Name: Gary Anderson (The Flying Scotsman)
World Ranking: 5
Best World Championship Performance: Runner-up 2011
Walk-on-Music: Jump Around by House of Pain
Gary Anderson showed signs of returning back to his best in the recent Grand Slam of Darts after a difficult year at the oche.
Despite a relatively early exit from that tournament, Anderson was hitting doubles with an uncharacteristic regularity and was picking off maximums for fun. He came a cropper in a 10-9 thriller with Andy Hamilton but the game could easily have swung either way and if he plays like he did in that match he’s a shoo-in for a few wins at the Alexandra Palace.
Anderson showed his class in the 2011 tournament in reaching the final, battering both Raymond van Barneveld and Terry Jenkins en route before running Adrian Lewis close in the final. He avenged this loss by beating Jackpot in the final of the Premier League a few months later and if he can rediscover this touch expect him to make a few waves in the upcoming World Championship.
Unfortunately for the Flying Scotsman, he’s been dumped in the more challenging half of the draw in amongst the likes of Phil Taylor, Hamilton, James Wade and Simon Whitlock.
His odds of 16/1 to lift the Sid Waddell trophy should be a lot longer given the effort he will have to put in to surpass such talented dartists, but his performances in the Grand Slam give his backers cause for optimism that he might be able to pull off an unlikely feat.