Bates on rise of Price to becoming World Champion and World Number One: "You could see it from day one"
Bates was one of the reasons that Price attempted Q-School which saw him win through claim his Tour Card and achieve subsequent success.
Speaking to Metro, 'Champagne' said you could see from the start how good he was despite not being from a darting background.
"I don’t know exactly when I first met him, but the time I really started to notice him was the year before Q School," Bates said to Metro.co.uk.
"We’d both be at tournaments and he’d keep winning them! Fair play to him. ‘We started going to tournaments together and me and him would get to the final."
"You could see how good he was and I got on at him about going to Q School. He was still doing well in rugby then and that’s what he wanted to do, but I nagged him and nagged him. I said: ‘Then when he got his card I told him it was £105 to enter each tournament. He wouldn’t have gone if I told him that!"
"You could see it from day one, it was mainly because how dedicated he was," he added. "It didn’t matter who he played, you couldn’t put him off. Maybe it was the rugby background in him. But it’s the dedication, even when he’s practicing, you should see him when he practices, he plays like the wind."
"He shouts a lot, but he’s like that with everyone, he does it to get himself going, it’s not to put anyone off. If he played me, one of his best friends, he’d be exactly the same against me as he would against his enemy.
That’s what I liked about him, he was dedicated and we’re not friends on the board, he was there to win. You could just see it in him and fair play to the boy. He knuckled down, finished rugby and look where he is"