World number one Michael van Gerwen was named as the PDC Player of the Year at the annual PDC Awards Evening at The Dorchester on Monday evening, as newly crowned world champion Rob Cross scooped four trophies to cap off his stunning debut year as a professional.
Van Gerwen followed up his 2017 World Championship triumph by enjoying another year of darting dominance- winning a total of 18 titles throughout the calendar year. ‘The Green Machine’ retained his Premier League, Masters and Grand Slam titles, whilst he also won a fourth successive European Championship crown.
Van Gerwen also claimed his second World Cup title alongside Raymond van Barneveld and his incredible achievements saw him crowned PDC Player of the Year for the third year in succession.
MvG claimed: “I had a fabulous year. Rob Cross did phenomenally last year but I still had a good year and I won 18 tournaments and I’m happy to win this award. I will keep believing in myself this year and I’m still in good form. I know I can do a little bit better but I will celebrate this award first and then prepare for the tournaments coming up.”
Nevertheless, whilst Van Gerwen claimed the showpiece award, the night was dominated by newly crowned world champion Rob Cross, who was rewarded for his meteoric rise by scooping four trophies.
The Hastings star, who only joined the PDC Pro Tour circuit in 2017, was named as the PDC Best Newcomer, after winning four Players Championship titles, reaching the final of the European Championship and most notably, claiming World Championship glory on New Year’s Day.
‘Voltage’ was comprehensively voted as PDC Fans’ Player of the Year, whilst his staggering achievements were also acknowledged by his fellow professionals, who voted him as PDPA Players’ Player of the Year.
However, Cross wasn’t finished there. He also received the award for Televised Performance of the Year, following his epic sudden-death leg victory over Van Gerwen in last month’s World Championship semi-finals, in arguably the greatest game ever seen on the Alexandra Palace stage.
Cross proudly admitted: “It’s amazing to get four awards. This time I was practising and I knew I had a big year coming up but I progressed nicely and you couldn’t have scripted it.
“I’ve still got to get used to being World Champion, but in my eyes I’m still learning and I feel I can get better. To get the Players’ Player of the Year award is unreal, and to get this reaction from the fans too is fantastic.”
Elsewhere, world number two Peter Wright was awarded the title of PDC Pro Tour Player of the Year. ‘Snakebite’ lifted five European Tour titles, won three of the six UK Open qualifiers in February and also claimed a Players Championship crown, which saw him leapfrog Gary Anderson to become the new Scottish number one.
Meanwhile, World Youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh received the accolade of PDC Young Player of the Year. ‘The Dream-Maker’ enjoyed a stunning 2017; reaching the quarter-finals of the World Series Finals, winning the World Youth title, before reaching the World Championship last eight, where he lost 5-4 to eventual winner Cross.
However, the night began with a new induction into the PDC Hall of Fame, which deservedly went to Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark. This accolade recognised Clark’s incredible contribution to the sport of darts, having flawlessly presented coverage of major televised tournaments for over 15 years.
Clark was also recognised for his magnificent work in raising awareness and funds for Parkinson’s UK, of which he is a superb ambassador. He reflected: “I’m absolutely touched and it’s amazing. I’m very emotional and it’s been fantastic so far- and I hope to be around for a long time yet.”
Finally, players who achieved perfect nine-dart legs in PDC tournaments during 2017 were recognised with places in the PDC Nine-Dart Club. Adrian Lewis and Kyle Anderson received a commemorative gold-pin badge for their televised nine-darters in the Premier League and the European Championship respectively.
Additionally, silver pin badges were presented to 25 other players who landed nine-dart finishes in non-televised events, including Van Gerwen, Wright, Mensur Suljovic, Dave Chisnall and both Kim and Ronny Huybrechts. The full list of awards and nominations from the 2018 PDC Awards Dinner can be viewed below.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
2018 PDC Annual Awards
PDC Hall of Fame Induction
Dave Clark – Sky Sports Darts Presenter
ProTour Player of the Year
Winner: Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen
PDC Best Newcomer
Winner: Rob Cross
Televised Performance of the Year
Winner: Rob Cross, World Championship semi-finals v Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright, Premier League (Exeter) v Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor, World Matchplay final v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen, World Championship second round v James Wilson
PDC Fans’ Player of the Year
Winner: Rob Cross
PDPA Players’ Player of the Year
Winner: Rob Cross
PDC Nine-Dart Club
Gold Pins: Adrian Lewis, Kyle Anderson
Silver Pins: Robert Allenstein, Kyle Anderson, Steve Beaton, Dave Chisnall, Joe Cullen, Mike De Decker, Mark Dudbridge, Ted Evetts, Rob Hewson, Kim Huybrechts, Ronny Huybrechts, Christian Kist, Adrian Lewis, Jamie Lewis, Mickey Mansell, Ryan Meikle, Kenny Neyens, Mensur Suljovic, Michael van Gerwen, Darren Webster, Ricky Williams, Peter Wright
PDC Young Player of the Year
Winner: Dimitri Van den Bergh
PDC Player of the Year
Winner: Michael van Gerwen