Jonny Clayton has hailed the influence of his compatriot Gerwyn Price, after the pair led Wales to a second My Diesel Claim World Cup of Darts title in Germany last weekend.
Clayton and Price stormed to victory in the new-look tournament at Frankfurt’s Eissporthalle, dispatching Scottish veterans Peter Wright and Gary Anderson 10-2 to steer their nation to glory.
The Welsh trailblazers also overcame Denmark, Sweden and Belgium en route to the title, before dismantling two-time World Champions Wright and Anderson in Sunday’s showpiece to repeat their 2020 success in Salzburg.
Clayton and Price are only the third partnership to claim multiple World Cup titles, following in the footsteps of England’s Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis, plus Dutch duo Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld.
“It was brilliant the first time, so for us to be World [Cup] Champions again, it’s a fantastic feeling,” Clayton told BBC Wales.
“To represent your country and put that red jersey on for Wales – it’s something special.
“You walk up on that stage, turn around and you see all the Welsh flags. It’s fantastic. We are second to none when it comes to supporting our athletes and teams, and to be part of a team with Gerwyn is brilliant.
“I think the first time round I was much more nervous. We hadn’t been in that situation before, but I’ll never forget this one, and hopefully there are many more to come.”
The irrepressible Welsh duo boasted a tournament average of almost 96 across their four matches, although it was Clayton who stole the show, particularly in the latter stages.
The former Premier League champion sank a nerveless two-dart 100 checkout to complete a dramatic deciding-leg win over Belgium in the semi-finals, before turning on the style against Scotland.
Clayton produced an individual average of 103 in Sunday’s decider, converting six of his seven attempts at double to finish the event with a tournament average of 99 - the highest out of all 80 players involved.
“I’ve heard enough from Gerwyn about carrying me in the past, so it’s payback time!” joked the Pontyberem thrower, who was making his sixth consecutive World Cup appearance alongside Price.
“He’s going to hear about it for the next year – week in week out. I’m not going to let that one go!
“Joking aside, I could have played another 20 games with Gerwyn and I would have enjoyed every second of it.
“He’s a great guy, brilliant captain, fantastic dart player and we get on really well, so every tick is in the box. I cannot wish for a better partner!”
Wales’ maiden World Cup triumph in 2020 sparked a sensational run from Clayton, who went on to win the Masters, Premier League, World Grand Prix and World Series of Darts Finals within a 12-month period.
The 48-year-old is hoping their latest success can inspire a similar story over the coming months, starting with July's Betfred World Matchplay.
Clayton’s five previous appearances at the Winter Gardens have only yielded a solitary victory – a record he’s determined to improve upon in this summer’s showpiece.
“I absolutely love Blackpool,” continued the affable Welshman, currently ranked seventh on the PDC Order of Merit.
“I love the Winter Gardens and I really enjoy the tournament, but I never seem to do well there!
“When we won the World Cup three years ago, I went on a run, but they were all unranked tournaments. I might swap them for ranking tournaments this time!
“Hopefully that switch is going to be flicked and I can lift that trophy this year. My luck is bound to change in Blackpool, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!”