Gary Anderson

Biography

Gary Anderson is a true darting great.

To win one World Championship in the most competitive era in the history of the Professional Darts Corporation is a fantastic achievement. To win back-to-back titles at the Alexandra Palace puts Anderson right up there with the greatest players in the history of the sport.

Quite simply, a magnificent achievement.

Gary beat Adrian Lewis in the 2016 World Championship Final by seven sets to five, coming 12 months after he finally realised his dream of winning the World crown when he took out Phil Taylor 7-6 at the Ally Pally.

And not content with winning those two World Championships, the Scot made more history by hitting a fabulous 9 darter at the 2016 tournament in his semi-final demolition of Jelle Klaasen.

And to celebrate, Anderson has signed a new deal with Unicorn taking the hugely successful partnership into a second decade.

"I am part of a big family at Unicorn and it is no coincidence that I have enjoyed the best years of my career since I joined the best darts company in the world!"

Unicorn Managing Director Edward Lowy couldn't hide his satisfaction at a new long-term deal. "That Gary should put together back-to-back World Championship wins is a testament to this 'Great Scot'. An on form Gary Anderson is an unstoppable force of nature on the oche."

"I remember joking with Gary when he joined us back in 2011 as a Maestro Premier, that our World Champion category is the easiest to join - after all, you only have to win one match!"

Anderson is now aiming for a history-making hat-trick of World Championship crowns.

The two Ally Pally wins earned Anderson a staggering £550,000 but it isn't about the money for 'The Flying Scotsman'.

"That all goes away for the family and the future. The sense of achievement for me means so much more. I have worked so hard to get here. I was constantly written off and criticised, so to prove all the doubters wrong also gives me a great deal of satisfaction."

"The first World Championship will always have three-quarters of my heart because it was the first and because I beat Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor in the semi-finals and final. The second one just put me in dreamland and the nine darter was a nice bonus because I'd missed one earlier in the event!"

So what odds a hat-trick of World Championship wins? Pretty good say the bookies!

The popular Scot is also now chasing a hat-trick of Premier League titles, having added a second PL crown to his roll of honour in 2015. He beat Van Gerwen in the final at the O2.

He knows he should have won another big 'Major' in 2015 but lost out 11-10 to Van Gerwen in the European Championship Final after leading 10-7.

But it will be those never-to-be forgotten nights at the Alexandra Palace that will forever live in the memory.

"Unbelievable" was Gary's verdict! One of the most popular World Champions in darts history, there is no doubt that he thoroughly deserved his historic triumphs. The best player, the right winner, a fabulous achievement.

In 2016, he swept aside Andy Boulton before running into Daryl Gurney. The highly-rated Irishman had beaten Anderson at the Players Championship Finals a month before! Gary won 4-1, although it was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests. After that though, he was imperious as he raced past Vincent van der Voort, James Wade and Klaasen, dropping only one set in the process.

In the final, both players averaged 100 but you always felt that Anderson had the edge and so it proved. Lewis had fought back to trail 6-5 and broke the Scot at the start of the 11th set, but in true World Champion style Gary broke back then under enormous pressure, he took out a sublime 170 finish and then won the title on D12 for the second year running!

But the feeling of beating Taylor to win the first will never be topped!

His second Premier League title was also special. After finishing third in the league, Anderson beat Dave Chisnall in thrilling semi-final at the O2. The St Helens man missed three darts to win a deciding leg and Anderson nailed a sensational 116 finish to take it 10-9. He was then too good for Van Gerwen in the final winning 11-7.

It completed a remarkable few months after his triumph at the Players Championship Finals in Minehead.

His spectacular victory at the Alexandra Palace capped a remarkable year. He won seven big tournaments on the PDC Pro Tour and then won another TV 'Major' when he claimed the prestigious Players Championship in Minehead. But the holy grail had passed him by until that memorable night when he took out Taylor to be crowned World Champion.

It was a brave and courageous turn around. Gary's career had hit the rails in 2013 after the sad loss of both his father and brother.....darts was the last thing on his mind. He dropped out of the top 16 and it looked like he would never get the chance to achieve his destiny.

But a heartbreaking defeat to eventual champion Van Gerwen at the 2014 World Championship changed everything. He was 3-1 up and lost 4-3. The normally laid back Scot was red with rage. It was THE turning point. It was the day everything changed. It was the moment you can say Anderson stepped on the path to winning the World Championship.

Unicorn developed some new darts. The first weekend that Gary played with them at the start of February 2014, he won the German Darts Championship, beating Justin Pipe in the final. It was the start of what turned out to be a quite incredible year.

He went to the Ally Pally in the form of his life having just won his second PDC 'Major'. Gary put down a huge marker by sweeping aside the field in one fantastic weekend in Minehead to win the Players Championship Finals. Those seven Pro Tour victories in 2014 saw him head to the tournament as the No.1 seed but in a twist of tungsten fate, he was handed the toughest possible draw.

Anderson had to average 106 to beat Dutchman Christian Kist 6-5 in the 1st Round! Then it was Stephen Bunting standing in his way, but another virtuoso performance saw Gary win 10-5. But arguably his best display came in the quarter-finals when he finally beat Taylor again in a TV 'Major' knock-out tournament. He was brilliant winning 10-6. Little were we to know it at the time, but it was one of the keys to him winning the World Championship Final.

The Scot beat Vincent van der Voort 11-7 in the semi-finals and was too good for Adrian Lewis in the final.....an 11-6 victory to see him crowned Players Champion.

It certainly made him battle hardened heading for the biggest stage and the biggest tournament in the world of darts where ultimately he stood tall and proved that he was the very best in the business.

But it wouldn't have been Gary woh out the now customary slow start! He eventually beat American Scott Kirchner 3-1 with an 85 average, but Anderson grew in confidence and stature.

In round two he came up against in-form Dutch ace Jelle Klaasen and in truth the Unicorn star produced one of the best performances of the year to win. He was three sets to one down and 2 legs to 1 behind.....Klaasen was sat on 89 for the match but Gary came up with a superb 84 finish on the bull to stay alive. It changed everything! He stormed back to make it 3-3 and in the deciding set, Anderson was unplayable....12 darter, 12 darter with a 126 finish and 11 darter including two 180s to complete a sensational fightback.

After that, you really did start to believe that this was Anderson's time.

Convincing wins against Spanish qualifier Cristo Reyes and former Allay Pally finalist Peter Wright followed to set up that semi-final showdown against Van Gerwen. After the World Championship defeat the previous year and an agonising last leg defeat to the Dutch star in the 2014 Premier League semi-finals, it was all the motivation Anderson needed. He was the man in form. It was Van Gerwen who should be worried. And so it proved!

And that terrific win over Taylor only four weeks earlier in Minehead had convinced Anderson that this was his World Championship and he didn't disappoint with a performance laced with class, confidence and courage.

The final lived up to all expectations. Anderson was superb. He held it all together when in the past, by his own admission, he may have capitulated. It was a real nail-biter.

Anderson started well as he established a three sets to one lead. However Taylor stormed back as he won 9 of the next 10 legs to go ahead for the first time in the final at 4-3. The big turning point came in the 8th set when Taylor missed three darts at D12 for a 5-3 advantage. Anderson stepped in to level and found another gear as it was his turn to win three consecutive sets. It was 6-4. He was closing in!

Winning the 9th set was reward for real guts and determination because at the start of the set he lost 180 points on the floor....the third dart going in the T20 but knocking the other darts out. Taylor wasn't finished though and he hit back to take this epic final into a deciding set.

They'd been on stage for nearly three hours. But Gary Anderson saved the best for last. A clinical 72 finish to take the opening leg.....he then broke the Taylor throw and in the next leg the Scot banged in his 19th 180 and he hit the sweetest D12 of his life. He was the champion of the world! He had the Sid Waddell Trophy in his grasp.

It was a remarkable achievement rewarded with honours at the glittering PDC AWARDS night at The Dorchester Hotel. Player of the Year by a country mile! It is a hugely different Gary Anderson to the player who joined the PDC ranks in 2009. We had all got a glimpse of how good he was when he reached Grand Slam semi-finals when he was with the British Darts Organisation.

His first PDC 'Major' came in 2011.

After a string of near misses, Anderson finally won a ‘Big One’, when he was crowned 2011 Premier League Champion on a dramatic night at Wembley.

Gary finished a superb third in the league stage in his first season in the Premier League, but there was no stopping him on finals night at Wembley in May 2011, when he beat Raymond van Barneveld in the semi-finals, before dismantling Adrian Lewis in the final.

He knows he should have won a lot more. Gary has lost finals at the Grand Slam, UK Open and Players Championship to Taylor.....and in that remarkable 2014 he really should have reached two more TV Finals.....the Unicorn man was edged out in the semi-finals at the World Matchplay by Taylor in one of the best games in the history of the tournament, and he lost the World Grand Prix semi-final to James Wade 4-3 after leading 3-1.

Don't forget that Gary is also a member of the exclusive 9 dart club.....players who have hit a 9 darter in a TV 'Major'. He first achieved the feat at the 2012 UK Open against Davey Dodds, but the 9 darter at the World Championship will take some beating!

He also still holds the record for the number of maximums in a match in the Premier League – hitting 11 in his victory over Simon Whitlock in Birmingham in 2011.

Of course, he was also just edged out by Adrian Lewis in the 2011 World Championship Final.

But Anderson is a rare talent.

Hugely popular with darts fans and one of the sport’s great entertainers……his landmark first win with the British Darts Organisation came in 2001 at the Welsh Open and he won dozens of tournaments, including the Gold Cup, British Open, British Classic, the prestigious Zuiderduin Masters twice and the BDO Grand Prix.

But his big breakthrough onto the world stage came in 2007 when Anderson won both the World Darts Trophy and International Darts League – displaying his talents to a big TV audience.

Both victories came in Holland where Anderson was already very popular on the exhibition circuit. He thrashed Taylor by 7 sets to 3 with a 104 average to claim the WDT and he beat Mark Webster at the IDL, after disposing of Adrian Lewis and James Wade in the knock-out stages.

Looking back, Anderson admits he should have switched to the PDC around that time, but the move across the great darting divide in February 2009 wasn’t so much a leap of faith but a signal of his intent to play and beat the very best.

And that’s exactly what the Scot has done.

Anderson has now won nearly 30 PDC titles and established himself as one of the very best in the business over the last three decades....his biggest disappointment was that World Championship Final in 2011.

“My worst performance of the tournament,” was how Anderson described his 7 sets to 5 loss to Adrian Lewis in that great final at the Alexandra Palace.

But of course, revenge was sweet - and by the same score - at the 2016 World Championship.

He has never been one for the limelight, preferring to stay in the shadows…..but now is having to get used to the spotlight as double World Champion. He is much in demand.

By the way, at the Ally Pally in 2011, Anderson was recording magic numbers throughout the tournament…..he beat Morihiro Hashimoto of Japan, Dennis Priestley, Andy Smith, Raymond van Barneveld and Terry Jenkins en route to the final.

Anderson banged in 58x180s and his tournament average was an incredible 103.

And his tungsten tale is now one of darting folklore!

Would you believe that Anderson may never have played darts and the first time he picked up a set of ‘arrers, he was 24-years-old, living in the Scottish Borders and it was only because he was broke!

He takes up the story: “I would swap anything to knock 20 years off me, so I could start playing darts a bit younger!”

“But it’s true….I only started playing because I was skint! I was always into golf, snooker and pool but it was too expensive for me. I was at a caravan park, which my mate’s dad owned and I didn’t have a £1 coin to put in the pool table. There was a dart board on the site, so I picked up these old looking darts and had a throw.”

Anderson continued: “I couldn’t believe what happened but my first nine darts were 140, 180 and 140 and that was that. I guess there was no going back. But it was pure chance and the way I threw the darts all those years ago at the caravan park, is exactly the way that I throw them today!”

He then started to play in the local leagues and started winning tournaments with prize money of £1,000 and £500. Anderson graduated to Super League with Mussleborough and then County darts with East Lothian and East Stirlingshire.

The journey had well and truly started for Gary Anderson.

He qualified for his first Lakeside World Championship in 2000 and although he never had the best of luck at the BDO World Championship, his best performance came in 2003 when he lost in the semi-finals to Ritchie Davies.

He was actually in a full-time job up until 2005/06…..he worked for nearly 20 years at a building company near Edinburgh making marble fireplaces!

Anderson is also putting something back into the sport. He mentors and sponsors several of the sport's young stars including the hugely talented Team Unicorn star Michael Smith who is now coming of age on the oche and was handed a prized spot in the 2016 Premier League.

Gary lives in Burnham-on-Sea with partner Rachel and has three sons - Ryan, Joel and now a new baby boy Tai who was born in 2014. That was another pivotal moment in Gary's career. Everything changed for the better and the birth of his third son was both a life-changer and game-changer.

Gary Anderson - double World Champion

Gary Anderson - global darting superstar!

Gary Anderson - darting great

Lifelines

Nickname:The Flying Scotsman
Date of birth:22nd December 1970
Place of birth:Edinburgh
Height:5ft 11ins
Hometown:Burnham on Sea
Family:In a relationship
Occupation before darts:Builder
Hobbies:No time for hobbies
Sponsors:Unicorn Darts, Rix Motors, Car Finance 247, Arthur McKay
Darts used:Unicorn Gary Anderson World Champion 23g
Best darts moment so far:World Champion x 2
Practice partner:Justin Pipe
Favourite double (on dartboard):Tops
Favourite food:Chinese
Favourite drink:Coffee
Favourite holiday destination:Las Vegas
Favourite music:All types
Walk on music:Jump Around by House of Pain
Favourite movie:Horrors
Favourite PDC event:Grand Slam of Darts
Favourite TV programme:Discovery Channel
Sporting heroes:Jimmy White

Achievements

Dubai Darts Masters:2016, 2017
The Masters Semi-Final:2015
Players Championship (Coventry) Winner:2014, 2014, 2015
PDC World Cup of Darts Final:2015
World Champion:2015. 2016
Players Championship Finals (Winner):2014
Players Championship (Derby), Winner:2011
Players Championship (Nuland), Winner:2011 (x3)
Players Championship (Crawley), Winner:2011, 2014, 2014
John McEvoy Gold Dart Classic Players Championship, Winner:2010
Players Championship (Las Vegas), Winner:2010
Players Championship (Barnsley), Winner:2010, 2014, 2015
UK Open Qualifier, Winner:2010, 2011, 2014
Welsh Players Championship, Winner:2009
Dutch Masters, Winner:2007, 2008
International Darts League, Winner:2007
World Darts Trophy, Winner:2007
World Master, Quarter Finalist:2003, 2005
Players Championship Finals, Runner Up:2011
UK Open, Runner Up:2010
European Championship, Quarter Finalist:2009
Las Vegas Desert Classic, Quarter Finalist:2009
Grand Slam, Semi Finalist:2007, 2008
World Grand Prix, Semi-Final:2014
World Matchplay, Semi-Final:2014
World Championship Semi Finalist:2003
World Championship Runner Up:2011
Premier League, Winner:2011, 2015

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