2014 World Darts Champion Michael van Gerwen is one of the stars of the sport.
The Dutch sensation is the youngest player ever to win a major title, having won the World Masters in 2006, aged just 17.
‘Mighty Mike’ won several Open tournaments as a teenager as he took the darting world by storm.
In 2007, he defeated world number one Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in straight sets in a brilliant run to the of the Masters of Darts tournament, where he went on to hit an incredible nine-dart finish against Raymond van Barneveld.
Van Gerwen was unable to fulfil his amazing potential immediately but, after reaching two PDC Youth World Championship finals, he has enjoyed an excellent resurgence of late.
He was named as Young Player of the Year for 2011 at the PDC’s annual awards dinner, before embarking on his most successful year to date in 2012.
‘Mighty Mike’ won seven Pro Tour events with some awesome performances, which included a perfect nine-dart finish.
He repeated the fantastic feat of a nine-dart leg live on TV on his run to the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay in Blackpool.
van Gerwen clinched his first major PDC title in October 2012, when he took the £100,000 World Grand Prix title in Dublin, as he came back from four sets to one down in the final to defeat Mervyn King 6-4.
He followed it with another exciting run to the final of the next televised tournament, The Grand Slam of Darts, where he continued to delight his growing army of fans with some electrifying displays, none more so than his 10-5 triumph over 15-time World Champion Taylor in the last 16, when he averaged over 108.
In the 2013 World Championships, van Gerwen knocked out defending champion Adrian Lewis before hitting a stunning nine-darter in his semi-final win over James Wade. Incredibly, he was one dart away from becoming the first player to achieve the feat in back to back legs.
van Gerwen lost out to Taylor in the final despite averaging over 100.
His performances for the year were rewarded with three honours at the annaul awards dinner as ‘Mighty Mike’ picked up the Fans Player of the Year, PDPA Players Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards.
The Dutch ace also holds the record for the highest three dart average ever broadcast, after posting an incredible 121.86 in his 6-0 win against Steve Beaton in the Championship League.
His remarkable rise to fourth in the PDC order of Merit saw him receive automatic qualification for the prestigious 2013 McCoy’s Premier League, which he went on to win in typically sensational style.
van Gerwen became the only player other than Taylor to top the league table before clinching the £150,000 first prize by defeating ‘The Power’ in a brilliant final.
Three days later, van Gerwen was tasting glory again when he beat Simon Whitlock in the final of the European Darts Open in Dusseldorf, before going on to win the inaugural Dubai Masters.
He added a third televised PDC major with victory over Taylor in the final of the 2013 Players Championship, which he had entered as number one seed after a fantastic season on the Pro Tour.
And van Gerwen realised his dream of becoming World Champion when he defeated Peter Wright in the 2014 final at Alexandra Palace.
Later that year, he again topped the Premier League table but finished runner-up in the tournament after losing the final to van Barneveld.
However, a week later, van Gerwen retained the Dubai Darts Masters title with another final victory over Wright.
Another week on and van Gerwen claimed another TV title, this time teaming up with van Barneveld to win the World Cup for Netherlands.
van Gerwen went on to win the World Grand Prix for the second time in October that year – a month which also saw him win his maiden European Championship.
After losing his World Championship crown in 2015, van Gerwen responded in emphatic style by winning The Masters and the UK Open early in the year.