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Michael Smith v Michael van Gerwen: The greatest leg of all-time - 2023 World Darts Championship Final

Relive the magic and unparalleled drama of the 2023 World Darts Championship final through the eyes of the man himself, the reigning world champion, Michael Smith.

In a final that exceeded all of the pre-match hype, ‘Bully Boy’ fulfilled his darting destiny by becoming world champion, defeating three-time title holder, and odds-on favourite, Michael van Gerwen in an all-time classic encounter.

The St Helens ace, who had only secured his maiden televised title a couple of weeks prior at the Grand Slam of Darts, landed an incredible nine-dart finish on his way to capturing the coveted Sid Waddell trophy on a night that he, and millions more, will never forget.

Smith struck perfection in the second set to crucially break throw, just moments after MVG has had missed double 12 for the holy grail himself in a leg that has since been described as the best of all-time!

"It's mad to think this happened so early on in the game," Smith told bet365 in an exclusive interview. "I remember as soon as he had missed his dart at the double, I gave him a quick 'unlucky mate', and thought to myself, 'hold my pint, this is how you do it properly!'

"It was incredible, and it wasn't until I got back to my room after the match that I actually realised how special this leg was. The commentary absolutely makes it - it's absolutely tremendous; it just makes it even more special!

"I was a bit irked though as he didn't even shake my hand after I landed it!"

Michael Smith

Incredibly, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, at 6-4 up, and throwing to become world champion for the very first time, Smith teed himself up for a second nine-dart finish... landing six perfect darts in the treble 20 bed.

"I've never had two nine-darters in one game, or even on the same day when I have been practising," he smiled. "I wasn't thinking about the nine-darter after my first three darts in the second set, but I was thinking about it in this one.

"As soon as the first three went in I was thinking of that next 180, which I got, but I felt the pressure when I went for that seventh treble. When I missed I had to make sure I set myself up with a routine finish.

"I had to take that 32 out with three darts because Michael was sat on 170, and I just knew that he would take that out; thankfully he didn't get the chance to."

We sat down with ‘Bully Boy’ in the build-up to the forthcoming Alexandra Palace spectacular to recall the key moments of his success 12 months ago and find out why becoming the world number one actually meant more to him than becoming world champion.

Smith also speaks openly and emotionally about the impact that his heart-breaking 2022 final defeat to Peter Wright had upon both himself and his family, and how those shared tears served to inspire him to his finest hour against 'Mighty Mike' just 12 months later.

Watch the full video at the top of the page
 

World Darts Championship

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