Michael Van Gerwen: the story so far

Published on 5 July 2023 at 20:00

Alistair Gordon

When a certain Phil 'The Power' Taylor retired from darts in 2018, he was widely regarded as the best darts player of all time and that it would take years for us to see the likes of him again. However, this couldn't have been further from the truth as a certain Dutchman was already waiting in the wings to take his place.

Since he started his professional career in 2005, then in the BDO, it was clear that Michael Van Gerwen had talent. At this time he was just a spikey-haired teenager and not the intimidating, bald figure we are used to seeing today. Three time BDO champion, Martin Adams recalls that Van Gerwen struck him as "a very talented young player" and that he always knew "how to score and how to count." These are skills that MVG has possessed throughout his career and as Wayne Mardle will tell you, his "board management" is the best in the business.

He then moved to the PDC in 2007, where it didn't take him long to make a name for himself, beating the likes of Phil Taylor and Raymond Van Barneveld, all before his 21st birthday.


(Sky Sports, 2016)


His first major win was the 2012 World Grand Prix against Mervyn King, which is when he really started to gain popularity in the darting universe. Due to his brightly coloured attire, quick darting style and bullish celebratory fist pumps; 'The Green Machine' soon became the hottest prospect in the PDC. Furthermore, his catchy walk-on song made him even more of a fan favourite as "Oh Michael Van Gerwen" echoed around arenas all over Europe, to the tune of 'Seven Nation Army' by The White Stripes

In 2013, Van Gerwen won his first of seven Premier League titles, proving now he really could mix it up with the big boys. He followed this up with his first World Championship a year later against Peter Wright, in a tournament he dominated from start to finish.

Over the next few years he would completely dominate the sport, adding two more World titles and countless major events. While being at the top, Van Gerwen started to get his critics by those who thought that perhaps he took himself too seriously.

With the vast improvement of the likes of Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright and Michael Smith, in recent years MVG hasn't been quite as dominant as he once was. Despite this, you can always count on the Dutchman to be there or thereabouts at the business end of tournaments. He has said himself that he has a lot more World Championships left in him and with his track record, who's really going to doubt the man?


(CNBC, 2019)


Major Wins

World Championship: (3) 2014, 2017, 2019

World Matchplay: (3) 2015, 2016, 2022

World Grand Prix: (6) 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2022

UK Open: (3) 2015, 2016, 2020

Grand Slam: (3) 2015, 2016, 2017

European Championship: (4) 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Premier League: (7) 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023

Player Championship Finals: (7) 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2022

Masters: (5) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Champions League: (1) 2019

World Series Finals: (4) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019

The frightening thing about the list above is that it doesn't even do MVG justice as he has also won countless tour events, as well as three World Cup of Darts.


For me, what separates Van Gerwen from the rest is that he has managed to stay at the top for so long, whilst still being an entertainer. Whether you love him or hate him, you could never say he is boring to watch. I think what adds to this is his is fast-paced style, where even the cameramen have struggled to keep up with him over the years. He also has the ability to produce moments that only really he can conjure. His 17 perfect darts at the 2013 World Darts Championship is, in my opinion, the most iconic darting moment of all time.



In sport, you never know what's round the corner and this applies to darts more than any others. At one stage, 'Jackpot' Adrian Lewis was tipped to be the next Taylor after winning two World Championships back-to-back, however since then, he has struggled to stay at the top level and is now taking a break from the sport at the young age (for a darts player) of 38. Conversely, 'Snakebite' Peter Wright was a professional for 25 years before he won his first world title at the age of 50. The shelf life of a darts player can be unpredictable and with MVG currently undergoing dental surgery and showing signs of injury on a few occasions this year, his fans will hope this doesn't affect his performances on the oche. He's been a dominant force in the sport for over a decade now and if he can keep it up for another 10-15 years, who knows, Phil Taylor's 'greatest of all time' title might well be under serious threat...


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