”At the minute I’m on a massive rollercoaster and I’m loving every minute”
Team Unicorn star Michael Smith has been named PDC Player of the Year as part of the 2022 PDC Annual Awards, scooping a hat-trick of honours following his sensational success over the last 12 months.
Newly-crowned World Champion Smith, who also celebrated Grand Slam of Darts and US Darts Masters glory in 2022, pipped Michael van Gerwen to the prestigious award.
Smith received global acclaim following his Alexandra Palace exploits, which saw him land an astonishing nine-darter en route to victory over Van Gerwen in an epic final on January 3.
The 32-year-old also appeared in UK Open and European Championship finals in 2022, while celebrating three Players Championship wins and a European Tour success at the Dutch Darts Championship.
Smith’s treble success in the 2022 PDC Annual Awards also saw him crowned Selco Fans’ Player of the Year and PDPA Players’ Player of the Year.
The world number one received almost 60% of the vote from a record number of fans who took part in the Selco Fans’ Player of the Year poll, while he claimed 40% of the votes from his fellow professionals.
“To pick up three awards shows I’m doing something right!” joked Smith, who joins the likes of Van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and Gerwyn Price in claiming multiple awards in one year.
“At the minute I’m on a massive rollercoaster and I’m loving every minute. I’ve put so much hard work in and I’m getting rewarded for it now.
“The fans’ award is one of the special ones, because they have lived it with me. They have felt the heartache I’ve felt, and they felt the joy when I won it. It feels really special.
“I won the Players’ Player of the Year in 2019, so to win my second one, I must be one of the players that people enjoy watching!
“I’m lost for words really. To win awards like this is amazing, but the hard work starts now. That was for 2022, and now I’ve got to work even harder in 2023.”
Story courtesy of PDC. Image Taylor Lanning.