Eyemouth’s new world darts champion Gary Anderson has revealed he will be returning to Scotland to see his family next week. But don’t expect any wild celebrations.
The teetotaller will be keeping his feet firmly on the ground, despite pocketing a winner’s cheque for £250,000 after beating Phil Taylor 7-6 in Sunday’s thrilling final at Alexandra Palace.
He celebrated his famous victory over the greatest player in history with a coffee and a sleep before returning to his Somerset home with partner Rachel to see nine-month-old son Tai.
“I’m not going to treat myself with the prizemoney,” said the man who used to play darts in the Berwick League at the King’s Head. “I’ll just get the tools out and do a bit of DIY. I know (fellow darts player) James Wade loves working on cars, I like doing jobs around the house to chill out. I was in the building trade for 20 odd years so it is nice to get your hands dirty. I’m a normal person, I’m not a prima donna. I am the same boy that was on the building site, even after this.”
He added: “I swear I never even thought about the money. That’s the truth. I’ve done all right in my career so it’s not the first thing which sprang to mind.
“But it’s going to buy me a lot of coffee – and a lot of Pampers for the wee man.”
Anderson has overcome his fair share of obstacles, including becoming increasingly short-sighted. Contact lenses are not an option because he has a phobia about putting anything in his eyes and he has ruled out laser surgery for reasons of cowardice. He now throws largely from memory, aiming at a variety of minuscule red and green blurs.
The Flying Scotsman struggled to recapture the form that made him 2011 Premier League champion after losing his brother Stuart in the autumn of that year, and his father Gordon the following spring.
He admitted that afterwards he could not face throwing arrows and it coincided with a slide down the world rankings.
His victory on Sunday in front of a liquored-up 3,500-strong crowd and millions watching on TV came a year after he vowed to return to the top, something he achieved by stripping his regime back to basics, including games in the local pub with Eyemouth-based teenage sons Ryan and Joel.
Anderson revealed that Joel texted him after his win to say: “Dad, you had me worried.”
He added: “It meant the world to know that he’d be going to school on Monday with a grin on his face, feeling proud of me.”
Born and raised in Musselburgh, Anderson started his working life as a heating installer for a now-defunct firm in Portobello. He moved to Eyemouth in Berwickshire as a young man. He is looking forward to going back to Scotland next week.
“It’s Joel’s birthday on the 14th so it will be brilliant to get up and see him and my mum,” he said.
“It’s been so hectic we haven’t been able to glance at the schedule for 2015. Rachel does all the calendars and organises me, but I’ll be making a point of keeping some time free for getting up the road.”