The PDC's newest televised champion Jose de Sousa has revealed how a meeting with Eric Bristow over 20 years ago set him on the path to greatness.
Tuesday saw De Sousa defeat James Wade 16-12 to win the BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts on debut, becoming the sixth winner of the Eric Bristow Trophy.
Speaking after his victory, the 46-year-old Portuguese sensation explained how a meeting with Bristow in 1997 gave him belief he could compete in the sport's professional ranks.
"Winning the Grand Slam is not only special to me because it is a big tournament, but also because I have the Eric Bristow Trophy in my hands," said De Sousa.
"I played against Eric in Spain in 1997 at an exhibition. He was the first PDC player I beat.
"He was my hero in darts, he won so many things. When I found out I was going to play against him I couldn't believe it.
"We continued to speak for many years after this. He was a friend and a great man.
"When I played in the World Championship in 2011 he supported me.
"I dedicate this trophy to all the people who support me and to Eric.
"To have my name on this trophy with the likes of Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld guys is unbelievable. It feels like a dream I will wake up from."