Andrew Gilding eyeing upgrade from one-bedroom flat after surprise UK Open win

Andrew Gilding is planning to use the winnings from his surprise UK Open victory to help him upgrade from his one-bedroom council flat.

The 52-year-old, a journeyman on the PDC Tour, celebrated the landmark moment of his career when he stunned Michael Van Gerwen in Sunday’s final at Minehead Butlin’s, taking home a £110,000 prize.

Gilding has lived in the same Suffolk flat for 30 years, but wants to use the money to buy his own property.

“That’s been the plan, I have been slowly saving up some money, the dream is to have my own place,” he said.

“I never really had any money in my life. Never.

“It depends how much money I can save up, but I have always dreamt of having a full-sized snooker table. But that would be a ‘winning the World Championship’ thing.

“I have got a tiny one-bedroomed council flat. I have lived there for 30 years. The dream would maybe be another room.

“On Saturday night, I was, ‘Wow, I’ve won 30 grand’. I never thought I would win three times that. It’s a great bonus for my plans.”

Gilding, who claimed a first PDC Tour title, was a latecomer to the sport, having worked in an abattoir and a chicken factory, and only got into it after joining a pub team following a bout of depression in his early 30s.

“I went from literally being washed up and miserable to top of the world. What a turnaround. It’s unbelievable,” he said.

“It was very briefly but I had a couple of factory jobs, in the early-mid 90s. I was unemployed for a while and I actually became quite reclusive in my early 30s.

“I had some mental health problems and I started to spend all my time indoors. I started getting out when I played guitar for a church band and from there I joined a local pub darts team.

“Joining the church band got me started mixing with people and then people said I should join a team, I decided to join the local pub team and I suppose that’s where it started.”

Having spent the majority of his career being knocked out of the major events in the first or second round, Gilding was in new territory at the weekend being in the limelight on the top stage.

It is a natural thing for players at the top of the game, but Gilding says he is happy just enjoying his job.

“I don’t really want to be a superstar, just being able to earn a living doing something you don’t hate is great,” he said. “That’s the dream. I am living the dream.

“You work hard because you want to, not because you have to. What more can you ask for than that?

“Hopefully I will get used to it. I have got to keep my feet on the ground. When I had success about eight years ago I started to get a little bit lazy after that.

“I started to show up about an hour later to the competitions. I mustn’t do that this time. I have got to keep working hard, I have got a goal.”