Andrew Gilding, the new UK Open champion, intends to use his £110,000 prize money to relocate from his current “tiny one-bedroom council flat.”
On Sunday 5th March, the 52-year-old Andrew Gilding defeated Michael van Gerwen 11-10 in a final-leg showdown in Minehead, securing the most significant victory of his career.
For three decades, Gilding has resided in the same flat in Suffolk and has expressed his aspiration to purchase his own home following his triumph.
Gilding said: “I never really had any money in my life – never.
“I went from literally being washed up and miserable to top of the world. What a turnaround. It’s unbelievable.
“It depends how much money I can save up, but I have always dreamed of having a full-sized snooker table. But that would be a ‘winning the World Championship’ thing.
After experiencing mental health challenges in his early thirties, Gilding began playing darts when he joined a pub team, having previously worked in an abattoir and chicken factory.
Despite being ranked 41st in the world, Gilding entered the UK Open. His opponent in the final, three-time PDC world champion Van Gerwen, was heavily favoured to win.
In his thirties, following a spell of joblessness, Gilding became withdrawn and reclusive.
“I had some mental health problems and I started to spend all my time indoors.” he said.
“I started getting out when I played guitar for a church band.
“Joining the church band got me started mixing with people and then people said I should join a team. I decided to join the local pub team and I suppose that’s where it started.
“I don’t really want to be a superstar. Just being able to earn a living doing something you don’t hate is great. That’s the dream. I am living the dream.
“You work hard because you want to, not because you have to. What more can you ask for than that?
“Hopefully I will get used to it. I have got to keep my feet on the ground.”