Listening to a new video with new World Champion (BDO) Wayne Warren, I was reminded of the above quote. Sadly God does not pay out prize money!
It is a lovely chat with Wayne who is very authentic and obviously not an example of the modern, slick and media trained sportsman. Instead you actually see the real person!
From talking about his “god given” or natural talent, although he confesses to have sped up slightly over time, to first realising he might be a bit good when invited to join a winning team, at the age of seventeen, when no young players were allowed in the pubs! Then winning the individuals title in such company confirmed his thoughts.
One delightful section reveals the importance of the carrying of the Welsh darts ‘torch’ Wayne clearly values his connection to the trailblazing greats such as Alan Evans and Leighton Rees and hopes that other young Welsh players will see him in the same light.
Wayne cites the infuence of the legendary Martin Phillips as part of the reason for his late career success. Time spent with Martin over many years and seeing his career example seems to have taken off for the fifty-seven-year-old Warren. He speaks about the lull in his career after playing Merv King in the 2005 lakeside, and how he faded for a while, before reaching the semi final in 2019.
On this years event Wayne offers some superb insights for those who might follow his path. He is aware that he has become a fraction slower on finishing and match winning darts and that this may be simply the result of time and patience.
Wayne’s restraint when talking about the controversy surrounding the event, especially the massively reduced prize fund, is admirable and even more so when its clear how unhappy he is with the situation. His reasons for this become apparent when he is asked how important it is that the alternative/grassroots structure of the BDO/WDF continues:
Its Vital…without it I think it could be the end of darts as an an amateur GameWayne Warren
Hopefully Warrens plans to recoup some of the financial reward by having a very busy year with his World Championship Trophy will pay dividends and he will both have the chance to defend the trophy and perhaps, give the PDC a try next year when things are a little more stable.
The closing section of the interview shows us an extremely well regarded, and down-to-earth, sportsman who has risen to the very top of his game. Darts World wishes Wayne all the success, and rewards, in the coming years.