England’s recent win over Croatia was a landmark moment for the author of this piece, not because of the win or the thrill of Harry Kane’s late winner, but because of Jadon Sancho. The young winger came on in the second half and Martin Tyler duly announced to the TV audience that Sancho was born in the year 2000.
That’s right, a current England international was born when I was 9-years-old, and it was at that moment that my faint dream of being a late blooming professional ended. No glory, no riches, just a kick about on a terrible pitch every Saturday to look forward to.
With that I also realised that my dreams of becoming a rich businessman also looked incredibly slim. So how can I becoming a sporting star and earn loads of money at the age of 27 with a limited physique?
By playing darts of course. After all most of my spare time is spent in the pub, so I may as well make use of that by taking to the oche. With a bit of practice and a bit of effort, I could go on to make as much money as some of these legends…
Phil “The Power” Taylor
The most successful man in darts history retired from the oche earlier this year after a career that spanned over three decades. Taylor, from Stoke-on-Trent won his first world title in 1990 and his retired in 2018, finishing as runner-up in the PDC World Darts Championship.
When Taylor beat darts legend Eric Bristow in the 1990 final he pocketed a paltry £24,000 in prize money. However the growth in popularity of the game has seen Taylor’s winnings increase exponentially.
In total Taylor has scooped over £8 million in prize money throughout his career, putting him on par with some Premier League players.
Michael Van Gerwen
The current world number one began playing darts at the tender of age of 13, and in just four years the Dutchman had won the World Masters. Since 2006 Van Gerwen has won an incredible amount of titles and thrown a couple of tasty nine dart finishes.
Luckily for Van Gerwen his rise to prominence came around the same time as the injection of money into the game. In total Van Gerwen has earned just below £6 million from prize money, and with plenty of time left in his career he will undoubtedly eclipse Phil Taylor’s career earnings.
The 28-year-old former electrician Rob Cross recently won his first world championship, beating the outgoing Phil Taylor. His exploits this year have moved him to world number three and look to have set him up for a lucrative career.
His estimated career earnings to date are just over £900,000 but if he manages to retain the level of consistency he has displayed in the last 12 months, his net worth will go through the roof.
Something that I neglected to mention in the introduction is just how much time, effort and dedication it takes to become even an average darts player. With that in mind, my hopes of making a fortune from the game seem slim!