GERWYN PRICE has revealed how darts saved him from a life of trouble following two horrific pub attacks when he was glassed.
The reigning PDC world darts champ, 36, played semi-professional rugby as a hooker up until about eight years ago when he switched to the oche.
In an exclusive documentary for ITV4, the Welshman has spoken for the first time about two separate occasions he was targeted on boozy nights out.
The first incident happened as a teenager when he was glassed in an unprovoked manner.
The second in April 2010, he suffered a brain haemorrhage, nerve damage to an eyebrow and required 42 stitches to his forehand and five to his chin when he was floored by a single blow. His attacker received a 12-month jail term.
In a story by The Sun’s Rob Maul, Price said: “I’d have Wales Under-18s rugby training on a Sunday morning and I’d be out until 1am or 2am drinking.
“Which anybody knows at that level or at that profession you cannot do it.
“Whenever I used to go out, for some reason I’d used to attract trouble or attention from the wrong people.
“I think I used to be a terror for my mum and dad, bless them. That was when I was young and immature.
“There was one time in Bargoed and there was an altercation with two boys outside a pub. One them caught me from the side when I was talking to his mate and I fell over and cut this side of my face, one scar there. I caught my head on a kerb. So that was quite lucky.
“I had this scar from when I was out in Blackwood. I was only 17. I wasn’t supposed to be out drinking or anything.
“I can remember speaking to a boy at the bar. Then out of the blue, for no reason, he pushes a pint glass in my face.
“I cannot be doing with this hassle anymore. I’d rather have an easy life.
“Plus I had kids and I had to settle down. You change a little bit. I have changed for the better.”
World No.1 Price is in candid form while speaking to ITV4 in tomorrow night’s new doc “Against the Odds: Gerwyn Price ? Chancing His Arm”.
Price’s proudest sporting moment, before darts, was scoring a try for Cross Keys as they won the 2012 SWALEC Cup at the Millennium Stadium.
Jamie Roberts, who won 94 caps for Wales, said: “We toured together in Argentina with the Welsh Under-21s.
“I remember him being just determined, a very tough player, he would run into brick walls.
“He’ll have an understanding of what is required to be at his best, physically and mentally, to play darts. No doubt about that. He’ll have learned a lot during his rugby career about sleep, routine, professional habits and that mindset.
“To train when you feel the demons are setting in, when you think ‘I haven’t got this anymore’, and that resilience comes through. He could harness those traits and behaviours which will have benefited his darts.”
Price, who qualified for the PDC Tour in 2014, was involved in controversial scenes during the explosive 2018 Grand Slam of Darts final victory over Gary Anderson in Wolverhampton.
‘Iceman’ Price was later fined a world record fee of £21,500 – later reduced to £11,500 on appeal – for his fiery, OTT antics that night.
But Price says the experience, which saw him booed and jeered by the crowd, made him a better player and was a crucial part of why he won the world title in January 2021.
Popular TV presenter Dave Clark reckons Price’s focus on exercise and physical training could see players put down the pints and focus on the pull-up bars instead.
Clark, who fronted Sky Sports TV coverage of pro darts for 20 years, said: “Not many players have muscles like Gerwyn. Maybe Bobby George back in the day, who was a builder, laying granite floors and doing roofing.
“Maybe in the future we will see darts players looking more like Price without the beer bellies, straight out of the pub.” l Against the Odds: Gerwyn Price – Chancing His Arm will be shown tomorrow night at 10pm, ITV4.
Images by Taylor Lanning.