Welsh ace Price reacts (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Gerwyn Price believes he is beginning to win over the fans and is hopeful he will be given a “fair opportunity” in the upcoming televised majors.
Price embraced the role of ‘pantomime villain’ following his controversial win over Gary Anderson in last November’s Grand Slam final, particularly during his second stint in the Premier League earlier this year.
The boo boys failed to knock the Welshman off his stride as he secured a fifth-place finish as well as reaching the Semi-Finals of the UK Open back in March.
The 34-year-old believes he is now gradually winning over the fans but insists he will not change his natural demeanour on stage.
“The crowds in England and everywhere else are starting to come round to me now,” Price told Live Darts.
“I’m just looking forward to the next few months and the TV events, and hopefully the crowd are a lot better for me and give me a fair opportunity.
“They’re starting to see the real me but it’s been me from the start, I’ve never changed.
“I’ve always been the same, it’s just people talking, hearsay and people thinking different things.
“My game has always been the same and it’s never going to change.
“I am what I am, I’m not a bad person, I’m just a decent player trying to earn a living.”
Price was hit with a record total of £21,500 in fines and a three-month ban, suspended for six months, in January after being found guilty of three separate breaches of DRA rules during the 2018 Grand Slam.
In April, he revealed he planned to appeal the fine and even “go to the high court” if necessary, and while the appeal is still pending, Price says he has put the matter to the back of his mind and is fully focused on challenging for major silverware.
He added: “Even with the appeal, this is behind me, I don’t even think about it anymore and whatever the DRA does now, they do.
“It’s in the hands of my lawyer, he contacts me whenever I need to know something but he just lets me get on with my darts.
“From the beginning, I went to the hearing myself without any back-up which I probably shouldn’t have done, now I’m seeking legal advice and professional help, it’s taking longer than expected but whatever the result it, we’ll deal with that when it comes.
“Considering the stick that I’ve had and the people on my back, I think I’ve done remarkably well.
“A lot of other players would have crumbled but I’ve stuck in there and done well in the ProTours and made a couple of semis in the Europeans.
“I had a decent Premier League campaign where I thought I was hard done by not to get into the top four.
“This is the biggest part of the year coming up now, the TV tournaments start coming thick and fast so I’m looking forward to having a good run of form.”
Price was the target of strong criticism on social media during the backend of last year and has now let his wife take control of his Twitter account as he looks to let his darts do the talking.
The former Rugby star admits he is proud of his achievements on the oche since turning professional in 2014 and insists he has nothing left to prove.
“I don’t do social media now but when I was on there maybe a year ago, people were just expecting miracles from me, I’d only been playing darts for four years,” added Price.
“I don’t really care what people think, but just get off my back, I’m a novice at this game and I’m doing alright.
“If I never win the Worlds, I’ve been inside the top eight, I’ve won a major, a ProTour and a European Tour, I’m happy so it doesn’t really matter.”