One of the Greatest Moments in Darts History


One of the Greatest Moments in Darts History

Darts have humble roots firmly set in traditional English pubs' tap houses and public rooms. After several growth sports, "the drinking man's game" evolved into a globe-spanning professional sport. Players of legendary skill combined with regular televised coverage since the 1970s quickly propelled darts onto the international stage of professional sports, where major darts events generate viewer totals in the high millions, and today's starring players receive handsome compensation for displaying their phenomenal skillset and colourful characters.

The British Darts Organisation organised the first modern-day World Darts Championship in 1978, with Embassy tobacco as the main event sponsor. Leighton Rees' the winner, received a trophy and walked away with a cheque to the sum of £3000. Since these early days, extensive televised coverage, massive popularity, big brand name sponsorship, and true professionalism that increasingly permeate the game on all levels saw a dramatic increase in the value of prize pools for players. In 2023 the Cazoo PDC World Championship, the competition winner Michael Smith received £500,000 for his efforts to write his name in history and the record books as the best darts player in the PDC world.

Today darts are one of the fastest-growing sports in the World. Betting firms and TV broadcasters are among the sport's best supporters, with Sky TV stating it is the second most watched sport other than football. Darts is here to stay, and its global appeal grows stronger every year. Prize funds of over £16M on the PDC darts circuit have encouraged many young players to take the sport seriously. Along with other sports, football, cricket, boxing, snooker, racing, darts, and sports fans can find darts betting here.

When asked about their most memorable moments, sports fans will, in each particular sports discipline, quote various moments or events. However, in darts, most universally agree the greatest match ever played occurred not during a final, but the 2013 Grand Slam of Darts semi-finals when Adrian Lewis faced the unenviable task of coming up against the legendary sixteen-time world champion Phil "The Power" Taylor. Together the two racked up a scoring average of 110.99 and 109.76, respectively, a record which still stands to this day as the highest combined average reached in any PDC match ever. Lewis, who put in a stunning performance, chucked 18 maximums establishing an 8-7 lead before The Power produced a blistering performance to run out 15-9 victor.



Darts are not just the young that play the sport. Darts is age-defying, and players can play at the top level well into their fifties. The recently formed World Seniors Darts Tour has been a massive hit for past World Champions and the over-fifties qualifiers. It is the only series of sports events with players that other sports would consider past it. However, with dart averages hitting a hundred, the players involved are far from putting down their arrows.

The Women's games have also seen growth. Fallon Sherrock, famously beating a couple of the ranked players in the PDC World Darts Championships, got global news recognition. The PDC now hold a Women's Series of dart events, a World Matchplay and invitations to the biggest prize of them all, the World Darts Championships.

Fallon Sherrock, Lisa Ashton, and former ten-time World Women's World Champion Trina Gulliver MBE are all participating in the PDC Womens Series events. Apart from the PDC, the World Darts Federation also holds dart competitions and its own World Darts Championship.

The battle between the rival organisations, PDC and WDF, is one that can divide players and dart fans. It is true to say for the more lucrative prize funds the PDC wins, as for the total number of events, the WDF governs more events, including the biggest dart event of all, the Dutch Open, which attracts the most competitive darts players of all. Darts is in a good place with many opportunities for all levels to compete.