Yates' view: Michael Smith has many more years to achieve world champion dream

Michael Smith came within touching distance of joining an elite band of St Helens-born sporting legends before losing 7-5 to Scotland's Peter Wright in the William Hill World Darts Championship Final at the Alexandra Palace.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 10:28 am
Michael Smith

The St Helens sharpshooter, who was born and bred in the town alongside icons like Alex Murphy, Keiron Cunningham and Paul Wellens (all serial Rugby League winners), Geoff Duke (world motor cycle champion) and Gary Stretch (WBC champion), had on this occasion to settle for runners-up spot but at 31 still has many more years ahead of him to claim legendary status.

It's just a pity that he couldn't put the icing on the cake after Saints had brought home five pieces of major silverware during the 2021 season - two for the men's team and three for the women's team.

Parading the world championship trophy around the Totally Wicked Stadium would have been a magic moment for Smith - a self-confessed Saints' fan.

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Maybe next year !

MY long-time media colleague Stuart Pyke must have faced one of most nerve-racking experiences behind the TV mike when commentating on the World Darts Final in which a fellow son of St Helens, Michael Smith, was one of the finalists and deep down praying he would clinch the greatest title in the sport.

But, as usual, Stuart maintained his usual professional standards and showed little or no signs of bias.