Gerwyn Price almost withdrew from World Darts Championship over crowd fears

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Gerwyn Price almost pulled out of the World Darts Championship over concerns that he would face a hostile reception from the Alexandra Palace crowd.

Price wore ‘ear defenders’ last year in an attempt to block out the jeers at Ally Pally and the Welshman admitted he expected to be booed on his return this month.

The 2021 world champion opened his campaign with a swift 3-0 victory over Conor Scutt on Monday night before thanking the “brilliant crowd” after deciding to play.

The Welshman told Sky Sports he was sat at home until Sunday night and “probably wasn’t going to play“ until changing his mind.

"The crowd were brilliant. I was turning up to Ally Pall like it was last year and the crowd would be on my back but this year they were brilliant. I was a bit apprehensive. I didn’t know what would happen,” Price said.

"I was sat in my house at 6 o’clock [on Sunday] and probably wasn’t going to play the tournament. I wasn’t even on my way to London."

Price said he believes he can win the World Championship with the Ally Pally crowd on his side.

"It is really difficult to come here when you’ve got the crowd on your back, but they were brilliant fair play to them," said the 2021 champion, who won his title behind closed doors at Ally Pally.

"If they keep on like this, there is no reason why I can’t win it."

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