Glen Durrant daring to dream at World Matchplay
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 26/07/19 11:17am
Glen Durrant is daring to dream as he moves two wins away from following in the footsteps of his darting hero Phil Taylor by lifting the World Matchplay title.
Taylor won an astonishing 16 Matchplay crowns and the title was subsequently renamed 'The Phil Taylor Trophy' in 2018 to honour The Power's magnificent career.
Durrant has enjoyed a remarkable Winter Gardens debut having accounted for three of the most decorated players in PDC history and now the 48-year-old is now dreaming of his own darting destiny.
The three-time Lakeside champion dumped out two-time world champion Adrian Lewis and world No 1 Michael van Gerwen to reach the last eight, before brushing aside nine-time major winner James Wade 16-7 to reach the last four.
The Teessider was roared on by a partisan Blackpool crowd against 2007 champion Wade and speaking to Sky Sports' Rod Studd, Durrant struggled to contain his emotions following Thursday's victory.
"Am I dreaming? This is incredible," Durrant said.
"I don't know if I've ever felt like this before. It's just amazing. I was nice and calm earlier.
"I know Michael didn't play his best, I know James didn't play his best, but I'm in the semi-finals of the World Matchplay, The Phil Taylor Trophy.
"That would mean so much, if I could win my hero's trophy, wow."
'Duzza' has become the darling of the Winter Gardens crowd during the past seven days and he insists he is completely humbled and taken aback by the support he's been shown.
"I feel ecstatic, incredible, amazing. The crowd, why? What have I done?
"I get so embarrassed when I look back at my interviews because I'm an emotional wreck but how can I not be?
"I know the whole of Middlesbrough are right behind me. I'm in the semi-finals of The Phil Taylor Trophy and you are looking at such a happy man."
Speaking to the PDC in the aftermath of his victory, Durrant hailed this week as a 'life-changing' moment and expressed his delight at further underlining that he belongs in the darting elite.
"At the start of the tournament I just wanted to prove to the PDC crowd that I could handle playing on this stage, and now I'm daring to dream of the title," he added.
"I'm having a wonderful week, that's the best way I can describe it. It's such a special moment for me, it's life-changing."
Durrant has already been forced to overcome a host of major obstacles in reaching the semi-finals but it does not get any easier, as fifth seed and World Championship finalist Michael Smith awaits on Saturday night.
'Bully Boy' defeated 2009 semi-finalist Mervyn King 16-11 in Thursday's curtain-raiser and Smith is aiming to land his elusive first major PDC title.
However, Durrant is also eyeing history, as he bids to become the first debutant to win the World Matchplay since Larry Butler clinched the tournament's inaugural staging in 1994.
Follow every dart from every session in Blackpool as the World Matchplay continues through to the final on Sunday. Friday's quarter-finals will see Rob Cross face Stephen Bunting, and Peter Wright take on Daryl Gurney.