Stockport’s Nathan Aspinall thrashes Johnny Clayton to become 2023 World Matchplay Darts champion
Stockport’s very own Nathan Aspinall thrashed world number seven Johnny Clayton to become the 2023 World Matchplay Darts title and lift just his second major title this past weekend.
The local lad dominated multi-title-winning Clayton by a whopping 18-6 margin in what was arguably the best performance of his career to date, checking out on a double-five and dropping to his knees in ecstasy the moment he landed it.
Here’s how he finally got his hands on his first-ever Phil Taylor Trophy:
The Stopfordian won 13 of the last 14 legs, including 11 in a row after having drawn the opening 10 sets 5-5 at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
The 32-year-old also produced an electrifying 170-checkout in his sixth leg without reply, a visit that welcomed not only a rapturous response from the crowd but a congratulatory embrace from his Welsh opponent. A classy touch from a man ‘The Asp’ described as “a gentleman of the game”.
But that wasn’t it, he also managed a difficult 115 combination in leg 18. Absolutely massive. Even Clayton conceded on the night: “I cannot argue with the result. I was beaten by the better player, and what a fantastic guy he is.”
He’s the moment he lifted the trophy and got the entire room bouncing to his trademark walk-on song, ‘Mr Brightside’ — a scene that somehow felt so quintessentially Manc.
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Aspinall moved up four places to fifth in the PDC world rankings after clinching his second major and becoming just the 12th player to ever become World Matchplay champion.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, he said: “I’ve got no words. I don’t know what it was but I found it… “These things don’t happen very often, so I want to enjoy this moment!”
“I scored brilliantly all game. I knew I had to get rid of my darts quicker. The people who come to Blackpool are diehard darts fans.”
Even prior to the tournament, he told Betfred, “I always believed I could reach the final and lift the trophy”, and that’s exactly what he did. Well in, ‘The Asp’, the future is looking brighter than ever!
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Featured Image — Nathan Aspinall (via Instagram)/PDC Darts (via Twitter)