Gerwyn Price admits he didn’t instantly know who his top fan Hollywood A-lister Matthew McConaughey was!
The World No.3 Welshman was tweeted by the Dazed and Confused superstar after he retained his Grand Prix title last November.
McConaughey tweeted: “Big ups to the Iceman @Gezzyprice for taking out MVG (Michael Van Gerwen) and the Eagle to win his second consecutive GSD.”
But Price revealed: “It was pretty cool. I’m rubbish with names and I didn’t know who he was until I Googled it.
“I did know who he was to look at. It was great for someone of his calibre to tweet me and say all the best or whatever.”
Such an acknowledgment underlines how Price has been the biggest story of the past 18 months on the oche.
He has left his rivals dazed and confused many times to become the box office blockbuster of the bullseyes.
But it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the ex-Neath, Cross Keys and Glasgow Warriors hooker. It’s been a hard slog as the biggest villain of the oche and Price admits he has the battle scars to show for it.
He said: “Some people still don’t like the way I am on stage. I just go up there to do whatever I can to win. I never go up there to cheat or anything, I just do whatever I can do the best I can.
“Sometimes it’s not to everyone’s taste but it gets me going. But I think I’ve got over that barrier now. There’s a few there who don’t want to accept it but that’s up to them.
“I am going to be here for quite a while so it’s something that people have to deal with. I’ve had to put up with a lot of rubbish over the last 18 months.
“In 2019 in the Premier League and Grand Prix it was hard. Just after the Grand Slam in 2018 when I played Gary Anderson and then the Worlds I was 2-0 up against Nathan Aspinall and end up losing 3-2. I think that was the fault of the crowd for being the way they were.
“I had to deal with those situations and I think I did that quite well. If anything it’s made me into a better player. Even though I was having all those boos, it was the best year I ever had.
“That pushed me right up to World No.3. I’m not saying I want that every year but it certainly helped me become a stronger player.
“I’ve got deep scars a lot of other players haven’t got. When it comes to those times when you have to pull things out the bag, it helps.”
Price is all rippling muscles and let-ripping mouthy on stage, but he has become the most compelling player to watch.
But he’s walking the walk to match the talk. After defeating Gary Anderson in ill-tempered fashion to secure his first ever PDC major in 2018, the former rugby player cheekily quipped that he was pinching money from the pockets of darts professionals.
Now he has two major PDC title victories to his name and has earned a staggering £762,750 in prize money over the last two years.
He’s now one of the hottest properties in world darts and currently the biggest rival to World No.1 Van Gerwen – and he wants that top spot.
He added: “Since the Grand Slam I’ve done really well. I think I should have got to the World final, things happened and I left that behind me.
“I’ve now had eight or nine tournaments this year and I’ve reached the finals in most or if not lost to the player who went on to win it.
“I’ve had a really good start to the year but maybe in the tournaments I was runner-up in I should have won.
“In the Players Championship against Peter Wright I should have done that, even though we played some great stuff against each other. I think we both finished on 109 or 110 averages.
“But halfway through that game I bombed opportunities. I had more chances to break him than he did me. That was another one that got away.
“The UK Open final I should have won quite easily if I’d hit my doubles. But that’s the game, if you don’t take your chances you don’t win. At 5-2 up Michael wasn’t in the game, I just let him off the hook a little bit.
“I relatively new in the PDC and to rise up to World No.3 I’m very happy. Obviously I’m looking forward to going up to No.2 or No.1 by the end of this year which I never thought I’d be saying in a million years.
“I’ve done well, if I was never to go further in the rankings or win another major, I’ve done alright.
“But I’m in tournaments to win them. I was just a rugby player pinching money out of the pros pockets. I’m now a professional darts player how and I deserve to be where I am.”
With the darts schedule on lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis, Price now admits that his life is all about doubling…and decking.
He added: “It’s a bit boring. I’m not the sort of player to stand there for six or seven hours. Being on the road all the time is my practice. I keep my arm in when I’m home for maybe an hour a day but that’s it. Maybe I’ll start to hit some doubles if I have to practice more!
“We don’t get many breaks so to have this extended time off, I don’t know what to do with myself.
“I’ve got some work to do in the garden but the weather’s not the best so I can’t even do that right now. I’m just stuck in the house eating my own body weight in food!
“I like doing the odd jobs and getting things done. I’ve got to finish the decking out the back and some walls need doing plus a steel fence.”
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)