Daily Mirror


Anderson calls for crowd to behave as he renews Price rivalry


GARY ANDERSON locks horns again with Gerwyn Price at the Grand Slam of Darts tonight, five years after their infamously bad-tempered final – and is asking fans to lay off the boos.

The Flying Scotsman has won nearly every major prize in darts, except the nine-day slog in Wolverhamp­ton – where their jostling finale in 2018 earned Price a record fine, and Anderson a warning from the Darts Regulation Authority.

That year, Scotland’s twotime world champion had already survived the evil fragrance of ‘Fartgate’ in an earlier group match with Wesley Harms. The Dutch star had accused Anderson of breaking wind on stage, though a security guard later admitted it was he who had caused the stink.

Then came the big bust-up with Price (right) – but the pair have long since settled their difference­s, and now Anderson is preaching harmony.

His Welsh opponent – ‘The Iceman’ – has been singled out for hostile treatment by crowds in the past, but Anderson said: “I hope it’s a good game against Gezzy – I hope the crowd are not bad and they let us play darts. The best man will win it. “Nae bother from the crowd, it’s bad enough these days. “That final is donkey’s years ago, and water under the bridge.

“He’s really playing well now, I’ve got to up my game or he’s got to drop his game – one of the two!

“Over the past two games he’s been fantastic, so it’s going to be a hard one.”

But Anderson, 52, has not given up hope of turning his enviable record in the group stage into reaching a third final in the Black Country, and added: “Make no mistake – I don’t just want to win the Grand Slam, I’d LOVE to win it.

“It’s always been my favourite tournament.

“Apparently I’ve been at the Slam for 15 years out of 16 and I’ve got through the group every time. I’m still playing well, I’m still banging in big averages of 106 and 104, so my form is still there. The way I’m playing I can beat anybody.”

Three-time runner-up James Wade, whose 5-1 win against Michael Smith on Monday night dumped the reigning world champion out of the tournament, takes on Chris Dobey in the knockout stage tonight.

Wade, ‘The Machine’, turned 40 in April and is still a very gritty competitor, with almost 20 years experience on the Profession­al Darts Corporatio­n circuit.

He said: “I’ve not got a lot to prove, I know what I’m capable of. Some people who haven’t won quite as much get more media coverage. I’m not envious or jealous, but I am here as well.”

Flying Scotsman Anderson hopes rowdy fans don’t ruin battle with Price
NOISE CONTROL Flying Scotsman Anderson hopes rowdy fans don’t ruin battle with Price
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