World Darts Champion Michael Smith Darts has been nominated for an Honorary Freedom of the Borough by St Helens Borough Council for sporting services to St Helens, the highest honour a council can award.
The 32-year-old, nicknamed Bully Boy, has enjoyed a flying start to 2023 on the oche, winning the PDC World Darts Championship in January to move up to number one in the world rankings, followed by Bahrain Darts Masters success.
Smith’s thrilling 7-4 win against Michael van Gerwen in the final of the PDC World Darts Championship was watched by millions around the world, with his astonishing nine-dart finish en-route to victory going viral, putting St Helens on the map.
Paying tribute to Michael at a Borough of Culture launch event at the World of Glass Museum on Saturday, where it was announced the former St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School pupil will join James Roby, Marie Rimmer MP and the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment on an illustrious list of names to receive Freedom of the Borough status, St Helens Borough Council Leader Councillor David Baines, said:
“Michael Smith’s world title win in January captured the imagination and attention of everyone in St Helens and of sports fans everywhere. It was actually his second world title, having won the PDC Youth world championship in 2013 – and he is the only player to have won both.
“His humble nature, his professionalism, dedication and skill is an example to all of us and he has inspired all of us and an entirely new generation of darts fans. He wears the red vee with pride, and we are delighted to nominate him for our borough’s highest honour.”
The nomination will go to full council for formal approval at the earliest opportunity, with the Freedom of the Borough scroll to be presented at a special event later in the year.