Michael van Gerwen has left an indelible mark on darts and has dominated the game in much the same manner that Phil Taylor did when he was at the peak of his powers during the 1990s and the early 2000s.
‘Mighty Mike’ or the ‘Green Machine’ as he is often referred to, Van Gerwen is a fearsome presence as he pummels the board with multiple 180s during his visits to the oche, and he has been crowned PDC World Champion on three occasions.
But before Van Gerwen was using his arrows, he was in a very different line of business.
Many of the players on the circuit carried out manual jobs, and that included Peter Wright, who fitted windows working on a holiday camp, while Jonny Clayton used to be a plasterer in a part-time capacity.
And Van Gerwen, it transpires, was a tiler in his homeland Holland where he once worked for Arsenal icon Dennis Bergkamp.
Discussing his previous trade, Van Gerwen told the Sun Newspaper: “I used to work as a tiler. The biggest job I had was putting up the tiles in Bergkamp’s bathroom.
“We had to make sure we did a really good job on it. You don’t want to mess up when you are working for a legend like Bergkamp.
“When I was fitting those tiles, I never thought I would be a millionaire by the time I was 24.
“But it proves that if you work hard and do well at major tournaments, you can make a good living out of being a professional darts player.
“I don’t think I would have been this rich if I had worked as a tiler until I was 70.”
Van Gerwen’s net worth is thought to be £5.6million, and he has amassed over 140 PDC titles during his decorated career. Not only that, but he is the only player to win every possible televised tournament, and he lights up arenas wherever he plays.
In many ways, Van Gerwen is more than just a fan favourite. He has transcended the sport in a way few of his contemporaries have managed to do so. This is depicted by the numerous video and mobile games he has featured in. For example, he has starred in the PDC World Championship Darts: Pro Tour Xbox game, which is fun and easy to master. The same applies to the PDC official app available to iOS and Android users, where players can fine-tune their tungsten skills against the world’s top 40 players.
However, Van Gerwen also plays a leading role in an official World Darts Championship slot that is available at online casinos. Aside from the pumping theme tune ‘Chase the Sun’, which is the official darts anthem, the game boasts a free spins feature, and it is one of the highest RTP online slots around, which will please players looking for sports-themed titles to play.
While Van Gerwen has faced a few more challenges in recent years, especially with the wave of new talent, such as Michael Smith and Gerwyn Price, when Van Gerwen is in full throttle, he’s hard to stop. Expect him to add to his already bulging trophy cabinet over the coming months and years.