New World Champion Price admits: "It still feels like a dream"

Gerwyn Price (Chris Dean, PDC)

Gerwyn Price has admitted that waking up with the Sid Waddell Trophy on Monday morning was "surreal" as he comes to terms with his William Hill World Darts Championship triumph.

The Welshman defeated Gary Anderson 7-3 on Sunday night at Alexandra Palace to scoop World Championship glory and also claim the world number one spot.

The victory caps Price's remarkable rise since joining the PDC circuit in 2014, becoming the first player to come from Qualifying School to become World Champion.

Looking back on the success during a busy morning of post-final media interviews, Price admitted it was special to wake up and see the Sid Waddell Trophy in his hotel room.

"Waking up this morning as World Champion seems surreal," he said. "I'm still waiting for it to sink in - it still feels like a dream, it's amazing.

"I'm proud of myself. It means the world to me. I never thought I could become World Champion or world number one. It's a crazy achievement.

"For the first hour when I was back in the room last night, the phone was going crazy. I spoke to my family and my dad and then I turned the phone off and went to sleep!

"To wake up with the trophy in my hotel room this morning was great and I can't wait to get back home to my family and share it with them."

Gerwyn Price (Chris Dean, PDC)

Price arrived at the 2014 Qualifying School as an unknown in darting circles, as he embarked on competing professionally in a third sport after playing rugby union and, briefly, rugby league.

"I never dreamed that I could become World Champion," admits the 35-year-old. "Barrie Bates enticed me to go to Q School and thankfully I did - I owe him a lot.

"I thought I could make the top 64 or 32, and the top 16 would have been a big thing. I'm different to other players but I am who I am.

"I've come from a totally different sport, and to do what I've done is a great achievement. I think I didn't fulfil my potential in rugby, but I don't want to waste this opportunity.

"Hopefully it can inspire other people as well, and if people are considering giving it a go at Q School, I think they should. A lot of players may enter now - especially from Wales!"

Price's success has been hailed by many of Wales' top sporting stars, including Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and rugby legend Jonathan Davies, and comes only weeks after he had partnered Jonny Clayton to World Cup glory.

"I'm a proud Welshman," smiled Price. "I was the first Welsh major winner in the PDC, then me and Jonny won the World Cup so I'm setting all sorts of records and I'm proud of that.

"I've had immense support from all the rugby boys, and had people like Geraint Thomas too. A lot of people I know from the rugby have sent messages and it's been lovely."

Price stormed into a 5-1 lead over Anderson with some remarkable doubling, which included 13 double tops from as many attempts, and he regained his composure to finally close out the win.

He reflected: "The first set was a bit nervy from both of us but I stole it and it filled me full of confidence. That showed from there, and tops was kind to me just like double ten was the day before.

"I felt like I was playing well and I was in control of the game. I had to keep the pressure on Gary because you know he can come back.

"If Gary had won that first set, then I'm chasing the next set to try and find my feet. That set the tone for me.

"It was tough to get over the winning line for the first time but I've experienced it now. I've never felt pressure like it before - I've won other majors before, but my arm went to jelly!

"I'm glad that Gary gave me another opportunity and I got that double five in the end."

Gerwyn Price (Chris Dean, PDC)

Price also missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish during a record-breaking sixth set, which he won with legs of 11, 12 and ten darts.

"In a way I'm glad that the double didn't go in because so many players who hit a nine-darter go on and lose the match!" he said. "That would have been in the back of my mind.

"It was a record-breaking average in that set too, and in that middle part of the game I was flying and I felt like I couldn't miss."

The £500,000 top prize saw Price end Van Gerwen's seven-year reign as world number one, as he also jumped above 2020 World Champion Peter Wright to the top of the PDC Order of Merit.

"Michael's a great player and I think this will inspire him," he said. "He's a top professional and works so hard at his game, but so does Peter and I think they and all the players now will look at me and want to be where I am."

Click below to watch our Gerwyn Price interview