Gerwyn Price Move From Rugby To Darts – Examining Sports Stars That Have Switched Sports

Gerwyn Price Move From Rugby To Darts – Examining Sports Stars That Have Switched Sports

Gerwyn Price Rugby

As recently as 2013, Gerwyn Price, known as The Iceman to darts fans the world over, was employed as a hooker for the lower league professional rugby team Neath RFC in South Wales. Earning as little as £25k a year, the player took a job working behind a bar of the local Welsh valleys rugby club Markham Welfare to make ends meet but never let go of his dream of representing Wales at senior level.

After leaving school at 16, Price represented Wales at every age group save for senior-level, while also carving out a playing career with Glasgow Warriors and Cross Keys, the latter of which he would get to represent at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. After more than a decade playing, and with injuries piling up, he finally contemplated walking away from the game he loved and leaving behind his dreams of making it as a pro-sportsman. Then fate intervened.

Despite not throwing a single dart since leaving school, Price would, on a quiet day in the bar, gradually begin to chuck a few darts at a board mounted on the walls of the bar before getting skilled enough to play for the pub at weekends, playing in a local League.

Site
Bonus
Details
Play
Bet365
Up to
€100
in Bet Credits

BONUS CODE: BET247
  1. Min deposit €5
  2. Up to €100 in Bet Credits
  3. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code BET247 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.

After winning a handful of tournaments locally, Price went down to a PDC qualifying school at the Robin Park Tennis Centre in Wigan on the advice of Welsh darts professional Barrie Bates and managed to bag himself a tour card. After securing his place at the UK Open in Minehead – the exact same venue of his first major televised PDC final two years later – the rugby player finally became the darter.

Rugby helps Price find success in darts

Despite not sharing much in common, rugby actually provided some transferable skills for the rookie chucker’s new discipline; composure, resilience and raising his game under pressure. Plus, years on the rugby pitch gave the would-be Iceman a physique out of step with his beer-bellied opponents. In 2016, he broke into the top 32 on the PDC Order of Merit.

Another thing that followed him from the pitch to the oche, was his aggression particularly in his knack of celebrating by bellowing at in the faces of his opponents. While such ferocity hasn’t always won him an army of fans, such emotion is commonplace in rugby and second nature to a rugby players, thus, to a degree, understandable.

Things reached a peak at the 2018 Grand Slam of Darts, when he beat double world champion Gary Anderson in a bad-tempered final to win his first major TV title. Anderson took issue with Price’s extravagant celebrations which set up his bad boy of darts reputation and the crowd sided with the Scotsman, raining down the boos on Price’s big moment. It would also prove to be a costly moment, as Price was issued the biggest fine in darts, some £21,500 which was later halved on appeal. The boos followed him into the new season, following him to every stop in the Darts Premier League, save for Cardiff naturally.

In 2019, Price repeated the trick, winning the Grand Slam of Darts once again, this time brushing aside the formidable world No 1, Michael van Gerwen, and in the process and banishing the hoo-doo that the dutchman held over him. A much-tipped victory at the World Championships at the Ally Pally in December wasn’t to be, however, as he lost out to Peter Wright in the semi-final.

It is clear though that the volume of dissent is getting lower tourney by tourney. Admitting that he wishes to put his rugby past behind him, Price is said to want to “park this rugby thing” and become known as a superstar darts player in his own right. With the new season kicking off with the Darts Masters in Milton Keynes this Friday, this represents the perfect opportunity to lay down a marker in the very first event of what could be a very big year for the would-be superstar darter from Markham.

Five Sport Stars To Switch Sports

Gerwyn Price is not the first professional sports star to switch sports and try his hand at a new and different discipline. Plenty of others have made the jump with various degrees of success. So, who else has tried it and how successful were they?

Usain Bolt (Athletics to Football)

Usain Bolt Football Career

Having won everything in sight for almost a decade, eight-times Olympic champion, Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt decided to pursue his dream of becoming a footballer.

In 2018, Australia’s Central Coast Mariners gave him the opportunity to show what he could do with a ball at his feet. Not very much was the resounding answer after he made a 30-minute cameo appearance coming off the bench with The Mariners already 6-0 to the good with Bolt having very little effect. Soon after, he did manage a brace against the amateur side Macarthur South West United in a 4-0 win for the Mariners but, sadly, that world-famous stride that served him so well on the track was to prove incompatible with a football.

Ian Botham (Football to Cricket)

Ian Botham Played Football Before Cricket

While Beefy might be synonymous with English cricket, many have no idea that he was, at first, a professional footballer. After his career peaked with lowly Scunthorpe United of the Football League, his decision to switch events would prove to be a wise one as Botham would go on to rack up more than 5,000 runs in 102 test matches, many as captain, at an average of 33.54 after making his test debut in 1977.

In 2009, he was knighted by the Queen, the same year that he was also inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

Victoria Pendleton (Cycling to Horse Racing)

Victoria Pendleton Moves from Cycling to Horse Racing

Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion cyclist Victoria Pendleton broke records in the Keirin for Team GB during the 2012 London games but within three years had announced her intention to become a national hunt jockey instead.

After winning her first race in March 2016 when she rode Pacha Du Polder to victory at Wincanton, she mounted the same steed two weeks later when they took a shot at the Cheltenham Festival where they could only manage a fifth place. Despite her haul of gold medals and broken records, Pendleton cites her time as a jockey as her biggest professional achievement.

Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff (Cricket to Boxing)

Andrew Flintoff Cricket To Boxing

TV personality and former England International cricketer, Andrew Flintoff, better known as Freddie, has enjoyed a multifaceted career since retiring from cricket. One of the best all-rounders of all time, Freddie is, among other things, a presenter of Top Gear, They Think It’s All Over team captain, Australian I’m a Celebrity winner and fish and chip flogger and, to some, a one-time ugly baby.

He even had a gig hosting his own darts show, when he took the mic for the short-lived Sky One flop One Hundred and Eighty. In all, Freddie played 79 test matches and 141 One Day Internationals scoring more than 8,700 runs. After retiring in 2010, Fred trained as a professional boxer, winning his first and only pro bout against America’s Richard Dawson in November 2012 before going back on the telly. In December 2010, Flintoff became a guest commentator during a number of matches in the 2011 PDC World Darts Championship.

Rebecca Romero (Rowing to Cycling)

Rebecca Romero Cycling To Rowing

Romero picked up a silver medal at the Athens 2004 Olympics in the quadruple sculls and followed that up with the 2005 World Championships. A year later, however, a back injury forced her retirement after which she took up track cycling and won another Olympic gold medal, this time in the 2008 Beijing Olympics individual pursuit.

In doing so, she became the first British woman – and second woman of any nationality – to win medals in two different sports in the Summer Olympic games (German swimmer and handball player Roswitha Krause being the first). In 2019, she was rewarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Read More
The Price Is Wright As Gerwyn Wins Grand Slam of Darts

The Price Is Wright As Gerwyn Wins Grand Slam of Darts

Gerwyn Grand Slam of Darts

In a memorable final to last week’s brilliant Grand Slam of Darts, an imperious Gerwyn Price outplayed a rejuvenated Peter Wright to successfully defend the Eric Bristow Trophy, a title he won one year ago. Price, who knocked out Michael van Gerwen at the 20th attempt earlier in the afternoon, will now be a lot of people’s favourite for next month’s World Championship, such was the manner of his performance.

Site
Bonus
Details
Play
Bet365
Up to
€100
in Bet Credits

BONUS CODE: BET247
  1. Min deposit €5
  2. Up to €100 in Bet Credits
  3. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code BET247 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.

It was here in Wolverhampton 12 months ago that The Iceman beat Gary Anderson in the final and where he established himself as the game’s bad boy. The boos have followed him from tourney to tourney this past year, but the Welshman is now turning those boos into cheers as spectators and commentators alike begin to appreciate his talent.

A look back at the Grand Slam of Darts

Price rounded out a memorable week in Wolverhampton with a 16-6 victory over Snakebite. Price threw 11 maximums, averaging almost 108 as he dominated the final, threatening nine-darters on numerous occasions. On both of these, however, he lost the leg and on the second occasion, it allowed Wright to cut the deficit to 7-5.

Any hopes Wright might have harboured that that leg win and see the Iceman melt were quickly dashed as the former rugby player reeled off eight legs in succession. Aside from Snakebite, who performed well all things considered, claiming one leg back, the game was as good as gone and all wrapped up inside the hour.

Price was even within range of breaking Phil Taylor’s record 109.04 average for a Grand Slam final — set in a 16-4 triumph over Gary Anderson in 2011 — but three missed match darts put an end to that.

The Iceman’s success is his second major trophy, the same as his first, and comes in his fourth televised final. A win in this week’s Players Championship Finals will shorten his second favourite World Championship odds of 7/1 further still.

As for Snakey, he can take comfort in a campaign in which he rediscovered the form that was missing in the first part of the year. An improvement, and perhaps a win on Sunday in Minehead for 2019’s last trophy, will definitely put a happy ending on an otherwise horrible year.

Players Championship Finals Betting Tips

The last trophy of the year is on the line this weekend as the players take their final run out before next month’s PDC World Championships at the Alexandra Palace, Ally Pally to you and me. This year’s Players Championship Finals will be taking place at the Butlins Minehead Resort.

Running from Friday November 22 through to Sunday, all of the action will be broadcast on ITV 4 as Daryl Gurney bids to defend the title he won against Michael van Gerwen 12 months ago. The Dutchman is understandably Betway’s 6/4 favourite to win the event for the fifth time, but many will have been impressed with Gerwyn Price last weekend and so his price of 13/2 will be tempting.

The Iceman became only the seventh player in history to successfully defend a PDC televised title with his Wolverhampton win last week where he also took down Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright. Price will now look to ride the momentum to another title as the best possible warm-up for the World Championships.

The first two rounds here are fought over 11 sets so there isn’t much room for errors, which more than anything else explains why longshots often do well here. Defending champion Daryl Gurney is a 25/1 shot and well worth considering as is Dave Chisnall, who also put in a good show at the Grand Slam of Darts and is a slightly shorter 22/1, both with Betway.

Last week’s runner up, Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, can be confident given the quality he showed last week but in a punishing event, the tourney’s third seed could end up regretting missed chances. That said, should the real Snakebite stand up, his 12/1 price tag will look generous.

World number two Voltage Rob Cross is available at 14/1, Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith can be picked up for 22/1, while Glen Durrant and Mensur Suljovic can be backed at 25/1 for the pair, all at Betway.

Players Championship Finals Schedule

Friday November 22

First Round (Best of 11 legs)

  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Stephen Bunting
  • Jose de Sousa v James Richardson
  • Glen Durrant v Scott Baker
  • Max Hopp v Jelle Klaasen
  • Chris Dobey v Cristo Reyes
  • Jeffrey de Zwaan v Simon Whitlock
  • Michael Smith v Martin Schindler
  • Ian White v Devon Petersen
  • Harry Ward v Darius Labanauskas
  • Justin Pipe v Mervyn King
  • Brendan Dolan v Ross Smith
  • John Henderson v Ryan Joyce
  • Keegan Brown v Andy Boulton
  • Steve Beaton v Ricky Evans
  • Danny Noppert v Ryan Searle
  • Dave Chisnall v Matthew Edgar
  • Krzysztof Ratajski v Steve Lennon
  • Gerwyn Price v Mickey Mansell
  • James Wade v Ted Evetts
  • Mensur Suljovic v Kim Huybrechts
  • Daryl Gurney v Luke Woodhouse
  • Michael van Gerwen v Luke Humphries
  • Peter Wright v James Wilson
  • Nathan Aspinall v Raymond van Barneveld
  • Jonny Clayton v Ryan Meikle
  • Joe Cullen v Kyle Anderson
  • Vincent van der Voort v Arron Monk
  • Gabriel Clemens v Mark McGeeney
  • Adrian Lewis v Josh Payne
  • William O’Connor v Steve West
  • Jermaine Wattimena v Jamie Hughes
  • Ron Meulenkamp v Rob Cross

Saturday November 23

Second Round (Best of 11 legs)

  • Price/Mansell v Brown/Boulton
  • Wade/Evetts v Beaton/Evans
  • Suljovic/Huybrechts v Noppert/Searle
  • Gurney/Woodhouse v Clemens/McGeeney
  • Lewis/Payne v Van Gerwen/Humphries
  • Wright/Wilson v Dobey/Reyes
  • Aspinall/Van Barneveld v Cullen/Anderson
  • Wattimena/Hughes v Meulenkamp/Cross
  • De Zwaan/Whitlock v Henderson/Joyce
  • Clayton/Meikle v Ward/Labanauskas
  • De Sousa/Richardson v Van den Bergh/Bunting
  • White/Petersen v Van der Voort/Monk
  • Ratajski/Lennon v O’Connor/West
  • Durrant/Baker v Hopp/Klaasen
  • Chisnall/Edgar v Pipe/King
  • M Smith/Schindler v Dolan/R Smith

Sunday November 24

  • Quarter-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
  • Semi-Finals (Best of 21 Legs)
  • Final (Best of 21 legs)

QUICK GLANCE AT THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Venue: Butlin’s Resort, Minehead
Dates: Friday 22.11.2019
Format: Best of 11, 19. 21
Current Champion: Daryl Gurney
Where To Watch: ITV 4
When To Watch: (1245 GMT)

Read More
Grand Slam Of Darts Quarter Finals Betting Tips

Grand Slam Of Darts Quarter Finals Betting Tips

Gerwyn Price Grand Slam of Darts

Tonight sees the last eight starting their play offs in this year’s Grand Slam of Darts after what’s been a first class week of top notch darts so far. Your final eight men are; Dave Chisnall, Glen Durrant, Michael Smith, Peter Wright, Adrian Lewis, Gerwyn Price, Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson.

Site
Bonus
Details
Play
Bet365
Up to
€100
in Bet Credits

BONUS CODE: BET247
  1. Min deposit €5
  2. Up to €100 in Bet Credits
  3. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code BET247 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.

So far, the two to beat, performance wise at least, have been Gerwyn ‘The Iceman’ Price and Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, the latter of who absolutely destroyed world number two Rob Cross on Wednesday evening. The Iceman, on the other hand, won all his group games before making light work of Darren Webster on Thursday as he looks to defend his title.

A look ahead to this weekend’s action

Tonight’s action gets underway at 19.15 on Sky Sports Action when Dave Chisnall steps out against Peter Wright. Both players enjoyed dominant victories in their second round matches and both are looking like something close to their best. Ryan Harrington was Chizzy’s 10-3 victim, the same score line that Snakebite inflicted on Rob Cross.

Seemingly settling down on one set of arrows, Wright wasn’t required to play at his best level to beat Voltage, who faded as the match went on, which is good news for Snakebite’s energy levels. Wright goes into tonight’s match the favourite at 8/11 with Betway, but as well as he’s playing right now, Chizzy’s 11/10 is tempting, especially given Snakebite’s knack of screwing things up for himself.

These two are followed up to the oche by a game that could become a grudge match as there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of love lost between Michael Smith and Glen Durrant for their quarter-final showdown. Their feud stems from Smith’s outspoken views on whether or not Duzza should be competing for the BDO when he has been a PDC man for the past eleven months.

One week ago, in the first round, the pair met with Bully Boy running out the 5-3 winner. Now, they meet again with neither player looking their best in midweek wins over Daryl Gurney and Gabriel Clemens. Smith, the world number three, has yet to win a major title and with each passing tournament there is greater expectation on him to end his drought. Having won once already, there would be little-to-no reason to abandon Smith at this point though. He is 8/11 to win tonight’s match, while Duzza can be backed at 11/10.

Tomorrow, Gerwyn Price takes on Gary Anderson in another grudge match after these two famously fell out in last year’s final, a final that The Iceman won. He’s looking good again and few would back against him here, especially following his 10-1 defeat of Darren Webster.

Anderson, on the other hand, looked to be struggling in his 10-8 comeback victory over Robert Thornton, requiring six match darts before finally stumbling home. The Iceman is 4/6 against The Flying Scotsman’s 6/5 and with good reason.

Michael van Gerwen goes in the last match of the round as the three-times world champion takes on a two times world champion Adrian Lewis. It very nearly wasn’t though as MVG had to fight back to claim this victory after falling behind against Ian ‘Diamond’ White on Thursday night.

Diamond, who had never made it past the quarter finals of a televised event, couldn’t even reach the quarters. This was after soaring ahead but letting himself down on the doubles, missing 22 in total, allowing the best in the world back into the match to win 10-7.

His opponent is former world champion Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis, who came from behind at 9-6 to beat James Wade 10-9. It was hard on Wade who at one point had a 9-6 lead and was firmly in charge of the match.

The Machine missed his bull shot for the match, which let Jackpot back in to win 10-9 and reach his first major TV quarter final since 2017. Mighty Mike is 1/9 to win the match, which is pretty steep but any money spent on Lewis’ 11/2 would still feel wasted.

Outright betting at Betway is as follows; MVG is the odds-on favourite at 4/5, Gerwyn Price 7/1, Peter Wright 7/1, Dave Chisnall 9/1, Michael Smith 9/1, Gary Anderson 10/1, Glen Durrant 14/1 and Adrian Lewis 40/1.

Friday, November 15 (7pm)

  • Dave Chisnall V Peter Wright
  • Michael Smith V Glen Durrant

Saturday November 16 (7pm)

  • Michael Smith V Glen Durrant
  • Michael van Gerwen V Adrian Lewis

Sunday November 17

  • Semi-finals
  • Final
Read More