From worker in abattoir to major winner with cult following: Andrew Gilding meets world number one at World Grand Prix on Friday night

Andrew Gilding has already beaten Rob Cross and Gary Anderson at the World Grand Prix, but can he also hand the World Number One an upset? On Friday night, 'Goldfinger' takes on Michael Smith in the quarter-finals.

"I never thought I would win a major tournament, and now I'm dreaming of winning another, but Michael is playing well. He is so natural and it will be hard to beat him," said Gilding to Sky Sports.

The 52-year-old experienced the absolute highlight of his darts career earlier this year by shocking Michael van Gerwen to win the UK Open title in March.

It earned Gilding the top prize of £110,000, which has now nestled him in the top 20 of the world rankings. A late bloomer in the sport, Gilding has worked in an abattoir and a chicken factory and only got into the sport after joining a pub team after dealing with depression some 20 years ago.

At the time, he bought a set of gold Phil Taylor Phase 5 darts, which also earned him the nickname 'Goldfinger'. Before capturing the UK Open title, Gilding lived in a one-room flat owned by Suffolk council but now he can afford something bigger.

"In all my games lately, I've just been capitalizing on my opponents' mistakes," admitted Gilding.

"I did the same in the UK Open, to be honest. I didn't play that well through the tournament, I was just there when I needed to be.

Gilding has developed a cult status among darts fans since he won the UK Open and fans are calling for him to be included in next year's Premier League Darts.

"It's great, I like it. I notice in the crowd now that there's people cheering for me and I try to acknowledge them," he added.

Read more about:
PDC UK Open Andrew Gilding

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments