By Phil Lanning
GARY ANDERSON has kicked off 2022 with the backing of former Arbroath defender George Rowe.
The Flying Scotsman reached the semi-finals of the World Championship earlier this month, losing out to eventual winner and fellow Dartan Army ace Peter Wright.
But Ando, 51, who got married just after his Ally Pally run ended, starts his year off with ex-Lichtie star Rowe’s company MegaTech Projects backing him to score success on the big stage.
Anderson plays either Joe Cullen or Daryl Gurney in his Ladbrokes Masters opener tomorrow (Sat) night and revealed: “It’s always special to get a new backer and George is a great guy. He knows what it is like to succeed in sport and he wants Scottish players to go all the way. I’m all for that too.
“Our stable has got some great players at Dunvegan. Tommy Gilmour is pushing for more Scottish talent and we’re getting there.
“The funny thing is that I’m the Flying Scotsman and MegaTech makes train platforms out of polystyrene. It really is a mega partnership.”
Two-time World Champ Anderson also secretly got hitched to long-time partner Rachel while on holiday after the Worlds.
He added: “I didn’t want a big fuss but we wanted a special day for Rachel so a destination wedding was ideal.
“Then we surprised everyone who thought it was a surprise party for me. It was great fun. It had to be postponed for a year due to Covid so it was as hard for us to keep it secret from all the guests as it was for them to keep it from me!”
Rowe is a legend at Arbroath with a couple of stints at Gayfield and still supports the club with MegaTech Projects backing local youth side Arbroath Harp Amateur & Youth Football Club. Now he is sponsoring top darts stars as well.
He added: “It’s purely for the love of darts. To be involved in elite sport is massive, it gives me that adrenaline rush which I’ve not had since I stopped playing football.
“We also sponsor Arbroath and it was brilliant to watch Alan Soutar’s run at the Ally Pally.
“We wanted to be involved with Tommy Gilmour and Dunvegan to give the Scottish boys as much backing as possible.
“Gary Anderson obviously did well also at the Worlds. Now we want the likes of Cammy Menzies, Jamie Clark and Adam Hunt to do well. It would be great if they can do the same.
“If you sponsor someone and they do well it does give you a wee buzz. So there’s now reason why Cammy and Jamie can’t repeat what Alan did in his first year in the PDC now they have their tour cards.
“It’s great to be involved with Tommy and Stephanie at Dunvegan. They’ve got a long history in sport in Scotland and we can give these players as much assistance as we can.
“We design and build railway stations out of polystyrene. I’m a chartered surveyor but it was interesting to say the least, that’s why I got involved. We’ve been going for 12 years.
“The biggest benefit is how we can help sportsmen and with charities like Calum’s Cabin and Back On Side, we managed to donate £100,000 to charity throughout 2020.
“Back On Side, who aim to promote the importance of sport, music, drama and art to mental health and wellbeing have done an incredible job in a year which has seen a sharp rise in those struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.
“Calum’s Cabin have also continued through the pandemic providing accommodation and respite for families with children undergoing cancer treatment throughout Scotland.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.