it puts a bit more pressure on. Then I heard them singing for Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor and I forgot they weren’t in the building. Listen, since the tournament started it’s been bouncing and darts is just going up and up. I can’t say enough about the PDC. It took me a while to join and I wish I’d done it five years before I did. I also wish I was 21 again.”
Adrian Lewis admitted he was “gutted” to lose but was in philosophical mood in the wake of his failed attempt to win a third world title. A winner in 2011 and 2012, Lewis acknowledged that Anderson’s check-out of 170 in the penultimate leg was what finished him off. “When I pulled it back to 6-5, I thought, ‘This is it, you can win now,’” he said. “Then we had one leg each, I was on the double and he produced a massive 170. Fair play to him, that was quality that was. That was a massive 170 and he’s a deserving winner.”
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