Welcome To My Darts Column – Polly James

My name is Polly James, a Radio DJ, Sky Sports reporter for the darts and fiercely proud Welsh woman.

Most recently there has been a huge spotlight shone on Wales due to our darting superstars. We have the most amazing roster of Welsh talent at the moment that grace the oche and I can’t wait to show off their success in 2023.

First up, let’s focus on two of our top 10 stars that have quickly become household names. The Iceman, Gerwyn Price, former hooker for Crosskeys RFC turned Darts player. From a pretty decent throw on the pitch to a world number 1 arrow smith. Truly a blockbuster story full of highs and lows, controversy and a cabinet bulging with trophies.

Jonny ‘The Ferret’ Clayton on the other hand has been a slow burner in the darts field. He fired into World-class action when he hooked up with Gerwyn as team-mates in the World Cup of darts when Wales took their first title in 2020. Off the back of that, the winning Welsh flair sparked a ‘can-do’ attitude in Jonny and lifted the lid on the quality darts we get to witness today. 2021 was an outstanding year for The Ferret. He picked up numerous TV titles and went into the world Championships that year as favourite. There was perhaps a dip in form for Jonny last year but nevertheless he still managed to top the Premier League table and play some of his greatest darts. Jonny is a contender in World darts and mixes with the best constantly.

Most recently at the 2022/23 worlds, The Ferret was gifted a huge last-16 clash against ‘new kid on the block’ Josh Rock which he relished in. This guy, hot property, outrageously confident and 5th favourite to win the whole thing was going to be a tall order for Jonny but with pure skill, focus, experience and a sensational 104 checkout on the bullseye, Jonny pulled off an upset and ruined Rock’s dream debut at Ally Pally to send him packing. Jonny booked his place in the quarterfinals to face Dimitri Van Den Berge where unfortunately the Belgian was too good for him with a battle that ended in a 5-3 defeat.

Onto Gezzy. Where do we start? A former winner at Ally Pally, a world champion but in front of absolutely no-one during the height of Covid. Gez said to me after his second-round win at the Worlds that he would love to pick up the title in front of the fans if they were ‘a bit nicer to him’. Gez gets stick, there is no doubt about it and a hell of a lot of it. We all know that fierce Welsh blood that runs through any competitive athlete, well, Gezzy has always been himself and unapologetically so. He is a big character and doesn’t shy away from emotion on the oche, that, he claims is his rugby background. Unfortunately, he is booed mercifully for his ‘antics’ on stage and perhaps that’s why he misses the rugby pitch so much. In a few post-match interviews recently, he’s mentioned his desire to get his boots back on.


It was the Worlds quarter-final clash against the German Giant Gabriel Clemens last month when he did in fact come out with his ‘secret weapon’, wearing a huge pair of ear defenders. Yeah, these weren’t quite as subtle as earplugs. You remember the memes? The internet went wild! Was this a joke? Had the crowd become too much? I was there reporting and as always it was raucous. Whatever it was, it didn’t work and Gerwyn came crashing out of the Worlds. On his Instagram afterwards he said he probably would never return to Ally Pally and deleted his account- but we love a good old Gezzy knee-jerk Instagram post and after a few weeks, in true Welsh style, he came back online, making fun of himself posting a photo wearing a ‘new pair’ of headphones.

Even though it wasn’t meant to be for Gez and Jonny at the Worlds, they are now both suitably warmed up for the next Major title on the table, the Masters, set to take place at the end of January after they faced each other in the Nordic Darts Masters semi-final. Gezzy pipped Jonny in a cracker. He trailed throughout the match, but in true Iceman grit he came fighting through a thrilling all-Welsh tussle to seal a spot in another World Series final! He eventually lost that final to Peter Snakebite Wright but proved the shackles were firmly off after the circus he found himself at the Worlds- and no war defenders were worn! Jonny a former winner of the Masters which two years ago kick started his career to the dizzy heights he finds himself in now. He needs a good run, some say a win at the Masters to secure a place in the Premier League in which the line up of 8 of the Worlds best isn’t in stone just yet. And wouldn’t it be brilliant to see Gezzy AND Jonny back in sell-out Cardiff date performing to a packed crowed once again?