Six Of The Best: Scottish Oche Legends

Andy Murray, Stephen Hendry, Kenny Dalglish and Chris Hoy are all Scots who conquered their respective fields, but there has certainly been no absence of Scottish influence in darts either.

Rab Smith – Scottish Legend!

Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright recently became Scotland’s fourth darts World Champion when he overcame Michael Van Gerwen at the Alexandra Palace and it reminded us of the huge influence that the nation has had on our sport. Here we take a look at six of the best to come out of the Land of Cakes.

6. Rab Smith

Sometimes in sport, titles don’t tell the full story about a player and that is definitely the case with ‘Mr. Golden Darts’. A fluid player with a clean-cut image, Rab Smith (above) claimed his fair share of trophies throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s. He was Scottish Champion, British Matchplay Champion and famously won the Golden Darts Championship in 1977, winning a prize of £1,000 and a set of 18 carat gold darts. However, he was never to progress beyond the quarter-finals of the World Championship, a statistic that betrays his talents.

Smith, a patriotic Scotsman, did captain his country to win the 1981 Nations Cup however, defeating Eric Bristow and his England team in the final, no mean feat in those days. In all, Rab Smith represented his home nation for more than a decade whilst he also has a rare claim to fame in that he is the player throwing darts on a television in a scene from the Academy Award winning horror film ‘An American Werewolf in London’.

5. Robert Thornton

‘The Thorn’ has never quite achieved household name status, but he is undeniably one of Scotland’s most successful darts players.

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The Thorn. Robert Thornton may have been undervalued by darts fans?

Winner of the BDO World Masters in 2007, Ayrshire’s Robert Thornton made the switch to the PDC in 2008. Through some admirably consistent performances, he was in the top 16 players in the world in just two years. Thornton’s television breakthrough came in 2009 when reaching the final of the Players Championship, where he went down fighting against Phil Taylor. Away from the television cameras, he became only the third player to win back-to-back Pro Tour events over the same weekend.

A bout of ill-health was to halt Thornton’s progress but he came back in 2012 to land his first PDC major title at the UK Open in Bolton. Battling through a terrible draw that included Gary Anderson and Dave Chisnall, Thornton took the ultimate scalp when beating Phil Taylor 11-5 in the final, earning £40,000 for his troubles. A place in the lucrative Premier League followed in 2013 and 2014, as did a remarkable nine-dart-finish in the double-start World Grand Prix in Dublin.

Thornton’s biggest triumph, however, came in 2015 where, following a career-best quarter-final run at the World Championship, he returned to Dublin to win the World Grand Prix. He defeated world number one Michael Van Gerwen 5-4 in the final, sealing the £100,000 first prize and a rise to number five in the PDC Order of Merit.

Since 2015 struggles with form and personal problems have seen ‘The Thorn’ slip down the rankings, but recent signs of a resurgence suggest there may yet be another chapter in his rousing story.

4. Les Wallace

Scotland has often been the source of colourful, entertaining and unpredictable characters in darts and ‘McDanger’ certainly fits in to that category.

‘McDanger’ – Les added a certain element of
unpredictability, not to mention the kilt!

Known for playing many of his matches in a traditional Scottish kilt, the popular Les Wallace first appeared on television in 1984 when, at the age of just 22, he competed in the Dry Blackthorn Masters. It was not until 11 years later, however, that he made his debut at the BDO World Championship when losing in the first round to Raymond van Barneveld at the Lakeside.

He was to improve on that the following year by reaching the semi-final, but in 1997 he gained revenge on van Barneveld en route to a thrilling World Championship victory where he defeated Welshman Marshall James 6-3 in the final, becoming the first left-handed player to win a world championship (BDO or PDC) and only the second Scot.

Wallace’s success continued the following year when he defeated a stellar field to win the BDO World Masters, his victims including Alan Warriner-Little, Martin Adams and Ted Hankey, no less.

Sadly, that was to be as good as it got for Wallace as personal problems, including brushes with the law and personal tragedy led to a prolonged loss of form and regular absences from the tour. However, the World Championship/World Masters double is a feat achieved by very few and ensures the talented ‘McDanger’s’ place in darts folklore.

3. Peter Wright

Despite being based in England since the age of five, ‘Snakebite’ is proud of his Scottish roots, having been born in West Lothian.


Peter Wright’s story is a truly inspirational one. Having taken up darts at a young age, he had a promising junior career and qualified for the BDO World Championship in 1995 where Richie Burnett knocked him out in the first round. This was the first and last time he would play darts on television for over a decade.

Wright spent the next 10 years playing darts in local leagues, moving around from town to town, seeking employment where he could get it. Then one evening in

2007, at the age of 37 and unemployed, Wright declared he had unfinished business with darts and joined the PDC circuit. A naturally shy man with a history of self-doubt, he reinvented himself as ‘Snakebite’, adopting a Mohican haircut styled by his wife Jo and dyed various bright colours, matched by equally flamboyant shirts and trousers. He also developed the habit of changing his darts as often as his hair colour!

After an uninspiring start in the PDC, Wright began to make notable progress from 2009 onwards. This culminated in a first PDC title in 2012. His big breakthrough, however, came in 2014 when he made the World Championship final, losing 7-4 to Michael Van Gerwen. Since then, Wright has constantly been in the top 10 of the PDC Order of Merit, becoming a Premier League regular and a genuine contender for major titles. However, before his World Championship win this year, he had won only one major final (UK Open, 2017) from 11 attempts, leading many to label him a nearly man.

That all changed in January as ‘Snakebite’ claimed the ultimate crown and £500,000 at the age of 49, thoroughly deserving of his victory over Michael Van Gerwen, and so completing the most remarkable and heartwarming journey.

2. Gary Anderson

There is simply no better sight in darts than ‘The Flying Scotsman’ in full flight on the oche. The super-talented, heavy scoring Gary Anderson is a giant of the game having captured eight major PDC titles in addition to 31 PDC Pro Tour event titles. However, at various stages of his career, one could have been forgiven for fearing the Musselburgh man may not fulfil his obvious potential.

Anderson began playing darts at the age of 24 and first rose to prominence with an excellent run to the semi-final of the BDO World Championship in 2003. Subsequently he won a number of titles, but a television major eluded him. His form in the World Championship completely deserted him, winning just one match at the Lakeside in the period 2004-2007. This led to many questioning if Anderson had the temperament for the big occasion.

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A double World Championship and with a multitude of other titles, Gary Anderson. (PDC)

That changed in 2007 when Anderson participated in and won the televised cross-code International Darts League, defeating Phil Taylor in the final. Confident he could now beat the best, Anderson switched to the PDC in 2009 after a run to the quarter-final in his final appearance at the Lakeside.

Within six months of being on the PDC tour, Anderson had won his first Pro Tour event and hit a nine-dart-finish. The following year he reached his first major final at the UK Open, followed by a breakthrough run to the final of the World Championship where he lost 7-5 to Adrian Lewis. Despite a major title eluding him, Anderson had secured a place in the Premier League and reached number 4 in the PDC Order of Merit.

Anderson enjoyed the short format of the Premier League and remarkably won it at the first attempt, beating Lewis 10-4 in the final. Personal tragedy and injury problems meant that Anderson had to wait over three years for his next major title, but the birth of his son Kai seemed to inspire him as he won, first the Players Championship, and then the World Championship where he defeated Phil Taylor 7-6 in a classic final. He went on to retain his crown the following year, defeating Adrian Lewis to become a back-to-back, two time world champion.

A popular, humble man, Anderson has crossed eras with both Phil Taylor and Michael Van Gerwen and yet has got the better of them both on many occasions; he must go down as one of the greatest darts players of all time.

1. Jocky Wilson

The ‘Wee Man’ (Jocky Wilson) Scotland’s Number 1.

It’s hard to argue that Scotland has ever produced a finer player than Gary Anderson, but the legend of John Thomas (‘Jocky’) Wilson will always leave an indelible mark on the darts world. Anderson himself says he would never have picked up a dart were it not for his ‘hero’.

Raised in a children’s care home in Kirkcaldy, Wilson had a difficult upbringing but would find a way to twice become the champion of the world in an era where darts went from pub pastime to television entertainment and a working class man could become a hero to the masses.

As a young adult Wilson found it very hard to find employment and spent a lot of time in his local pub, ‘The Lister’, honing his darts skills. In 1979 he entered a tournament at Butlins, Ayrshire and won the first prize of £500. This triumph convinced Wilson he should turn professional.

Just three years later Wilson’s profile was propelled in to stardom as he won the BDO World Championship live on BBC2, defeating John Lowe 5-3 in the final at the Jollees Cabaret Club in Stoke.

Almost overnight, Wilson became a hugely popular nationwide star and appeared on a number of television shows including Terry Wogan, Russell Harty and even Top of the Pops! Meanwhile, the tabloids were always keen to run a spread on any story they could find. There were plenty of stories to be found due to Wilson’s chain-smoking, excessive drinking, brushes with authority and financial problems. Wilson was uncomfortable with the attention but a media fascination with his rags to riches story meant it was unrelenting.

Undoubtedly Wilson’s finest moment on the oche came in 1989 when he recaptured the World Championship, beating his old rival and world number one Eric Bristow 6-4 at the Lakeside. A respectful Bristow would later admit that Wilson was one of only two players (John Lowe being the other) who he could not influence with pre-match mind games.

Tragically ‘Jocky’ left darts in 1995 and was never to return. He became a recluse, unwilling to leave his home in Kirkcaldy that he shared with his wife, and sadly died of lung disease in 2012. His legend lives on in a sport that he helped revolutionise.

Text: James Lincoln & Darts World Staff Writers.

Pics: As credited.

Phil Taylor Trophy Introduced For BetVictor World Matchplay

Six Of The Best – Standing Up To The Power.

JR Lott looked at who really could ‘Fight The Power‘. His ‘Six of the Best’ contains players from different generations with many differing styles. While some are relatively predictable. Others are less so:

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Who really fought ‘The Power’? Very few won even 1/3 of their clashes with the Stoke thrower. (pic: PDC/L Lustig)

Darts World’s ‘Six of the Best’ is not usually my type of writing. But, while researching a different article, I happened upon a review Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor’s career. It was interesting to note that only Rob Cross has a majority of competitive wins against Phil and even that was in their one and only encounter.

So who else performed best against the player many regard as the GOAT? Our friends at offered some clues.

Six: Chizzy (Win rate 28%).

Dave Chisnall has a very solid record vs Phil. Although twenty eight percent may not seem very high, it’s close to one win in three, and includes some superb moments. Chizzy defeated ‘The Power’ in their initial encounters, both on the Pro Tour and TV.

The St. Helens man’s victory at the 2012 World Championship was quite the shock to watching audiences, although those closer to the game, thought it ‘on the cards’.

It is to be noted that Chizzy is a huge 180 hitter and can produce devastating scoring spells. (32 Matches).

Five: Gary Anderson (Win rate 20%).

The Flying Scotsman‘s record against ‘ The Power’ stretches back to 2007 when he won their debut encounter in the World Darts Trophy. Phil reversed this a few weeks later, at the Grand Slam of Darts, and held the upper hand for the next four years.

Between 2011 and 2017 Gary inched closer and won a higher and higher percentage of their matches. His 2015 World Championship victory, in the final, over The Power was, perhaps, the high-point.

Anderson too is a huge scorer. (57 Matches).

Mutual Respect? Both Peter & Phil have expressed a great deal of mutual admiration Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Four: Peter Wright (Win rate 33%)

Snakebite is the first in our list to claim wins more than a third of his encounters with the Stoke-on-Trent legend. Wright lost nine-out-of-ten of their early encounters, the tenth was a draw! Wrighty finally claimed victory in the, non ranked, Dubai Masters. Weeks later Peter gained an important win, the Qtr final of the UK Open of 2015.

The tide had turned, the Scottish thrower gained in successes until he too was winning around half of his tussles with Taylor. These wins partially offset the early defeats and enabled a fine record to be built. (33 Matches).

Peter also features heavily on 180 hitting tables.

Three: Micheal Van Gerwyn (43.33%)

MVG‘s rumbles with The Power cover more than a decade while also charting Micheal’s rise, slump and triumphant return. Early on the young Dutchman did well, claiming two, from three, of their early encounters. Phil, again, learnt adapted and defeated Micheal on the next fifteen occasions that they met. In 2012 a reversal of fortune began.

Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen
From early days to later years. Over a decade of battles between The Power & MVG.

MVG began to get the upper hand and steadily improved his record against the player with whom he will always be compared. Michael racked up more than twenty wins between 2012 and 2017.

Even with this superb spell of form he could not totally conquer ‘The Power’.

Phil used his experience, professionalism and matchplay skills to limit the damage and score major wins during this time. Most memorable were Taylor’s 2013 World Championship (final) win, known to the the Darts World coach as ‘darting rope-a-dope’, and the demolition of Micheal in the 2016 Matchplay.

‘Mighty Mike’ clocks over 40% and solely in the modern PDC era! (60 matches).

Two: Rod Harrington (43.75%)

Harrington is a very unusual player in this list. The former World Master dominated Taylor during their early rivalries. Indeed, Rod claimed six out of eight initial skirmishes. Also unusually he claimed most of those wins in finals and semi finals.

Taylor then reversed the tables and completed a series of heavier and heavier defeats upon Harrington. During their last eight encounter it was Phil who clocked up a seven-one run. Again, most of these encounters were finals or later stage matches.

Their rivalry may not include as many matches others in the games history, but Taylor vs Harrington was conducted during a tough time for the sport and mainly at the highest level. To get even close, to a 50% record, is a remarkable effort and shared by only one other. (16 Matches).

One: Peter Evison: (Win rate 50%)

The Fenn Tiger sits alone in our table of those who fought ‘The Power’. Over a thirteen year time-span the two clashed in the Winmau World Masters, the early PDC (WDC) Lada Masters, The World Matchplay and The World Grand Prix.

Across all formats, both BDO and PDC events, and during different stages of their careers. Peter Evison comes out even.

Each player handed the other a terrible beating, or two, with Evison’s 8-1 demolition of Taylor, at his ‘home’ venue in Blackpool, at the World Matchplay being his high-point.

Later, Taylor (once more!) turned the tide and inflicted heavy defeats of his own. But, despite his best efforts, ‘The Power’ was unable to was unable to best ‘The Tiger’ overall. (8 Matches).

To illustrate how difficult it was to get even a single win, vs The Power, here are the six who suffered most his hands.

Nigel Heydon80100.00%
Shayne Burgess110100.00%
Kevin McDine110100.00%
Dennis Smith140100.00%
Alan Tabern160100.00%
Roland Scholten
See Roland’s full record & get more info at dartsdatabase.

Ones to Watch: Six of The Best (PDC) 2020 Games For Lock-Down Viewing.

As a fan of our ‘Ones to Watch‘ series James Smith got in – touch with his suggestions of the best of 2020, while his ambitions may seem a bit bold, his viewing choice is solid:

How many lock-down weeks until you reach MVG standard?

As a darts enthusiast, being trapped indoors currently does present one with a great opportunity to work on one’s throw, with the hope of giving Michael van Gerwen a run for his money when we are allowed outside again.

James Smith

However, there is only so long that you can kid yourself into thinking that you are good enough to become a World Champion. In the meantime, with no new (live) darts being televised, we are left only to look back over what has happened already.

So, to aid this pursuit of entertainment, here is a run down of the six most exciting PDC matches of 2020 so far:

6. Dobey vs Ratajski: UK Open 4th Round.

The early rounds of the UK open of 2020 were graced with some fantastic clashes, especially this contest between top-twenty players Chris Dobey and Krystof Ratajski. Both players are expected to start picking up serious titles this year, and this match showed why.

Both players averaged over 105 across a match that went all the way to the final leg. With Ratajski averaging 56.25% on his doubles, and Dobey 43.48% it is no surprise that this was a close-fought contest.

Ratajski broke throw early in the match to go into a 4 – 2 lead. Dobey responded brilliantly however, breaking throw twice to win four straight legs to go 6 – 4 up. This included a fantastic 121-check on the bullseye in leg nine to break for the second time.

After another break of throw, Ratajski then missed two darts at double sixteen to win 10-8, surprising given then quality of the match. With the pattern of the game continuing however, the Englishman hit the bullseye again, this time for a 92-out, in the final leg of the match, to break Ratajski and go to the next round. Darting drama right from the start.

5. Dave Chisnall vs Daryl Gurney: Masters First Round

Following disappointing World Championship campaigns, both Gurney and Chisnall arrived at the Marshall Arena at the end of January, with a point to prove. However, with the format of the tournament bringing the top sixteen of the PDC Order of Merit, neither player was likely to enjoy an ‘easy’ first round draw.

Both players showed in this first-round clash their undeniable class. Starting well, ‘Chizzy’ raced into a 5 – 2 lead, only for Gurney to bring it back to 5 – 5. The following six legs were then shared to make things 8 – 8, in this first to ten match.

With both players averaging in the low nineties, this wasn’t the highest scoring game ever. But missed doubles throughout the match, including Gurney’s four across the final two legs, meant that this game was full of darting drama from start to finish.

Chizzy emerged a 10 – 8 winner…only to be knocked out in the second round 10 – 0 by title-winner Peter Wright. A great contest as we get stuck into the list:

4. Peter Wright vs Gerwyn Price: PC 5 (Final).

The first of two Players’ Championship events to make this list – the final of PC 5 saw newly-crowned World and Masters Champion Peter Wright, take on Welsh Number One Gerwyn Price.

The final saw the two Major-holders both average over 109 across the fourteen-leg match. This was a fitting end to a day of darts where ninety-one matches saw averages over a hundred – beating the previous world record (set in February 2019) by a staggering twenty-one matches.

Showing the eminent quality of both players, the first thirteen legs of the match went with throw, leaving Wright with a 7-6 lead going into the fourteenth. Then with Price sat on double top, after twelve darts, ‘Snakebite’ hit ‘The Big Fish’ (a 170 Checkout) to seal his first Players Championship title of 2020.

You will struggle to find a final of such consistent quality anywhere else from this season. In fact, Wright’s performance in the final meant that of his seven matches en route to lifting the trophy, he averaged less than one hundred on only one occasion:

3. Nathan Aspinall vs Dirk van Duijvenbode: Belgian Darts Championship Quarter Final

2020 is the first year that the PDC European Tour hosted an event in Belgium. The inaugural venue was the Expo Hasselt, in Hasselt, where forty-eight competitors took to the stage.

The final was won by Gerwyn Price, in an 8-3 victory over Michael Smith. Arguably, however, the game of the tournament came in the Quarter Final between Nathan Aspinall and Dirk van Duijvenbode.

With both players reaching averages of over 102, this match was full of quality, with the Dutchman edging his English opponent 6-5, as the match went right to the final leg. Having hit the twenty-five for a 170-Check, Van Duijvenbode was let off the hook as Aspinall failed to get a dart at a double from ninety-five. The Dutchman cleaned up on double eight to proceed to the semi-fianls.

Despite losing 7-4 to price in the semi’s, he must have been over the moon for his performance that weekend. As well as this being the Dutchman’s first final’s day at a PDC European Tour event, the financial implications are also clear. Van Duijvenbode last season earned £14,500 – after reaching the semi-finals in Belgium, he has already supposed that in 2020.

This is the perfect chance to watch one of the new greats of the game in Aspinall, coming up against a young player of whom much is expected in the years to come:

2. Nathan Aspinall vs Gary Anderson: P.L. (6)

Having not played a Premier League match in almost two years due to injury, Gary Anderson returned to the Thursday-Night tournament continuing to reach his former best. His match against Nathan Aspinall in Liverpool showed that he still has a lot left in the tank.

Gary averaged 94.27 across the match, and flew into a 5-1 lead straight away after Aspinall missed six darts at a double in the first leg. The man from Stockport rallied however, hitting eight maximums to bring the match back level at 5-5.

Aspinall then responded to the Scot’s ninety-five finish to win the final leg to claim a 6-6 draw with an average pushing 108. With both players coming off stage pleased with coming away with a point it isn’t hard to imagine how much quality the two of them were producing:

1. Michael Van Gerwen vs Gerwyn Price: Players’ Championship Six Final

The second match in the list from the Players Championship events from Wigan this year – the final of PC Six saw the MvG lose to the ‘Iceman’ 8-7 in the most thrilling contest of the year.

With over 1,112 180’s thrown over the two days, as well as two nine-dart legs (from MvG and Steve Lennon) the Sunday final had a lot to live up to. It did not disappoint.

Price raced into a 4 – 1 lead, continuing to show the class that has brought him up to number three in the PDC Order of Merit. MvG managed to bring the tie back to 5 – 4, only for the Welshman to win to extend his lead to 7 – 4. As Price struggled to close the game, MvG won legs in eleven, fifteen, and eleven darts again to send the match to a deciding leg for what would have been his first title in 2020.

Price however, took the £10,000 cheque by hitting the bulls eye to complete a 94-checkout with the big Dutchman sat on double eighteen.

Price continues to ooze confidence and class – stating after his victory “I truly believe now that if I hit my double I will win matches against Michael, Peter [Wright] or whoever; my scoring game is up there, if not better than them.”

So there are James’s picks for the best viewing of 2020, so far!

Many thanks to James for his contribution. Perhaps you have a different pick of the 2020 crop? Maybe you have a ‘Six of the Best’ or ‘Ones to Watch’ of your own to offer to those currently stuck within four walls?

Get in touch with your suggestions: or @Darts_World

Welsh Darting Greats: Our Six Of The Best.

Ray Reardon, JPR Williams, Lynn Davies, John Charles and, more recently, Gareth Bale. Legends of Welsh sporting prowess. But, even more have been born ‘on the oche’:

Wayne Warren the latest in a long line of Welsh Darting giants.

The triumph of yet another Welsh World Champion, Wayne Warren, together with our latest Darts World ‘Unsung Hero’ (Alan Evans) reminded us of the phenomenal sporting record of the principality. In snooker, rugby, football, and many other areas Wales punches above its weight, producing legendary players/characters. But is for the ‘darts’ floor’ that they just keep on producing.

Honorable mentions to go to Ceri Morgan, who sadly died recently, Marshall James, Johnny Clayton, Jim Williams and legendary Welsh skipper Martin Phillips. But our six Welsh giants are:

Six: Alan Evans

Evans the Arrow can rightly be classed as one of the founders of the feast. He claimed Runner-up spot in The News of The World event and lifted the World Master trophy. Alan was part of the three man team that won the first World Cup and stamped Wales on the darting map. Check out Alan’s Unsung Hero profile.

Five: Gerwyn Price


The Iceman is storming through professional darts, just as he did opposition defences on the Rugby field. The Cardiff man already has two (ranking) major titles to his name and has also twice been a major runner-up. Currently ranked No 3, by the PDC, Price is strongly tipped as a future World Champion and is currently in his third season of Premier League darts.

Four: Wayne Warren

To claim a World Title is impressive at any time, to claim it as your first televised major is remarkable and to do it aged 57 is simply unique. Tynewydd’s favoured son gave the 2020 BDO World Championship the positive story it desperately needed and became the fourth Welsh man to claim the revered trophy. His 2020 form suggests he may add more titles to his collection yet.

Three: Richie Burnett

The Prince of Wales kept the Wrlsh flag flying after the early blaze had begun to fade. Winning the World Masters in 1994 and the World Championship the following year. Burnett has had ups and downs over a long career and probably waited too long before trying his luck on the PDC tours. However, his runner up effort in the 2001 World Matchplay and his comeback run, to the semi, in the World Grand Prix, a decade later demonstrate that he had the talent. Sadly, a social drugs suspension has hastened a decline in his success. Richie’s place amongst Welsh Darting royalty in nonetheless assured.

Two: Leighton Rees

Leighton Rees, father of the modern game? The Original Cobra?

The Marathon Man can lays strong claim to a place among the founding fathers of modern darts. Using self made barrels, dowling stems and paper flights Rees claimed the 1st World Professional Darts Championship in 1978. Often overlooked is that he often averaged over 90 and notched a 97+ on the way to the title. Leighton’s Welsh outfit claimed that first World Cup in ’77, & retained it in ’78. The big man had taken the Indoor League title in ’74 & ’76. Bearing in mind that Indoor League introduced darts to a mass audience, while Rees won the game many fans, by personality as well as ability, he was a strong contender for the top spot.

One: Mark Webster!

Carried the flag into the moder PDC era.

Despite Leighton’s claim, its the Denbigh player who carries the flag for the Welsh legends. Webster belongs to an exclusive club of World Champions who have also won the World Cup Singles titles. His defeat of Simon Whitlock, to win the Worlds, in 2008, restored Wales to the top of the darting tree after more than a decade. The fact he was only twenty-four ensured plenty more was to come.

Webster switched to the PDC and made sure Wales was represented, at the highest level, during a vital time for the professional game. Webby twice reached the semi finals of the (PDC) World Championship and was later the runner-up in the Players Championship finals.

Mark was the first Welshman to play in The Premier League and skippered the Welsh pairing (with Barrie Bates) on a tremendously popular run to the final of the inaugural World Cup of Darts (PDC).

Currently Mark is on a sabbatical from the Pro Tour, he can however be heard summarising major TV events. Who knows, as he is only 36, perhaps there are more chapters in the story of our top Welsh Darter!

Six of the Best – The PDC Millionaires .

The earning power of dart players has soared in recent years. Gone are the days of the top players, or even the second rank, having to scratch around to supplement their darts earnings in order to pay the bills or even carry on playing.

JAMES WADE & ROB CROSS Winners of darting millions. PIC LAWRENCE LUSTIG:

Today players in the PDC top 32 are winning over £50k a year. Add in a few exhibitions, and good sponsorship deals and very healthy living can be earned without claiming multiple titles or shining on the TV.

Premium Dart Data (@premiumdartdata) recently pointed out that six players have earned over £1,000,000 from just 6 PDC major events (WC, WM, WGP, Open, GSoD & PCFs) :

  • Phil Taylor – £4,434,000
  • MVG – £3,539,500
  • G Anderson – £1,959,740
  • Adrian Lewis – £1,567,250
  • J Wade – £1,525,750
  • Raymond Van Barneveld – £1,395,750

Darts World looked a little further and these guys are not the only ones to have claimed £million + in prize money. Counting 1975 as a decent starting point, and going right up to the present day, almost twenty players have claimed at least 1,000,000 during their career:

Thanks to

1Phil TaylorEngland£7,634,754
2Michael van GerwenNetherlands£7,426,167
3Gary AndersonScotland£3,850,772
4Raymond van BarneveldNetherlands£3,452,378
5James WadeEngland£3,232,143
6Adrian LewisEngland£2,982,634
7Peter WrightScotland£2,527,638
8Simon WhitlockAustralia£1,998,249
9Dave ChisnallEngland£1,711,665
10Mervyn KingEngland£1,620,858
11Michael SmithEngland£1,437,685
12Terry JenkinsEngland£1,348,883
13Robert ThorntonScotland£1,294,126
14Mensur SuljovicAustria£1,219,367
15Rob CrossEngland£1,188,600
16Daryl GurneyNorthern Ireland£1,090,450
17Andy HamiltonEngland£1,078,794
18Ian WhiteEngland£1,034,058
19Steve BeatonEngland£1,008,055

It is remarkable that MVG will pass Taylor’s career prize money within the next twelve months. As well as showing Micheal’s remarkable talent it also shows how the earning power has increased in the last few years.

Last player to reach the £1miilion mark! Pic: PDC

Perhaps the most noteworthy contrast in the table is both Daryl Gurney and Rob Cross earning over £1million in a very few years. Meanwhile, Steve Beaton has just reached the million mark after a career spanning a mere 35 years!