Yates verdict: Darts world champion Michael Smith should be given Freedom of St Helens honour

Bully Boy should be granted the same honour as St Helens RFC when they won world title.
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When St Helens lifted the Rugby League World Club Challenge at the beginning of the century, the local authority bestowed a Freedom of the Borough status on the club.

Now I am calling on St Helens Council to do the same for local lad Michael Smith - the newly crowned world darts champion - after his stunning 7-4 victory over three-times winner Michael van Gerwen at Alexandra Palace, London, on Tuesday night.

It would be a fitting honour for the 32-year-old who a few weeks ago claimed his first major TV title, the Grand Slam of Darts and will hopefully go from strength to strength in the future.

Not only did his win enable him to achieve a dream of a life-time but rocketed him to world No.1 on the darts scene - much to the joy and emotion of his family and friends who were gushing tears when the final dart plunged into the board.

Equally, SKY TV commentator Stuart Pyke must have been close to tears as he watched his fellow St Helens-born darts player lift the coveted title. How he managed to keep his composure when he relayed his thoughts to a world-wide audience, only he knows.