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Aspinall: From debt to Premier League darts star

Nathan Aspinall spoke to Love The Darts Podcast host Polly James about his journey from having no money in his pocket six years ago to becoming one of the sport’s biggest stars.

The Asp reached back-to-back Premier League finals on Thursday night in Exeter with wins against Peter Wright and Luke Humphries before beating Rob Cross 6-2 to move fourth in the table.

Aspinall was beaten 6-4 by Michael van Gerwen in last week’s final in Newcastle and admits he has had a slow start to this year’s campaign.

He told Sky Sports: “It was a slow start to the season, last week was massive for myself and I made the decision [in Exeter] to forget about double 16, because I’ve missed it so many times, and I went for tops.

“I’m very happy, the last two weeks I’ve really dug deep. Everyone knows I’m a fighter and I’ve been down the first three weeks, but a final and then a win the last two weeks, I’m over the moon.”

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Aspinall said he was ‘down in the dumps’ after his poor start to the Premier League but showed his ‘fighting spirit’ after picking up his first nightly win

After his victory, the Stockport star reflected on how he managed to turn his life around after recovering from debt to become the UK Open champion in 2019 and then World Matchplay winner in Blackpool last summer.

The former accountant has won more than £1million in career prize money with darts transforming his life.

The 32-year-old explained how he was down to his last £20 before his maiden appearance at the 2019 PDC World Darts Championship where he went on to reach the semi-finals.

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Aspinall beat Luke Humphries to reach the final with this stunning 160 checkout

Aspinall – who has a roulette wheel and the words ‘Life a gamble’ tattooed on his arm, said: “The truth is I was about £10,000 in debt but it’s perspective isn’t it?

“I love my job, I’ve got the best job in the world and all my family are proud of what I do but looking back at the memories, six years ago I had absolutely nothing and now my kids have the best life ever.

“My fan base is obscene. Every time I walk out, the reaction I get from the crowd – they might not even like me but they like ‘Mr Brightside’ – that’s what spurs me on, so if I’m down in the dumps or I’m not playing well the crowd start singing my name and that’s what turns me into the winner that I am.”

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The Asp then nailed his second 160 checkout of the night in Exeter against Rob Cross

Discussing his Premier League season so far, Aspinall admitted last week’s win against Michael Smith helped kick-start his campaign.

“I made the final last week but it was a fantastic performance from Michael [Van Gerwen] but I had a lot of confidence coming into Exeter and it was nice to finally start hitting some of those doubles.

“I’ve lost so many games because I can’t finish but that’s been the difference here. I’ve scored well but I’ve finally hit some doubles tonight and everyone knows when I’m scoring and hitting those doubles I’m hard to beat and I think I proved that.”

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He netted ‘The Big Fish’ during the Night Four final against Michael van Gerwen in Newcastle

Where does the Premier League head next?

Michael Van Gerwen celebrates with the trophy after winning against Gerwyn Price in the final during the Cazoo Premier League Play-Offs. Photo credit should read: Steven Paston/PDC ..RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.
Image: Michael van Gerwen is the seven-time Premier League champion

The Premier League continues in Brighton, as league leader Van Gerwen takes on Night Five runner-up Cross in a battle of the former world champions.

Aspinall faces Littler in another eye-catching showdown, Humphries meets Price in a repeat of last year’s World Grand Prix final, while Smith plays Wright.

Live Premier League Darts

Thursday 7th March 7:00pm

Sky Sports Arena Sky Sports Arena

Fixtures: Night Six, The Brighton Centre on Thursday, March 7

Quarter-finals
Luke Humphries vs Gerwyn Price
Rob Cross vs Michael van Gerwen
Nathan Aspinall vs Luke Littler
Michael Smith vs Peter Wright

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2024 Premier League Darts schedule

Night 6 The Brighton Centre March 7
Night 7 Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham March 14
Night 8 3Arena, Dublin March 21
Night 9 SSE Arena, Belfast March 28
Night 10 AO Arena, Manchester April 4
Night 11 Utilita Arena, Birmingham April 11
Night 12 Rotterdam Ahoy April 18
Night 13 M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool April 25
Night 14 P&J Live, Aberdeen May 2
Night 15 First Direct Arena, Leeds May 9
Night 16 Utilita Arena, Sheffield May 16
Play-Offs The O2, London May 23

Premier League Darts continues on Sky Sports on Thursday, March 7 with The Brighton Centre the next stop on the 17-week extravaganza all the way through to the Play-Offs at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday, May 23. Stream Sky Sports Darts without a contract through NOW

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