Meet Squire Smith

By Paul Woodage 27/12/2021

You’re absolutely not buying a bull!”, exclaimed Dagmara Smith in defiance at the mere suggestion of sincerity from her darting husband, Michael.

That said, the Smith family certainly has the room for a whole herd of them having recently relocated to a beautiful four-acre farmland home in the picturesque Cheshire countryside. Together with their sons Michael Jnr, 7, and Kasper, 3 the couple moved several miles from Michael’s hometown of St Helens earlier this year. Smith said:

“We couldn’t find anywhere locally which had the amount of land we wanted. Also, Junior didn’t really want to change school - this place is only a 15 minutes drive away and perfect for us. “Then of course, it’s nice to have a home in the middle of woodlands surrounded by nature and a place for all our animals.” Giving me the full farmyard line-up, Dagmara said: “We have five dogs in total; two huskies and three dogue de Bourdeaux’s.

Then four Chinese geese, sixteen chickens, four turkeys, two black swans and seventeen ducks. ”....and about forty fish too”, added Junior excitedly. Clearly sharing his parent’s passion for the various species of the animal kingdom roaming their property, Junior was solely responsible for the acquisition of their slowest ones. Michael added:

“When Junior was about 3-years old, he was really into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so we got a couple of tortoises. It’s fair to say the locals are hoping the youngster doesn’t express an interest in elephants. But the countryside life has always been a passion for the couple and the kids thoroughly enjoy it too.

“I have always loved wildlife and nature. When I was younger, my family lived in Littleborough and I worked on a cattle farm there - that’s where my nickname Bullyboy comes from”, explains Smith. “In an ideal world, I’d live miles away from civilisation in the middle of nowhere and have loads of animals. “I’ll be applying for a zoo licence in a few years”, adds Smith pointing to the huge empty barn on the property.” I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not until he made his next comment. “Then the next plan is to get some miniature goats and a large bull. You can’t come to my house and not see a bull when you arrive can you?”, he added. We’ve already established there are conflicted marital opinions on that matter!

Surprisingly, for all his natural ability in the sport, Smith didn’t pick up a dart until relatively late in life. If it wasn’t for a freak accident and a bizarre quirk of fate, he may never have found his way into the game. Explaining, he said: “I didn’t actually start playing darts until I was 15-years old. Before that, I had no interest. It was all about rugby league for me, which is huge in St Helens. “Then one day, I tried to be clever pulling a wheelie on my bicycle, flipped it over, and injured myself.

“My Dad had always played a lot of darts, so I asked him to take me to the local club. Within a few weeks, I’d had hit my first 180 and shortly after that, won a local youth tournament without dropping a single leg - that paid £200. “Soon after, I beat Chizzy [Dave Chisnall] in a men’s club event and bagged £1000. It was at that point I decided darts was far easier than going to school - and it paid more too! “Dad was a truck driver at the time and worked away a lot. My Mum ran the family pub and they paid for me to travel the country playing darts. Without their sacrifices and belief, I’d had never made it. “When I eventually became a professional darts player, I gave them back nearly everything I won in my early days. And now, my Dad is on the payroll and drives me to all the events.

“Darts has given me a lot for something I quite literally fell into. If it wasn’t for that bicycle accident, I’d probably be signing on now.” Not only did that accident pave the way into the world of darts but subsequently, a meeting with the woman who was later to become his wife. In October 2012, a 22-year old fresh-faced Michael Smith headed to Ireland for an event. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Recollecting the first time he met Dagmara, Bullyboy said: “It was at a darts tournament in Killarney. At the time, she was living just outside of Dublin and had travelled down to take part in the ladies' event. “Then a few months later, I got a friend request from a girl called Dagmara on Facebook, so messaged asking who she was. “Anyway, for the next few weeks, we texted back and forth until one night I told her I was flying over to Dublin to stay a few nights! We then kept popping over to see one another and before too long it became pretty serious. “Back then, I was only relatively successful as a youth player - I hadn’t really done anything in the PDC and only been on telly twice.

“In June 2013, I should have been playing at the Gibraltar Darts Trophy but didn’t qualify so instead decided to spend that week in Ireland with Dagmara. “At the time, I was in a qualifying position for the upcoming World Matchplay. There were only one or two players taking part in the Gibraltar event who could leapfrog me - but they would have to reach the final so it was a nervous wait. “Whilst I was visiting Dagmara, we decided to head to an open tournament in Mayo and of course, kept one eye on the results overseas.

“I’d just comfortably beaten a 16-year old Mervyn King lookalike when we heard that Jamie Lewis had got through the Gibraltar Darts Trophy final. “He was one of the players who could reach the Matchplay at my expense so that immediately put me out of a return to Blackpool. “It was incredibly frustrating as apparently, Adrian Lewis had missed three match darts to knock him out in the semifinal - and this was after Kevin Painter spurned five in the previous round. Absolutely nothing against Jamie, he is a great lad but I was angry with myself. “So I picked up my darts, stormed outside the venue and launched them vowing not to play another match that weekend.
 “The only reason I changed my mind was hearing that one of the Irish players was boasting about easily being the best there and no one could touch him. “Still seething, I went off to find my darts, smashed him up in the final and collected my prize money. The next morning, I left the cash with Dagmara and flew home.”

Towards the end of that year, Michael and Dagmara discovered they would soon be hearing the patter of tiny feet. Smith said: “In January 2014, she moved over to St Helens to live. At the time we were expecting Junior but despite my parents meeting her during the pregnancy, it was quite early on and they didn’t actually know. “I recall being too nervous to tell them face to face so instead, decided to treat them both to a fortnight in the Canary Islands as a nice pre-Christmas trip.

“I’d planned it all perfectly. I dropped them off at the airport and texted with the news of the pregnancy at the exact time I knew they would be landing. Hopefully, at that point, they’d be in a great holiday mood! “I also thought it would be a good idea to hit them with the bombshell that Dagmara would be moving in with us after Christmas. “It was far easier breaking both pieces of news from thousands of miles away knowing it would be a while before I’d have to face them again. To be fair they soon came around.”

“Soon after Dagmara moved over, Junior was born and we bought our own house in St Helens close-by to my parents. Getting on the property ladder took virtually every penny I had saved and put me under a lot of stress. At that time, I’d still to really make my name in darts or earn much. “But thankfully in 2016, I was picked for the Premier League. So with the extra money guaranteed from being chosen, I was able to start paying some bills off.”

Possibly not the most romantic bloke on the planet, a fact Dagmara was incredibly quick to confirm, Michael wasn’t one for the whole ‘down on one knee’ thing when he asked for her hand in marriage. In fact, he didn’t really ask her at all. Smiling, Smith said: “Her Mum had pushed the idea about getting married because we were living together and had a newborn baby. “On her birthday shortly after Junior arrived, we were in a jewellers looking at earrings and I suggested she might as well pick an engagement ring too. But at the time, I never planned beyond that. “Marriage wasn’t really something I’d considered too much.

But once we had Kasper in 2017, I changed my mind. “So just after he was born, I asked Dagmara to look in Junior’s wardrobe and she found the little wooden heart with ‘will you marry me’ engraved on it I left for her.” Laughing, Dagmara said: “Yes, that is about as romantic as you get!” “Hey, I bought that from Australia a couple of months before and kept it quiet”, replied Michael grinning. Brings a tear to your eye doesn’t it!

First and foremost, Michael is a very proud family man. But he does enjoy other sports. Smith added: “Outside of darts, I’m a St Helens Rugby League fan and support Manchester United too. “My Dad and I also watch the cricket together and really enjoy Twenty-20. In fact, Junior is also really into it and because Ben Stokes is also with Unicorn - we met him at their headquarters a couple of years ago. “But right now, Junior is all about rugby league. He plays for a local St Helens team which I sponsor and is improving all the time - he absolutely loves it. In the past few months, he’s won about seven man-of-the-match awards and scored over twenty tries. “Junior’s plan is to play rugby until he is about 32 or 33 then switch and become a professional darts player.

I think he is looking to follow in Gerwyn Price’s footsteps. If anyone has seen videos of Junior throwing darts then it is perfectly plausible. What odds on two Smith boys lifting major silverware in the coming years.

Pretty good I'd say.

------ENDS-----
Original article in Darts World 576

Darts World Magazine (Issue 577) and Christmas bundle offers
Subscribe or purchase your copy 

NEWSLETTER

RedDragon Advert

Related Articles

50 Years In The Darts World: Issue 581 Out Now

100 Page 3 in 1 Special Hits the Shelves

Darts World Extra 6: Out Now

Our Latest FREE Digital Issue

Darts World Extra 5

Our Latest FREE Digital Issue

This website uses cookies to track session information