Waddell: Seven or eight players can win the World Championship

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Dan Waddell, the son of the late darts icon Sid Waddell, thinks as many as eight players are capable of winning this year’s Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.

The man dubbed the voice of darts passed away in August at the age of 72, sending shockwaves through the sport.

The Sid Waddell Trophy was commissioned to commemorate the contribution the much-loved broadcaster made to darts in over 30 years and Dan will present the poignant piece of silverware to the player crowned world champion on New Year’s Day.

As well as his remarkable way with words, Sid was known for making the odd ill-fated prediction, known to many as ‘Blackspot Sid’ as he frequently got it wrong.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Dan spoke to Ladbrokes at the unveiling of the trophy last week about the upcoming tournament and struggled to single out one particular player as his selection for the title.

He said: “I think Phil Taylor will be very determined to win this, as it’s a new trophy. He would love it on his mantelpiece, even though it weighs 25kg and would probably break it!

“I watched Michael van Gerwen at the Grand Slam of Darts a few weeks ago, and thought he was brilliant. My father would have loved to commentate on him. If he can keep up his form, he’s going to take some beating.

“Adrian Lewis will look to retain his title, while Raymond van Barneveld’s also coming into some form.

“I reckon there are maybe seven or eight players who could win it.”

Dan, a successful author, was present alongside current world champion Adrian Lewis and world number one Phil Taylor to reveal the Sid Waddell Trophy at the draw for the first round.

He spoke of the entire Waddell family being “honoured” by the recognition of Sid’s achievements and picked out some of his father’s favourite lines from the commentary box.

Enthused Dan: “There are quite a few worth mentioning, but one of my favourites was during the 2010 Premier League semi-final between Phil Taylor and Mervyn King, where alongside Stephen Fry and Rod Harrington, he said – ‘Sid Waddell, University of Cambridge; Stephen Fry, University of Cambridge; Rod Harrington, University of Life.’

“Something I enjoyed more was his reference to Alexander the Great and Eric Bristow – ‘When Alexander of Macedonia was 33, he cried salt tears as he had nothing left to conquer. Eric Bristow is only 27.’

“I was only a kid at the time when he said it, and hadn’t a clue what he meant, but it proved that he read so widely.”

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