Michael Smith admits he banned his kids from semi-final as they “put him off”

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Michael Smith banned his kids from attending his semi-final clash (Image: Luke Walker/Getty Images)
Michael Smith banned his kids from attending his semi-final clash (Image: Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Michael Smith turned his darts into bolt-cutters and finally sent former locksmith Gabriel Clemens packing, but his kids were banned from the crunch semi-final between the pair.

And as 'Bully Boy' reached his third final in five years at the Cazoo PDC World Championship at Alexandra Palace, he resolved to prepare for tonight's date with destiny by lying in bed all day and watching episodes of Catchphrase.

Smith's emphatic 6-2 win against Clemens was the stuff of game show jargon: You can't beat a bit of Bully. He revealed he had banned his kids Junior and Kasper after their support distracted him during his St Helens 'derby' win over Stephen Bunting in the last eight.

Smith, now one match away from a £500,000 jackpot and being installed as world No.1, said: “I've never lost a semi-final here, so I know what it takes.

“The kids came to watch my game yesterday and they put me off, so they were banned tonight – but they will be back tomorrow for the final. I'll probably prepare for that by lying in bed all day and watching a few episodes of Catchphrase.

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“If I get darts to win the world championship and miss them, I won't dwell on it – I'll come back fighting next year. But if I get a dart to win it, I could be world champion this time tomorrow.”

Bang on cue, Smith saved his best performance of the tournament for Der Schlosser (that's German for locksmith), the 250-1 outsider who had dumped former world No.1 Gerwyn Price and his dustbin-lid headphones out 24 hours earlier. When he needed a steady hand and firm rectum, Smith's aim was true - lock, stock and tungsten barrels.

He averaged 101.85, reeled off 19 maximum 180s - at one stage threatening Peter Wright's record of 24 in last year's semi-final against Gary Anderson - and five ton-plus checkouts, including a breathtaking 161 on the bullseye. After sharing the first four sets with Clemens, Smith hit the afterburners and won four on the bounce, nailing double top at the first time of asking to take the chequered flag.

Can Michael Smith win his first world title? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Michael Smith admits he banned his kids from semi-final as they “put him off”Michael Smith put in a classy semi-final performance (Getty Images)

A record-breaking three million TV viewers were tuning in from Germany alone to watch Clemens, and he had some A-list support in the posh seats.

German 2014 World Cup winner Kevin Grosskreutz was among the 750-strong contingent from the Fatherland who turned Ally Pally into a film set fit for Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio to remake their hit movie Teutonic. In the fans' village backstage, much of the music blaring across the food court was German Euro-rock you never hear on Radio 1.

And Smith must have thought he was walking into happy hour in a beer tent at the Oktoberfest. At 6ft 5in, Clemens – one of the tallest players on the PDC circuit behind 6ft 7in Dutch beanstalk Martijn Kleermaker - looks so big he could almost lean over the oche and plant his arrows in the desired bed like pinning the tail on a donkey. But this time, he had no answer to Smith, whose arrows picked the lock with the accuracy of a bobby pin.

Mike Walters

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation