Richie Burnett on course to complete fairytale comeback
A little over 12 months ago former world darts champion Richie Burnett was living on £100-a-week benefits in the Welsh Valley’s, unable to afford entry to tournaments.
It was a far cry from 1995, where Burnett – nicknamed the ‘Prince of Wales’ – won the BDO world championship title and a first prize of £32,000.
The top prize at the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship is now £200,000 and, after a brilliant couple of months, Burnett looks to be on course to qualify for the showpiece event at Alexandra Palace for the first time since 2007.
In the past two months, the 43-year-old has reached the semi-final of the John McEvoy Gold Dart Classic and then two finals at the PDC Pro Tour finals in Germany, losing to Mark Webster and Simon Whitlock.
An appearance at Ally Pally would be a fitting reward for the hard work of the past year. Few would back against him achieving that goal and even making some good progress in the competition.
One man who also looks set to have an interesting couple of weeks at Alexandra Palace is the man Burnett beat in the 1995 world darts final – Raymond van Barneveld.
‘Barney’ crashed out of the Daily Mirror Grand Slam of Darts at the second round stage last week and has slipped to 12/1 in the betting for the world championships.
However, a 10-7 defeat to eventual winner Scott Waites was hardly a humiliation and the 2007 champion will certainly be in the hunt for his second title.
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