It’s nearly Christmas which can only mean one thing – the World Darts Championship is almost upon us.
The fans will be at Alexandra Palace in their droves, some in fancy dress, others enjoying a gassy lager or two, but the real stars of the show are obviously on stage at the oche.
Lifting the trophy in the New Year and claiming the £300,000 prize is obviously the number one target for all of the competitors, but there’s something even more special about throwing a perfect leg.
There have been nine televised nine-darters in Worlds history, so with the first throw less than two days away, we thought we’d take a look at the collection.
Peter Lim vs Jack McKenna – Round 2 – January 9 1990
While technically not in the same tournament, occurring in the BDO event before the PDC breakaway, Lim’s effort is undoubtedly worthy of kicking things off.
Incidentally, the American picked up more money for this nine-dart finish than 30-year-old Phil Taylor picked up for winning the whole tournament. We wonder what became of this Taylor fellow…
Raymond van Barneveld vs Jelle Klaasen – Quarter-finals – January 2 2009
Darts fans would have to wait nearly 20 years for the feat to be repeated on the world stage as Barney saw off his fellow compatriot with the little help of this wonder leg.
The £20,000 prize wasn’t able to go on and inspire him to win the whole thing as he fell in the final to THAT man Taylor.
Raymond van Barneveld vs Brendan Dolan – Round 2 – December 28 2009
A certain well-worn bus analogy is appropriate when it comes to nine-darters in the tournament, as we had to wait just under a year for a repeat, and at the hands of the Dutchman once again.
Barneveld could only manage the semis this time round as he went out in an 11-leg thriller against Simon Whitlock.
Adrian Lewis vs Gary Anderson – Final – January 4 2011
The first, and only, nine-darter to be thrown in the final itself as Adrian Lewis came out flying in the first set against Gary Anderson.
With just two legs under their belts, the champion-elect wowed the Ally Pally crowd with some wonder arrows.
Dean Winstanley vs Vincent Van Der Voort – Round 2 – December 23 2012
Even Vincent van der Voort, the ‘Fastest Player in the World’, couldn’t live with the speed and accuracy in which ‘Over The Top’ saw out this leg.
It all came a bit too late for Winstanley as he was already two sets down at the time and failed to recover, despite this injection of some excitement.
Michael van Gerwen vs James Wade – Semi-Final – December 31 2012
Throwing one nine-darter is tricky enough, so imagine the excitement in the air when Michael van Gerwen went close to throwing two back-to-back.
‘Mighty Mike’ continued his momentum gained in his first nine-dart-leg to get within millimetres of another straight away, after throwing 17 perfect darts.
Kyle Anderson vs Ian White – Round 1 – December 14 2013
After crashing out in the opening round of his maiden World Darts Championship, Kyle Anderson must have thought he was about to surpass that 12 months later.
However, despite the Aussie putting ‘Diamond’ White to the sword in the opening leg of the fourth set, an early exit was to await him.
Terry Jenkins vs Per Laursen – Round 1 – December 14 2013
The day didn’t get much less strange after Anderson’s exit, as Terry Jenkins went and did exactly the same.
The feat meant the pair had to split the £30,000 prize for a nine-darter between them. Though with 15 grand each in their pockets, we’re not sure they will have been too bothered.
Adrian Lewis vs Raymond van Barneveld –Last 16 – December 30 2014
Last year’s event continued the run of nine-darters at the tournament, with ‘Jackpot’ sealing the first set of the third round tie in some style.
For Lewis though, there was no running and jumping around the stage when his last dart embedded itself in the red bed of double 12, we guess it’s just all in a day’s work for the Stoke man…
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