MICHAEL van Gerwen admits he doesn’t know the person who put him on the road to darting domination.
A Sky Sports sound engineer made the decision to change MVG’s walk-on in 2012 from a anonymous dance track to The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army.
Almost immediately the fans started chanting ‘Oh Michael van Gerwen’ in time with the beat during his walk-ons and matches.
Van Gerwen was blown away by this sudden adulation, his confidence boomed and he went from World No38 to No4 in 12 months.
Three years on and MVG is very much the man to beat after smashing records throughout this latest Premier League campaign.
But is it all down to that Sky Sports engineer?
He said: “I honestly never have found out who changed my walk-on or why. But I’d like to shake that person’s hand.
“It did make a huge different at the time. But of course, I have had to throw the darts, practice all the time and win the matches.
“However, that White Stripes walk-on gave me confidence at a vital time. The boost when I needed it. Since then it’s been all me!
“The fans have been fantastic to me. I love the chant and to look out and the sea of green shirts. It’s very special.
“Part of that is down to that sound person at Sky Sports. Maybe that person would want 10 per cent of my earnings if I found out who it was. But I can afford that!”
MVG faces Adrian Lewis in his semi-final at the O2 and is determined to this time not be pipped by defending Premier League and World Champion Gary Anderson.
Despite the Dutchman’s darting dominance of the past two years – and his comfortable status as World No1 – Ando has won the biggies with the PL and world titles.
Anderson and Phil Taylor have also claimed throughout this league campaign that MVG had peaked too soon and could suffer burn out before the O2.
He said: “They can say what they want. It is all about me and what I do that counts. They are worried about me, that’s why they talk about me all the time, in every interview.
“I’m also not worried what has happened in history. I’m only bothered what happens today and tomorrow and that starts against Adrian at the O2 on Thursday.”
MVG even admits that the O2 may be a bit like after the Lord Mayor’s Show compared to the raucous Rotterdam last week.
He added: “I felt under more pressure than the World Championship final. I think I will feel under less stress at the O2 on Thursday.
“But obviously my main goal now is to win the title. It means nothing all this unless I win the actual title.
“It shows No1 to No4 in the rankings and this is going to be a great O2. I will be ready for Adrian. I hope it’s more tears of joy next week.
“I won my first Premier League at the O2. I can still remember the 132 finish against Phil, it is a very special venue to me.
I’m going to play Adrian and I can’t wait. This is what makes sport great, big games, big venues, big crowds. It’s so amazing.”
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