Rob Cross: The former electrician who turned off the Power

Talk about making an impact.

This time last year Rob Cross was unknown to darts fans, plying his trade as an amateur player while working as an electrician in Hastings.

But now, as PDC world champion, the only wires Cross will have to negotiate in the future are on a dartboard.

This is actually his second tilt at a darting career, having previously stopped playing for 18 months following the birth of the first of his two children.

The decision to return to the oche was an inspired one by the Pembury-born thrower who goes by the nickname 'Voltage' owing to his former career.

He has enjoyed a life-changing 12 months on the Professional Darts Corporation circuit after hanging up his tools in favour of picking his darts back up.

After reaching the last 32 of the 2016 UK Open as an amateur, Cross has set the world alight since earning his tour card at the start of 2017, surging up to number six in the rankings and into the World Championship final at his first attempt.

Phil Taylor awaited, aiming to bring the curtain down on an illustrious career with a 17th world title. However, he was blown away by the 27-year-old, who produced a stunning display to land the trophy and £400,000 prize.

Cross averaged a remarkable 107.67, hit 11 maximums and had a checkout percentage of 60 to leave Taylor shell-shocked.

The 20th seed had already won the hearts of the Alexandra Palace crowd on Saturday night after emerging victorious from one of the greatest matches in World Championship history.

Taking on world number one Michael van Gerwen, the best player on the planet at present, Cross produced a performance beyond his years to earn him a shot at the title.

With chants of ''Robbie, Robbie Cross'' ringing in the ears of Van Gerwen, Cross displayed his qualities to edge an 11-set thriller in sudden death and end the Dutchman's title defence.

There is nothing to dislike about Cross, who admitted before the final he was up against his ''favourite player'' - who won his first world title eight months before Cross was even born.

Walking onto the stage with minimum fuss while the crowd lapped up his walk-on music - 'Hot Hot Hot' by Arrow - he got the job done before heading to the VIP seats to celebrate with his young family and sign some autographs.

On Monday night, the former electrician turned off 'The Power' once and for all.

- Press Association


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