Twelve months ago Gary Anderson was in danger in dropping out of the top 16 in world ranking of the PDC.
A year later the Flying Scotsman has moved up to third and fulfilled his darting destiny beating Phil Taylor in a final set decider to win the world championship and silence the doubters.
“You can’t please everybody and somebody will always be on your back about something so it was nice and I was just so glad to get my hands on that trophy,” said Anderson.
The final was one of the greatest ever as Anderson came up against 16 times world champion Taylor.
“At 6-4 up I felt comfy and at 6-6 I never felt comfy, going into the last I won the first leg and that settled me right down,” he recalled. “In the second leg Phil missed a few doubles and in the third leg I kicked off with a 180 which just settled me down.”
Anderson took out double 12 to seal the crown.
“I not a big celebrator, I’m one of these folk that wins a tournament and thinks, ‘that’s it, on to the next one’. I don’t sit and think about it - I have been too busy. I was just delighted to get my hands on the trophy.”
Anderson warmed up for the world championship by winning the Players Championship Final in November at Minehead with a tournament average of 104.
“I’d put in a good year to finish No1 in the Players Championships and I went to Minehead and seen the draw and it was the worst one you could probably imagine; I had Christian Kist in the first round and it just got harder and harder, I played well and it set me up for the world championship.”
He arrives in Belfast this week sitting fifth in the Premier League after a 7-5 win over Taylor and a 7-1 victory over Wright but lost last week to van Gerwen.
Anderson faces a resurgent James Wade at the Odyssey on Thursday and ‘The Machine’ is in fourth after a win and two draws.
“I was a sick as a pig last week because I outscored Michael, I was having three clear darts at double and I was making a complete mess of it. To be honest I was really tired last week and it was really catching up.
“I have been on the practice board having shot round the doubles and they are fine again so I can have that one,” added the affable Scot.
“James is going along fine and he is the type of person if you get a shot against him you have to take it out because if you miss he’ll finish it and you can afford to give him a chance.