We profile the reigning world champion and world number one Michael Smith as Bully Boy bids to add the bet365 US Darts Masters to his trophy cabinet in New York this June.
Smith is one of the most gifted arrowsmith’s ever to take to the oche, but for many years it appeared that major trophies would elude the St Helens man.
Bully Boy had previously twice finished runner-up in the World Championships, the 32-year-old had also been a beaten finalist in the Masters, Premier League, European Championships, UK Open and the World Matchplay, leading to questions as to whether he would ever win a major televised title.
However, that all changed when Smith defeated Nathan Aspinall in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton last year. That was followed by a first World Championship title at the turn of the year and the St Helens man has certainly now delivered the big-time titles.
Smith has won 12 Players Championship ranking titles, as well as six times on the European Tour, with the latest of those coming in the recent Dutch Darts Championship, and the 32-year-old is a prolific winner of the PDC floor events.
Smith is currently at the top of the PDC tree. Bully Boy took the number one spot from Michael van Gerwen after his World Championship victory at the start of the year and he doesn’t look likely to relinquish it anytime soon.
It has been a steady rise for the St Helens man, who broke into the world’s top-16 at the end of the 2015 campaign. Smith peaked at number four in 2019 and his ranking remained pretty steady until wins in the Grand Slam and World Championship propelled him to top spot.
Smith is 32-years-old. Bully Boy made his World Championship debut in 2012, where he suffered a first-round defeat, but the St Helens man lifted the World Youth Championship the very next year.
Bully Boy was born in St Helens, Merseyside, England and the 32-year-old still resides in his hometown.
Smith is a huge fan of his local rugby league club St Helens and he will no doubt be hoping that Saints can improve on what has been a pretty ordinary start to the Super League season.
Smith's entrance song is Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon.
Smith is currently top of the PDC’s two-year rankings list, having collected £1,273,250 in prize money. Bully Boy pocketed a cool £500,000 for winning at Alexandra Palace at the turn of the year and that dwarfs the £150,000 that the St Helens man drew when winning the Grand Slam last year.
Smith is assured of a playoff spot in the lucrative Premier League at the end of the month and that may see the 32-year-old further boost his earnings.
Smith throws a set of Unicorn Premier 24g 90% tungsten arrows. The darts hit the target, but Smith’s smooth, rapid and almost effortless throwing style always catches the eye.
The World Championship victory earlier this year is clearly the highlight of Smith’s career, but Bully Boy didn’t just land the title, he did so in style.
He became just the second player to record a nine-dart finish in a PDC World Championship final after Adrian Lewis’s effort in 2011 and it was a magical moment.
The St Helens man won the 2013 World Youth Championship, he was crowned PDC Young Player of the Year in 2014 and earlier this year Smith was nominated for Freedom of the Borough status by St Helens Council for sporting services to his hometown city.