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Both Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright think Huntly hero John Henderson's darts career can take off after his Cazoo World Cup of Darts victory for Scotland


By Craig Christie

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TWO days after helping Scotland win the Cazoo World Cup of Darts, John Henderson hasn't even had a celebration drink.

Scotland's world cup winners Peter Wright and John Henderson. PDC - Kais Bodensieck.
Scotland's world cup winners Peter Wright and John Henderson. PDC - Kais Bodensieck.

Huntly's hero hasn't even had the chance to watch Sunday's famous victory alongside world number two Peter Wright in Jena, Germany.

And he can't believe he allowed the emotions of his greatest darts glory to get the better of him, shedding tears he never thought he would ever produce in a sporting arena.

After arriving back in Scotland on Monday night, The Highlander admitted the magnitude of his victory hadn't yet sunk in.

"I’ve watched darts for years and seen so many players in tears after winning something and I always said to Veronica (his wife), there was no danger I would ever do that in the same circumstances," he said.

"Oh well, I was wrong!

Michael Van Gerwen said he believes John Henderson's career could take off after his World Cup success.
Michael Van Gerwen said he believes John Henderson's career could take off after his World Cup success.

"Emotions take over and I saw Peter with a tear in his eye and that brought me on as well, he looked at me and saw I had a bit of a tear and it kick-started the emotions.

"It was such an emotional night, not just myself or Peter but for the whole of Scottish darts and it just proved that someone like myself can go and accomplish something like that and go and do well.

Having former world champions like Wright and Michael van Gerwen predicting great things for his career is something else that hasn't quite dawned on the 48-year-old.

"If this doesn't give me confidence, nothing will," he said. "It’s a major on the PDC circuit and I know it's a pairs game but there’s a lot of individual darts as well which I will take a lot from. I’ve just got to go forward.

"It was nice to hear Peter’s words, and even Michael van Gerwen after the interview said this could kick-start John’s career which is typical of Michael.

"But to hear it from the likes of him and Peter, it is pleasing and it has to give me a lift.

Huntly darts player John Henderson is a World Cup winner.. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Huntly darts player John Henderson is a World Cup winner.. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"Hopefully I can just get myself back in that top 32 as soon as possible and progress from there."

The Scottish pair saw off China, Poland, Netherlands and reigning champions Wales to reach Sunday's final, where they edged out unseeded Austria 3-1.

The tournament was screened live on Sky Sports and had a nation gripped over the weekend, but Henderson has yet to see any footage or had a chance to celebrate.

"I’ve not watched any of it back yet, and I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet if I’m being honest.

"It's still a wee bit surreal for me.

"After the final, it was just a case of doing the media stuff, straight back to the hotel and we actually jumped in a mini bus and headed straight for the airport.

"It’s a four hour drive from the venue in Jena to Frankfurt airport and we had an early morning flight.

"I landed in Stansted and up to Edinburgh, I just stayed the night there and drove up the road fresh on the Tuesday morning.

"So I’ve not had any chance to have a celebration, unfortunately, but I’m sure over the next couple of weeks there will be one or two."

John Henderson will play in the Grand Slam of Darts in October.
John Henderson will play in the Grand Slam of Darts in October.

He may not have watched his big night of glory but Henderson has been touched by the messages of congratulations from back home in Huntly and across the country.

"The social media went off the scale. You can’t go through them all but I’ll sit down this evening and go through them.

"The response from back home has been fantastic and much appreciated, every one of them."

Typically humble, the popular world number 44 said he was honoured to represent Scotland and even mor epleased not to let the nation down.

"When Gary (Anderson) pulled out and I was in with Peter I thought, well, there’s a wee bit more pressure on me because I’m playing with the world number two, the current world matchplay champion.

"But Peter was fantastic with me, he fairly played the skipper's role.

"He took me under his wing and we sat down before each game, you have to give the order and it was actually a team effort to decide for me to go first rather than just putting Peter up there and trying to get the point up there.

"It was so pleasing to win it and I’m so chuffed I didn't let him down, didn’t let myself down and didn’t let the country down. That was the main thing for me."

Far from that, he filled Scotland with pride by seeing off the world's best to take the trophy back home.


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