PDC Awards quartet for Price as Hearn inducted into Hall of Fame.
Gerwyn Price scooped four Player of the Year trophies as he dominated the PDC Annual Awards, with Damon Heta, Dave Chisnall and Callan Rydz also recognised alongside Barry Hearn OBE’s induction into the PDC Hall of Fame.
Welshman Price capped a brilliant 12 months with World Championship glory earlier in January, claiming the world number one spot in the process. Price also won the World Cup of Darts for Wales alongside Jonny Clayton, picked up the World Grand Prix and World Series of Darts Finals titles and took victory in the Belgian Darts Championship and four Players Championships.
Price scooped the top honour of being named as Selco Player of the Year ahead of nominees Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Jose de Sousa to mark his achievements in a memorable 12 months. He was also voted by an overwhelming majority of his fellow professionals as the PDPA Players’ Player of the Year with over 75% of the votes, with Grand Slam of Darts winner De Sousa finishing second.
Price also picked up over 32% of the vote as he won the Just Eat Fans’ Player of the Year award ahead of Dirk van Duijvenbode (26%) and Dimitri Van den Bergh (14%). The 35-year-old completed a quartet of awards by being named ProTour Player of the Year, having earned £96,750 from his five wins on the European Tour and Players Championship circuit, topping the one-year rankings ahead of Peter Wright and Van Gerwen.
“It means the world to have a clean sweep and to know that I have played well over the last 12 months,” said Price. “It’s been a decent year! “The fans’ award means more to me than anything I think. I’ve had them on my back for the last two-and-a-half years but that means everything. I’ve played pretty well this year but it’s something I didn’t think I’d win and I appreciate it.
“To have the top pros all voting for you [too], showing the respect that I probably deserve for the way I’ve played over the last 12 months [is] an important one to win. “I’ve been playing pretty consistently this year. I tapered off I think in the Grand Slam and Players Championship Finals, I wasn’t 100 percent, but I still got to the latter stages and was still playing half-decent, but overall over the 12 months I’ve played pretty decent.
“I think I won the most tournaments this year, which if you’d told me seven years ago that I’d be doing that and getting to world number one and winning the World Championship – dreams come true. It’s something I never even thought of, let alone dreamed about. “I need to try and back this up as well, I’m not resting now that I’ve won the Worlds. I’ve reflected and it’s made me a big hungrier.”
Heta saw his maiden season on the professional circuit recognised with the Moneybarn Best Newcomer award, with the Australian having won a Players Championship and reached quarter-finals at the World Cup, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championship Finals.
“I’m pumped – it’s ace!” said Heta. “It obviously means a lot and I believe I could have done more – and I’m going to do my best again [this year].” Rydz was named as the Unicorn Young Player of the Year following a strong debut season on the PDC ProTour, a victory on the Development Tour and runs to the last 16 of the Players Championship Finals and last 64 of the World Championship.
“For me to win this award, it’s unbelievable,” said Rydz. “It was surreal just to be nominated, never mind to win the award. It gives me a bit more confidence going into the year. “I got on the tour this year and I didn’t have a good start but towards the end of the year I really did play some good stuff.”
Chisnall’s outstanding performance to defeat Michael van Gerwen 5-0 in the World Championship quarter-finals was named as the Toyo Tires Televised Performance of the Year, recognising a stunning display in the sport’s biggest tournament.
PDC chairman Barry Hearn OBE becomes the 17th inductee into the PDC Hall of Fame to recognised his contribution across over two decades in the sport. Hearn’s arrival as PDC chairman in 2001 has been followed by a huge period of worldwide growth for the sport and record growth of prize funds in the professional game.
“It’s lovely and as I suppose as you get older you treasure these moments even more,” said Hearn. “I’m happy to be there with some of those legends who have already been inducted, and it gives you a good feeling.
“To stand alongside those other legends is a source of pride, of course, and I think they would agree that it’s not the individuals, it’s the collective attitude of the PDC, the family, that really believes in what we’re doing.
“If I look back on my life, my involvement in the PDC has probably been one of, if not the most successful sides of my promotional sporting life. “To have the opportunity to take a game ridiculed in some quarters and to make it into this major international global sport, where TV viewing figures are generally only beaten by football, is huge.
“Where we’ve come from as individuals and as a sport is a testament on what hard work and discipline and sacrifice can do, and there’s a message there for everyone.
“We’ve been on a wonderful journey; the journey is still in progress but we’ve changed the world of sport through darts. Twenty years ago that journey began, and I think the induction into the PDC Hall of Fame is a pat on the back that we all share.”
The PDC Annual Awards also welcomes into the Nine-Dart Club any player to achieve a nine-darter in a PDC event during the previous year, with televised perfect legs recognised with a gold pin badge and players who hit a non-televised nine-darter receiving a silver pin badge.
PDC Annual Awards
PDC Hall of Fame:
Barry Hearn OBE
Gold Pin Badges
- Michael Smith – Unibet Premier League
- Jonny Clayton – Ladbrokes UK Open
- Michael van Gerwen – Ladbrokes UK Open
- Peter Wright – Unibet Premier League
- Jose de Sousa – Unibet European Championship
- James Wade – William Hill World Championship
Silver Pin Badges
- Andy Jenkins – PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour Event Three
- Mickey Mansell – Players Championship One
- Mike van Duivenbode – Players Championship One
- Keegan Brown – Players Championship Two
- Scott Baker – Players Championship Two
- Nathan Aspinall – Players Championship Two
- Steve West – ET2 TCH Qualifier
- Mensur Suljovic – Players Championship Three
- Danny Noppert – Players Championship Three
- Steve Lennon – Players Championship Five
- Michael van Gerwen – Players Championship Six
- Luke Woodhouse – Unibet Home Tour Group Two
- Rob Cross – PDC Summer Series Day Four (PC12)
- Darren Webster – PDC Summer Series Day Five (PC13)
- Carl Wilkinson – PDC Autumn Series Day One (PC14)
- James Wade – PDC Autumn Series Day Four (PC17)
- Devon Petersen – PDC Autumn Series Day Five (PC18)
- Moreno Blom – PDC Unicorn Development Tour Event Eight
- Robbie Ellis – PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour Event Eight
- Daniel Larsson – PDC Home Tour III Group Two
- Andy Hamilton – PDC Winter Series Day Two (PC20)
- Rowby-John Rodriguez – PDC Winter Series Day Two (PC20)
- Nick Kenny – PDC Winter Series Day Three (PC21)
ProTour Player of the Year:
Moneybarn Best Newcomer:
Jason Lowe, Callan Rydz, Martijn Kleermaker
Toyo Tires Televised Performance of the Year:
Dave Chisnall v Michael van Gerwen, World Championship
Peter Wright – Premier League (Exeter)
Michael van Gerwen – UK Open semi-finals
Simon Whitlock – World Grand Prix quarter-finals
Jose de Sousa – Grand Slam final
Just Eat Fans’ Player of the Year:
Second: Dirk van Duijvenbode
Third: Dimitri Van den Bergh
PDPA Players’ Player of the Year:
Second: Jose de Sousa
Joint Third: Dirk van Duijvenbode & Dimitri Van den Bergh
Unicorn Young Player of the Year:
Nominated: Ryan Meikle, Bradley Brooks, Keane Barry
PDC Player of the Year:
Nominated: Peter Wright, Michael van Gerwen, Jose de Sousa