• Darts

Van Gerwen named Player of the Year

ESPN staff
January 21, 2014
Van Gerwen celebrating his status as world champion © PA Photos

New world champion Michael van Gerwen was named PDC Player of the Year as he capped an incredible year with a treble of accolades at the Professional Darts Corporation's award ceremony.

In the last 12 months the Dutchman has tasted victory at the Premier League Darts, Players Championship Finals and Dubai Darts Masters, and risen to number one in the PCD Order of Merit - all on top of his triumph at the PDC World Darts Championship on New Year's Day.

And the 24-year-old's accolades continued at the award ceremony at The Dorchester in London on Monday night, as he claimed the prestigious PDC Player of the Year gong ahead of 16-time world champion Phil Taylor, 2013 Masters finalist Adrian Lewis and Dave Chisnall.

Van Gerwen was also named the ProTour Player of the Year and PDC Fans' Player of the Year - and admitted the awards make him more determined than ever to stay at world No. 1.

"It's been an amazing year for me and I'd like to thank everyone who has made this happen, because this is a fantastic moment for me to be named as Player of the Year," Van Gerwen said.

"I've worked so hard for this and to be world champion and number one in the world is amazing. I know what it's like to be ranked number 35 in the world and I've put a lot of work in to get to where I am now.

"I want to stay here but I know it will be very difficult this year."

Peter Wright, the man who Van Gerwen toppled to claim his world championship crown, edged out the Dutchman to win the PDC's Most Improved Player, and also scooped the PDPA Player of the Year accolade.

Wright rose from 26th to seventh in the PDC Order of Merit during 2013.

"I'm a bit lost for words to win two awards," Wright said.

"I'd said at the start of last year that I wanted to follow the example of Michael van Gerwen in moving up the rankings, and I've done that in some way by getting to seventh.

"I want to move higher now and my next target is to get to number one in the world - but I'll enjoy these awards for now!"

Reigning youth champion Michael Smith was also named the PDC's Young Player of the Year, while former Sky Sports commentator John Gwynne was inducted into the PDC Hall of Fame.

Peter Wright's breakthrough year was recognised with two awards © PA Photos
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