St Helens and England star Alex Walmsley has paid tribute to new PDC world champion Michael Smith after the local boy beat Michael van Gerwen to win his first world title on Tuesday.
Walmsley met up with Smith after ‘Bully Boy’ was invited to the Totally Wicked Stadium following his wonderful 7-4 victory in the World Championship Final, which included a nine-dart finish in probably the greatest leg of darts ever played.
And the superstar prop forward, who has been a key part of the Saints squad which has won four Betfred Super League titles in succession and will be aiming for a fifth in 2023, told Smith how much the darts champ’s support to the cause means to the rugby league giants.
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“It was one of those iconic moments in sporting history and it was just a privilege to watch,” Walmsley explained in a meeting captured by Betfred. “We’ve had some successes here as a club and obviously you’ve admired those successes and talked me through what it means to be a Saints lad and what these trophies mean to you as well.
“It’s a privilege to be here with you and to have watched you on Tuesday night. From everyone at the club and the town of St Helens, we’re proud of you and hopefully it’s the start of many.”
Smith has said he is keen to build on his first world title win after years of battling to get to the top, and he insists that he wants to emulate his favourite club’s level of success having been in the crowd when they beat Leeds Rhinos in September’s Betfred Super League Grand Final.
“I was there at Old Trafford watching us do four in a row and winning everything… to finally get here with my trophy as the world number one and world champion, this is a big dream for me,” Smith said.
“Hopefully I can emulate Saints and win four in a row! I just want to dominate the sport, I want to be like a Van Gerwen or a Phil Taylor, I want to win everything I play in. I know I might not be successful in that, but I’ll die trying I know that for a fact. You just never write off a Saint, do you?!”
Smith will return to the big stage at the Cazoo Masters in Milton Keynes, beginning with a second-round clash against either Damon Heta or Ross Smith on January 28.
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