Andrew Gilding is aiming on becoming a household name after shocking the darts world with a dazzling display at the Coral UK Open.
The Walsham-le-Willows Sports Club player masterminded a dream run at the Butlins Minehead Resort, narrowly missing out on a place in the final, after going down to a battling 10-8 defeat to world number one and eventual champion Michael van Gerwen.
But after memorable tournament which included victories against established stars such as Jelle Klassen, Kevin Painter and James Wade, before overcoming Mensur Suljovic in his first ever televised quarter-final, ‘Goldfinger’ could not hide his delight with his performance.
“Finally I brought my best game to the TV and on the big stage, I was really happy,” he said.
“It was brilliant to play so well in front of a crowd and being part of that atmosphere was just fantastic.
“I didn’t have any aims at the beginning of the tournament and just wanted to take it one game at a time.
“I got a bye in the first round last year and wanted to just go further than that but I never dreamed I’d do quite as well as I did, it was quite some jump for me.
“It was absolutely the highlight of my career so far and to give a performance like that on TV was just a dream come true.”
Following on from his strong display, Gilding again showcased his talent by reaching the semi-finals of a pro-tour event in Barnsley earlier this week.
And with the 44-year-old, who has climbed to world number 30, enjoying the form of his life, he has set his sights on continuing his upward trend in fortune, while not ruling out becoming a regular on darts fans’ screens by forcing his way on to the PDC Premier League circuit.
“I think people have definitely started to take notice of who I am now,” he added.
“And I think that will remain the case if I can continue to perform well in each event.
“My aim at the beginning of the year was to break into the top 32 in the world ranking and I have already achieved that.
“The aim now is to appear in more televised tournaments and hopefully secure some more sponsorship.
“To be an established player in the Premier League is the pinnacle for most players and so that would be amazing.
“Winning a world championship would be high on the list too but just to win anything would be nice.
“However, I know that is a way off yet. This is only my fourth year in the PDC and so I am still learning my way.
“I have to make sure my preparation continues to improve and if so I’m sure the recognition will come.
“After the past week my confidence has been given a massive boost and that is what makes all the difference.”