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Wayne Warren does not have much sympathy leftover for BDO’s current leadership and therefore does not believe in a future for the formerly powerful organisation.
He won the BDO World Championship back in January, but now 57-year-old Wayne Warren says he no longer believes in a future for BDO. Instead, he chooses to focus on WDF tournaments and a possible future in the PDC next year. Warren was speaking to journalist Phil Barrs
Warren won the BDO title on January 12, after defeating his compatriot Jim Williams in the final. However, the victory resulted far from the career boost that any previous world champion could have expected in advance.
Because after the victory Warren received only £23,000, a fraction of the previous year when Glen Durrant claimed the title. In fact, Warren’s prize money was the lowest cash prize awarded to a BDO World Champion since 1989.
Everyone dreams of becoming a world champion. I’ve been dreaming of that myself since I was a kid…..
– But getting what I got – it can’t be right, can it? It’s a nightmare, not a dream.
Wayne Warren’s frustrations stem, among other things, from the fact that players prior to the BDO World Cup had been informed that the prize money would be reduced – though not to the extent that it was. Warren seems to blame BDO chairman Des Jacklin for.
“The only thing Des has done just a little bit right was to move the World Championships to the O2.
But what he has done otherwise has not been good enough…..
“We knew full well that the prize money would not be £100,000 at all, but I had heard rumors that it would be £50,000 or £60,000. “So I couldn’t fathom it when I got an email saying it was reduced to 23,000 pounds. It’s a damn big reduction”
“The original premium would have been life-changing for someone my age. It is simply a joke. It’s a disaster, to be honest.
BDO is done. There will be no more BDO if you ask me.
“BDO no longer has my interest. I want to dedicate myself to WDF tournaments now, and then we take it one step at a time. But BDO is done for me….”
Although Warren turns 58 by June, he still has ambitions for a future in the PDC, to which he expects to attend Q-School until January.
” I expect to attend Q-School. I was originally signed up this year, but when I got that email from BDO, ……. so I didn’t have my head with me.
But I have the level of winning a Tour Card, Wayne Warren concludes.
A different form of this article was originally published, here.
The science, and history, of dart development is of great interest to players, and readers of Darts World, we often get asked “how the modern game has changed?” or “what made the difference in standard?”
‘Coach’ always says that they “last real change was the acceptance of tungsten in the 1970’s”. Red Dragon have produced a great ‘potted history’ here:
The Tungsten in your hand is so perfectly sculptured and comfortable to your grip, you probably won’t notice the benefits of this semi-precious alloy until you try picking up an old brass dart.
Tungsten darts evolved in the mid 1970’s with the invention of high density, tungsten alloy rods, known as billets. Tungsten’s massive weight to volume ratio offered dart players an unrivalled scoring advantage over traditional brass darts. Whilst individual machinists started to fashion the very first tungsten dart barrels, it was not long before a plethora of tungsten dart brands sprung up around this blossoming market.
Red Dragon’s very own engineers were pioneers at this hugely exciting time in the history of the sport. Experts in tungsten powder metallurgy, they were one of the first companies to successfully blend tungsten with other metals such as copper and nickel, in the early mass production of these revolutionary new darts.
At the same time as tungsten was re-writing the rule book for scoring averages, a global industry was emerging as the game was watched on television by millions of viewers worldwide. When Leighton Rees doubled to victory at the inaugural BDO World Championships in 1978, the future of tungsten for darts was secure.
Over the last 45 years, Red Dragon has consistently remained at the forefront of new technology and innovation, focusing on the development of profiles, trajectory dynamics and grip biomechanics. It is this genesis of eighth generation tungsten, that offers the players of today such a huge range of grip and flight dynamics to perfect to their very own throw.
With staggering tournament prize funds, now estimated to exceed £10 million per annum, the technological advantages offered by tungsten have never been so important.
Each top professional is fastidiously aware of the advantage that the perfect feel in a set of darts can give them, almost to the point of an unfair advantage.
And so it is to the top tungsten technologists that the leading players turn in their chase for the most innovative, tournament winning designs.
Congratulations therefore to our three reigning World Champions, Luke Humphries, Wayne Warren and Peter Wright as well as our team of specialist engineers who continue to push the scientific boundaries of tungsten technology.
World Finalist Wayne Warren is one of those mysterious players that darts has a habit of throwing up. Darts World has a regular series about such players, it’s called Unsung Heroes. The Welshman (57) certainly fits the first part of the bill, if could secure the BDO World Professional Darts Championship today he will claim the hero status to match.
Since first appearing, on the main scene, back in 2003, ‘Yank’ as Wayne is known, has had had both great highs and barren spells. He qualified for the BDO World Championship as far back as 2005 and reached the last 32. Unfortunately, this promising start was followed with a run of poor form and near misses and it was not until 2012 that glimpses of Warren’s real ability began to emerge.
After some promising early season results Wayne won the BDO International Open, reached the final of The Gold Cup and qualified for another World Championship. He again reached the last 32 stage, losing out to Alan Norris.
Again, a couple of hit and miss years followed but the Welshman had done enough to again qualify for the Lakeside event in 2018. This time he was to make a big impression. He knocked out talented continental players Willem Mandigers and Wes Harms before losing out in an epic battle with ‘Gladiator’ Mark McGeeney.
Although no major titles came his way Wayne now settled into the role of highly ranked payer, repeatedly reaching the later stages of major BDO/WDF events all over Europe. He was selected to play the 2019 Grand Slam of Darts. He had again qualified for the World Championships!
Wayne is a non nonsense player. He has a simple technique and uses a simple design dart, produced and marketed by Welsh brand Red Dragon, that are similar to an old Eric Bristow type barrel but with a grip more like (early) Bob Anderson‘s. At 20g he is another member of, what has been termed, “The Light Brigade“.
As our resident coach is fond of saying “there is nothing new in darts were just very good at repackaging!”
‘Yank’ has been on a tremendous run in this years World Championship, he almost seems to have allowed himself to shine. His run has also showed, yet again, the depth of talent in the darting world. While many obsess with the ‘cult of youth’, it can be smarter, and more profitable, to look at the other end of the age spectrum. At 57 Warren will be one of the oldest to grace a World Final and certainly for for the first time.
His defeats of Justin Thompson and Andy Hamilton were based on patience and superb doubling. He seemed to barely miss an opportunity to finish a leg. Against Chris Landman he showed that he could adapt and score heavily in order to establish a dominance. He also showed he could cope with things going his opponents way, Landman repeatedly seemed to be about to get back into the game yet Warren held him at bay and completed the win.
In his semi final Wayne demonstrated he can be a complete player. Playing a player of Scott Mitchell’s standing, in a World Semi-Final, can be intimidating and draining, esp at 57. Wayne Warren simply stepped up a gear and put Scott away with relative ease.
The final takes place later today against fellow Welshman Jim Williams. Williams was a pre-event favourite who has built up his game through the event. Williams seems a more resilient player than the one who appeared at the Grand Slam in November. Let’s face it, against Warren he is going to need to be!
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’:
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
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!
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!
After winning the 2020 BDO World Championships in emphatic style, Wayne Warren enters his next exciting chapter signing an extension to his exclusive sponsorship deal with Red Dragon Darts.
The iconic win for the 57-year-old Rhondda roofer wasn’t all plain sailing, as he became the lowest paid World Champion since Jockey Wilson won the prestigious title in 1989 defeating Eric Bristow.
However, to Wayne’s huge credit he battled through swathes of negativity surrounding the event to emerge an extremely proud World Champion.
Wayne said “To win the World title at the age of 57 is without doubt a dream come true, I’ve always wanted to become World Champion throughout my career and I’ve worked so hard to do this.”
“I’ve had some time off from the game with a new family and various things, but since playing a fulltime schedule and being able to focus fully on my darts it has allowed my confidence to grow”.
Wayne has continued to smash the WDF rankings with wins in the Slovakia Masters and Romanian Classic already in 2020 and it’s this form that sees him grow his sponsorship with Red Dragon Darts.
Simon Hall, Head of Marketing at Red Dragon, said “It’s long been known our views of Wayne, that “If God could throw darts, he’d throw like Wayne Warren”
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Wayne and he’s carried his name and the Red Dragon brand to such a high standard it’s a privilege to continue our partnership”
Wayne extends his contract for a further three years as he continues to look to add further Major titles to his collection.
Wayne spoke about his plans for the future and whether he intended to switch over to the PDC. Wayne said “This year I’m focusing on nailing that WDF Number 1 ranking spot, as we’re not all sure what the forecast looks like for major tournaments this year”
“I’ve obviously got a lot of exhibitions to look forward to since the big win and I’m really excited with what darts lie ahead for me in the next 10 months and a really busy year”
We wish Wayne all the best on the circuit this year and it’s a massive pleasure to have him extend his stay on board.
World Champion Wayne Warren, and Chris Landman shared the honours over this popular weekend of WDF affiliated darts. Warren claimed the Masters and Landman, the following day’s, Slovak Open. The win sees Warren in eighth place on the WDF rankings and closing in on the top places..
David Evans continued his climb within the BDO/WDF system as he carries the confidence, from his World Championship Qtr Final, into the season.
The ladies crwons were captured by Maria O’Brien and Lorraine Winstanley respectively.
Wayne Warren was recently asked his view on the survival of the WDF/BDO structures in darts. It’s fair to say he gave a forthright opinion:
Wayne’s restraint, when talking about the controversy surrounding the event, especially the massively reduced prize fund, is admirable and even more so when it’s clear how unhappy he is with the situation. His reasons for this become apparent when he is asked how important it is that the alternative/grassroots structure of the BDO/WDF continues:
Its Vital…without it, I think it could be the end of darts as an an amateur Game
Hopefully, Warrens plans, to recoup some usual of the financial rewards by having a very busy year with his World Championship Trophy, will pay dividends and he will both have the chance to defend the trophy and, perhaps, give the PDC a try next year when things are a little more stable.
But is clear he believes strongly in the continuation of darts, as a working person’s game, and that the PDC model can be intimidating to many BDO players. See his full interview, with Red Dragon’s Simon Hall, below:
The closing section of the interview shows us an extremely well regarded, and down-to-earth, sportsman who has risen to the very top of his game. Darts World wishes Wayne all the success, and rewards, in the coming years.
Listening to a new video with new World Champion (BDO) Wayne Warren, I was reminded of the above quote. Sadly God does not pay out prize money!
It is a lovely chat with Wayne who is very authentic and obviously not an example of the modern, slick and media trained sportsman. Instead you actually see the real person!
From talking about his “god given” or natural talent, although he confesses to have sped up slightly over time, to first realising he might be a bit good when invited to join a winning team, at the age of seventeen, when no young players were allowed in the pubs! Then winning the individuals title in such company confirmed his thoughts.
One delightful section reveals the importance of the carrying of the Welsh darts ‘torch’ Wayne clearly values his connection to the trailblazing greats such as Alan Evans and Leighton Rees and hopes that other young Welsh players will see him in the same light.
Wayne cites the infuence of the legendary Martin Phillips as part of the reason for his late career success. Time spent with Martin over many years and seeing his career example seems to have taken off for the fifty-seven-year-old Warren. He speaks about the lull in his career after playing Merv King in the 2005 lakeside, and how he faded for a while, before reaching the semi final in 2019.
On this years event Wayne offers some superb insights for those who might follow his path. He is aware that he has become a fraction slower on finishing and match winning darts and that this may be simply the result of time and patience.
Wayne’s restraint when talking about the controversy surrounding the event, especially the massively reduced prize fund, is admirable and even more so when its clear how unhappy he is with the situation. His reasons for this become apparent when he is asked how important it is that the alternative/grassroots structure of the BDO/WDF continues:
Its Vital…without it I think it could be the end of darts as an an amateur Game
Hopefully Warrens plans to recoup some of the financial reward by having a very busy year with his World Championship Trophy will pay dividends and he will both have the chance to defend the trophy and perhaps, give the PDC a try next year when things are a little more stable.
The closing section of the interview shows us an extremely well regarded, and down-to-earth, sportsman who has risen to the very top of his game. Darts World wishes Wayne all the success, and rewards, in the coming years.
New World Champion Wayne Warren was recently filmed discussing how he was able to take a brand new set of darts and turn them, and him, into World Championship winners in less than a month.
The video features Wayne in discussion with Red Dragon’s Simon Hall and legendary dartmaker Lee Huxtable.
Now we know that a full discussion about the ins and out of darts design may not suit everyone. But within 10 minutes Lee, Wayne and Simon give a near perfect guide to dart selection, design and manufacture!
Wayne had his original darts made by Lee at Red Dragon over a decade ago. The main elements were a ‘feel’ that Wayne had from his ancient copper tungsten originals and the weight. After much trial and error the perfect ‘replica’ was produced. This involved shotblasting the tungsten to give the feel of a old worn set despite them being brand new. After further experimentation Wayne discovered that 17.5g was perfect for him. As this is an unusual weight a more usual 20g set was released commercially.
Time for Change
Wayne was aware that he had been “been going downhill” following an injury and thought that a little extra weight might help. Lee confirmed that it was possible to keep the vast majority of the dart exactly the same and gain some inertia. As with the original set as soon as Wayne tested the new specification he new it was right for him and it was simply a matter of using them for the three weeks until the World Championship!
The video features other elements such as the grip style, specifications and tungsten percentages etc. It offers a very unusual insight into the process of making a professional’s set of tools and the knowledge, patience and complexity involved. Despite his natural modesty, Lee is a master at what he does and has vast experience to bring to the task.
Darts World’s resident Coach, and our product testers at A.I.M:, feel that this ten minute video contains years worth of experience and know-how hidden under a layer of slightly stilted conversation, its clear that Wayne is a little shy and unused to all the attention!
If your thinking of getting new darts or making changes give the video a look. But, pay as much attention to what does not change, and why, as to what does!
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