22 facts to celebrate the return of the PDC World Darts Championships

The world’s biggest darting party is finally underway in London. To mark the start of this iconic tournament, we pick out 22 facts about the World Darts Championships.

For most people - you know, the normal ones - December is a time to spend with family and celebrate Christmas. For the rest of us, this is a month when we sit down in front of the television and enjoy the three-week darting marathon that is the World Champs.

A total of 96 players from 29 different countries will all gather at Alexandra Palace for this sporting extravaganza.

Without further to do, here's a look at 22 stats and facts from the tournament.

1 - Eight-year unbeaten run

2005 Ladbrokes Darts World Championship Final

Let's start with the greatest player in darts history, Phil 'The Power' Taylor. The 16-time world champion still holds the record for the longest unbeaten run in the competition's history - a run which saw Taylor win 44 consecutive world championship games between 1995 and 2003.

That run began with a 3-2 victory over American Gerland Verrier in the opening round of the 1995 WDC World Darts Championships - the early version of the PDC organisation.

Eight years later, Taylor's winning streak ended with a 7-6 defeat to Canada's John Part in the 2003 PDC World Darts Championships final.

2 - Taylor's tremendous averages

There have been some sensational averages in the history of the PDC. However, one man who consistently posted top figures is the aforementioned Phil Taylor.

Four of the best eight match averages in the history of the worlds have been achieved by The Power.

Taylor averaged 111.21 in the second round of the 2002 tournament - a game in which he trounced Shayne Burgess 6-1.

During the 2009 final, he averaged over 110 as he demolished Raymond van Barneveld 7-1 in an underwhelming contest. Two games earlier, Taylor whitewashed Co Stompe with a 108.8 average.

A couple of year before that, Mick McGowan faced the wrath of Taylor as he fell to a 4-1 defeat - The Power averaged 109.

3 - Unplayable MVG

All this talk about averages brings us nicely to the grand daddy of world championship statistics - the highest ever average.

The man who holds that record is Michael van Gerwen who posted a record-breaking average of 114.05 during his 6-2 thrashing of Raymond van Barneveld in the 2017 semi-final.

4 - Highest losing average

Michael van Gerwen after winning against Raymond van Barneveld during day fourteen of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London.

You might wonder just how RVB managed to win two sets against a record-breaking MVG average.

As it turns out, Barneveld was breaking a record of his own as he set the highest ever losing average during that semi-final heartbreak to Van Gerwen.

The five-time world champion averaged 109.34 - the fourth highest average in the competition's history.

5 - Greatest match of all?

Unsurprisingly, that semi-final clash has gone down in history for producing the highest ever combined average of 223.39.

Despite those numbers, RVB will probably point to his world championship final win over Phil Taylor from 2007 as the greatest match of them all.

6 - A tournament performance worth the title

Michael van Gerwen celebrates winning his match day five of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London.

After knocking out RVB in that infamous semi-final, Michael Van Gerwen went on to lift the 2017 world title.

The Dutchman beat Gary Anderson 7-3 in the final and posted another big average. Overall, MVG enjoyed a tournament average of 106.32 - the highest in the PDC's history.

In fact, MVG beat his own record from the year prior when he averaged 104.68.

7 - The Power is rarely off

Phil The Power Taylor, April 20, 2019

Will we ever see anyone like Phil Taylor again? Probably not in our lifetime.

The Power makes a reappearance with another astonishing effort. Taylor currently holds the record for the most matches with a 100+ average in the history of the PDC World Championships.

The player has hit the three-figure sum on 56 occasions and he's still 23 ahead of Michael van Gerwen.

8 - The MVG ton train that ran for three years

Speaking of MVG, the Dutchman holds the record for the most consecutive games with a 100+ average.

The Green Machine's streak lasted 19 games between 2016 and 2019. Truly a masterful run which saw the player claim two world titles.

9 - From best to the worst

Eric Bristow throws in the final as opponent Keith Deller (r) looks on

If I asked you who posted the lowest average in the history of the worlds, you might take a good guess and say Toru Suzuki, Dmitriy Gorbunov or maybe even Di Zhuang who last year averaged just 73.09.

However, you would be wrong. The man who has posted the lowest ever average in this competition is also the man who conquered the darting world on five separate occasions - Eric Bristow.

During the 1999 event, the Crafty Cockney averaged just 53.37 in his opening-round game against Peter Manley.

It was at a time the player was struggling with dartitis. Thankfully, the legend of the game left many more enduring memories.

10 - Lowest average - including BDO

While researching the previous stat, we stumbled upon another worthy of a mention.

The BDO World Championships have lost their relevance following the growth of the PDC. It's no surprise then that one of the lowest ever televised averages comes from the now defunct organisation.

Back in 2015, Anneke Kuijten took on Trina Gulliver in the round-of-16 stage of the women's world championships.

It turned out to be one of the worst games in the history of the competition - something underpinned by Kuijten's disastrous average of 48.63.

11 - Early statement of intent?

Boris Krcmar in action during day three of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London.

Sick of reading about averages? This is the last, we promise.

Boris Krcmar qualified for this year's tournament and on his way to doing so, he posted a sensational average of 121.86 during a 6-0 victory.

The Croatian will begin the 2022 tournament with a clash against Adam Hunt. Should he prevail, he will then take on Vincent van der Voort in the second round.

12 - The maximum machine

Gary Anderson before his match against Nathan Aspinall on day twelve of the William Hill World Championships at Alexandra Palace, London.

The best way of keeping a high average is to hit as many 180s as humanly possible.

Back in 2017, it was Gary Anderson who broke the record for the most 180s in a single tournament.

The Flying Scotsman bagged 71 maximums on his way to the world final - a game which he went on to lose 7-3 to Michael van Gerwen.

13 - Maximum madness

The 2019 edition of the world championships produced the highest number of 180s.

The tournament saw a mouth-watering 828 maximums from 95 games.


14 - Seventeen perfect darts

MVG has already made multiple appearances on our list but this latest one is arguably his most spectacular achievement.

Back in 2013, the Dutchman was taking on James Wade in the semi-final of the world championships.

Van Gerwen was in top form and during the match, he went on to hit a nine-darter. If that wasn't enough, the player continued to find the treble and produced eight more perfect darts.

A miss on double 12 denied MVG a historic back-to-back nine-darter but the effort still put him into the history books.

15 - An international sport

Canada's John Part celebrates his victory against England's Joe Cullen during the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London.

English players dominate the field in most PDC tournaments but that doesn't always translate into success. In fact, many overseas players have gone on to become legends of the sport.

One of those is John Part who in 2003 became the first overseas player to win the PDC World Championships.

The Canadian also holds that record in the BDO following his world title win in 1994.

16 - PDC and BDO legends

Dennis Priestley in action against Josephus Schenk in the first round during the PDC Ladbrokes.com World Championships at Purfleet, Essex.

The majority of stats and record on our list can be broken. However, following the dissolution of the BDO, the list of players to win world championships at both of the leading darts organisations will never change.

There are only four players to lift world titles at both companies and those are Dennis Priestley, Phil Taylor, John Part and Raymond van Barneveld.

17 - Youngest ever finalist

While we're on the John Part theme, we might as well mention the 2008 PDC World Championships.

The Canadian reached the final of the event and took on the youngest player to ever reach that stage, Kirk Shepherd.

The player - known as Chaos - was just 21 years and 88 days old at the time of the final.

18 - Youngest ever qualifier

Speaking of youth, the youngest player to ever qualify for the world championships was Mitchell Clegg.

The player qualified for the 2007 tournament and was just 16 years and 37 days old at the time of his first-round match.

The Australian had a tough draw as he took on Raymond van Barneveld. Unsurprisingly, the Dutchman won 3-0 and went on to lift the title that year.

19 - Champion of youth

Ted Evetts during his match against Adrian Lewis during day Eight of the William Hill World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace, London

Ted Evetts will enter this year's world championships as the reigning world youth champion.

The 24-year-old picked up the title with a 6-4 win over Nathan Rafferty in late November.

Super Ted will now be targeting the PDC world title when he takes on Jim Williams in the opening round.

20 - From youth to experience

Steve Beaton walks off stage during day one of the William Hill World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, London.

We spoke about youth, but what about experience? Steve Beaton is a one-time BDO world champion and has been on the scene for decades.

In fact, this year will mark Beaton's 31st consecutive appearance at the world championships.

The Bronzed Adonis is a fan favourite but he might not get his usual reception considering his first opponent is Fallon Sherrock.

21 - Millions watching

Darts is growing in popularity in all four corners of the world. That growth is underpinned by the ever-impressive viewing figures for the PDC World Championships.

The 2018 final currently holds the record as the most viewed final as 4.4million tuned in across UK, Netherlands and Germany.

22 - Nine-dart legends

There have only been 10 nine-darters in the history of the PDC World Championships.

Raymond van Barneveld got the first back in 2009 during his quarter-final win over Jelle Klaasen.

Interestingly, Dean Winstanley became the first player to hit a nine-darter before losing his match. The historic moment happened in the second round of the 2013 tournament as Winstanley fell to Vincent van der Voort.

James Wade hit the last nine-darter at the worlds. The Machine produce the magic leg in a losing match against Stephen Bunting during last year's event.

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