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Building Sites to Bullseyes: The Unexpected Backgrounds of 10 Darts Legends

Darts player Michale Smith throwing a dart

The world of professional darts has seen some remarkable players over the years, many of whom came from diverse backgrounds before hitting the bullseye in their darting careers.

This article delves into the lives of ten prominent darts players, exploring their previous or concurrent occupations that might surprise fans of the sport.

Phil Taylor - Ceramic Technician

Phil "The Power" Taylor, arguably the greatest darts player of all time with 16 World Championships, began his career in a ceramics factory in Stoke-on-Trent, England.

His work as a ceramic technician was a far cry from the oche, but it helped to provide the discipline and precision that would later define his darting prowess.

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Raymond van Barneveld - Postman

Before becoming a darts legend, Raymond van Barneveld delivered mail as a postman in The Hague, Netherlands.

The five-time World Champion swapped envelopes for arrows.

He went on to make a huge mark in the world of darts and inspired many in his home country to take up the sport.

Eric Bristow - Accountant

Eric "The Crafty Cockney" Bristow, a five-time World Champion, worked as an accountant before his darts career took off.

The meticulous attention to detail required in accounting surely helped Bristow on his way to becoming one of the sport's most celebrated figures.

Gary Anderson - Builder

Scotland's Gary Anderson, a two-time World Champion, worked as a builder before his darts career skyrocketed.

The physical strength and steady hand needed on the construction site translated well to the darts board, where Anderson is known for his powerful throwing style.

Michael van Gerwen - Tiler

Before becoming the world's number one darts player, Michael van Gerwen worked as a tiler in his native Netherlands.

The precision and patience required for tiling proved useful as Van Gerwen climbed the ranks to become one of the sport's most dominant figures.

Peter Wright - Hairdresser

Peter "Snakebite" Wright, known for his flamboyant hairstyles and colorful mohawks, was a hairdresser before he became a World Darts Champion.

Wright's creative flair and attention to detail in hairdressing are mirrored in his precise dart throwing and unique persona on the darts circuit.

Jocky Wilson - Coal Miner

The late Jocky Wilson, a two-time World Champion from Scotland, worked as a coal miner before his darts career.

The hard work and resilience required underground helped forge the determination Wilson would need to reach the pinnacle of the sport.

Rob Cross - Electrician

Rob "Voltage" Cross was an electrician before he shocked the darts world by winning the World Championship as a relative newcomer.

The precision and focus required in his former trade are evident in Cross's meticulous approach to the game.

John Lowe - Coal Delivery Man

John Lowe, one of the sport's most consistent performers and a three-time World Champion, worked delivering coal before turning professional.

The physicality of his job undoubtedly contributed to the stamina and strength Lowe displayed in his darting career.

Dennis Priestley - Coal Miner

Dennis "The Menace" Priestley, another darts legend, also started his career as a coal miner in England before becoming a World Champion.

The tough conditions of the mines taught Priestley the resilience and perseverance he needed to compete at the highest levels of darts.

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