Peter Wright is paid a wage by his wife and takes Pot Noodles on tour
Peter Wright may be having a tough time on the oche at present but he remains the world number one and one of the biggest names in the sport.
The two-time world champion is still living the darting dream, a world away from his humble beginnings, but his wife, Joanne, is in charge of the bank account and he even takes Pot Noodles on tour. The late darts developer moved from Scotland to south-east London at the age of five with his family, where they would experience a tough time trying to get by, and he has opened up on his upbringing.
Wright told the Telegraph: “We went to a house that was a home for people who had nowhere to stay. We’d lie on a mattress on the cellar floor. It was just me and my mum. She’d cook cheap stuff like lentil soup that would last the whole weekend. When I was a bit older she’d get part-time jobs and make a bit of money.”
He later worked as a mechanic, a labourer and a pot-washer before making it big in darts. Having played at home with a board his mum bought him for Christmas, he started playing in a Labour club in Woolwich before impressing for a pub in Plumstead, where he went straight into their A-side. But it wasn’t until 2007 when Wright, then in his late 30s, decided to try his hand at the professional game.
“In 2007 I was watching the Grand Slam of Darts on TV – at the time I still played local competitions – and, seeing the players, I said to Jo: ‘I can beat him and I can beat him.’ She said: ‘Go on then. If you think you can do it, let’s do it.’ And I tried. In my first year as a professional, I made the dismal amount of £1,200.”
There were more downs than ups in the next few years and Wright was close to giving up darts prior to his brilliant run to the World Championship final at the Alexandra Palace in 2014.
“My opportunity to play darts is because my wife and her father backed me from the beginning,” he said. “When I got to my first Worlds final in 2014 I was going to give darts up as we had no money left. Jo didn’t realise I’d spent it all and I knew I needed to win before she found out.
“We didn’t even own a house and Jo was the only one who sponsored me to cover my playing expenses such as flights, hotels and entry fees. That’s why she takes control of all the money now.”
“Nine times out of 10 I’m overdrawn. I’m probably the poorest darts player who’s world number one. My prize money gets paid into my wife’s company account and I’m paid a wage. Jo sorts out the business side for when I retire.”
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He admits that’s probably for the best given he is a spender rather than a saver. On the lessons, he's learnt about money, Wright said: “Not to squander it, as Jo thinks I try to. As I say, I might not be here tomorrow. She thinks I have to have a new phone every month. I like to buy silly gadgets off Amazon for the house that end up being absolute rubbish, like all these Alexa devices to make things easier. I don’t expect a reply because Jo told her not to!”
Travelling the continent as a top sportsman sounds like a glamorous lifestyle, but that’s not always the case, particularly from a culinary point of view.
Wright explained: “Food-wise it’s very difficult. By the time you finish playing darts everything’s closed. You’re often eating rubbish and I have to go without food sometimes. I travel with some Pot Noodles in my suitcase.
“After winning the World Championship this year, and £500,000, it was gone midnight when I got back to where I was staying and I celebrated with a Pot Noodle, toast and a cup of tea.”
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