To celebrate the return of Darts, we are taking a look at the guys we believe are the true legends of darts, one of the most exciting sports on the planet.
Hundreds of world class darters have stepped up to the oche over the years but only ten tungsten heroes have made this final run down of the greatest darts players of all time.
But who made the final list?
10) Adrian Lewis
Still playing today, Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis is a two time world champion having won it on back to back occasions in 2011 and 2012. A true Ally Pally legend, Jackpot became the first man to hit a nine-darter in a World Championship final in the first of his duel final appearances.
Speaking of finals, Lewis has also achieved the rare feat of reaching every possible PDC major tournament final bar one, the Grand Slam.
In a brilliant career so far, Lewis has scooped wins at the UK Open and European Championship as well as numerous PDC World Cup of Darts.
He may have dropped out of the top 15 today, but on his past record alone, he deserves the utmost respect.
9) Martin Adams
The thing about ‘Wolfie’ Adams is that played the majority of his distinguished darts career in the BDO, rather than the PDC.
Because of this, not only will we never know just how good he could have been, but, unlike three times BDO world champion Glen Durrant, his decision not to switch to the PDC full time led to him being criticised rather than remembered for his time at the top.
In fact, Adams was indeed the leading light of his generation in the BDO for whom he won three world titles and hopefully in time will be appreciated more for his unquestionable accomplishments.
8) Jocky Wilson
An original star of the game, Jocky Wilson was one of darts most famous names and remains fondly remembered as an all-time crowd favourite.
Wilson, known as Gumsy due to being totally toothless, was a throwback to darts’ pub origins. Chain smoking, overweight and always with a pint and a few vodka chasers on the go, the epitome of sporting health he was not.
On more than one occasion Wilson, from Kirkcaldy, Scotland, drunkenly fell off the stage while on another he burped his false dentures out clean across the oche live on TV. Back then though this only heightened his appeal to fans.
Although his story ended tragically, living alone in a council flat and coping with arthritis, diabetes and depression, he is fondly remembered for winning the world championship in both 1982 and 1989.
7) Dennis Priestley
Two time world champion Dennis Priestley also happened to lose in the world championship final four times meaning he ultimately fell just short of being one of the greatest ever.
That he lost all four of those occasions to Phil Taylor is no shame of course but Priestley’s case is very much one of what could’ve been.
His performances in those finals were top notch too and in 1996 he averaged 101.4. To put that in context, Taylor and Priestley were the only players to average 100 or more in the World Championship final until Raymond van Barneveld achieved the feat in the legendary final of 2007.
As it was, Priestley had to settle for the two, which is still two more than most, but, in another lifetime, or simply one in which Phil Taylor did not exist, he might have been the greatest ever.
6) Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson is the greatest Scottish darts player of all time and one of the best anywhere.
Another still playing today, his career achievements are still building even if his back is beginning to hamper his game.
Twice PDC world champion and twice Darts Premier League champion, The Flying Scotsman is a PDC legend and one of the greatest chuckers of all time, also picking up the World Matchplay, Champions League, UK Open and Players Championship Finals along the way.
He is also, one of the few out there that can outscore Michael Van Gerwen, which doesn’t come easily.
5) John Lowe
The legendary John Lowe was the first player to win the World Championship in three different decades, the last coming in 1993, and was also the first darter to score a nine dart finish on live TV back in 1984.
Back before darts’ rebranding in the early nineties, Lowe was one of the major stars of the game.
Lovingly known as Old Stoneface, Lowe’s significant achievements on the oche ensure his role as one of the most significant players of all time.
As well as world titles in 1979, 1987 and 1993, Lowe also scooped the World Masters crown twice.
4) Raymond van Barneveld
With success spanning both tours, Raymond van Barneveld could just as well have found himself higher up the list.
In all, the extremely popular Barney collected five World Championships – four BDO and one PDC – and was at one point a shoo-in to retire as the greatest Dutch darts player of all time. That he won’t be is due to the success of another Dutch legend (below).
Barney’s CV also lists two UK Opens, duel World Masters, plus the Darts Premier League, Las Vegas Desert Classic and the World Darts Trophy.
His one PDC world title came in 2007 when he and Phil Taylor contested what many believe to be the greatest darts match ever.
3) Eric Bristow
Few have done as much to popularise darts over the years as Eric ‘The Crafty Cockney’ Bristow. The game’s first superstar, Bristow was even Phil Taylor’s inspiration.
Bristow won everything there was to win in his career including five world championships and five World Masters wins to boot.
Although his game was beginning to decline by 1993, he was still the top player to join the PDC in its infancy and without his inclusion who knows whether the PDC would have enjoyed the same success.
Shortly before his death in 2018, which came a decade after retirement, he starred in ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! where the popular chucker reached the final four.
2) Michael van Gerwen
The best player in the world today and the second best of all time, Michael van Gerwen might one day occupy the top spot too.
As we stand, MVG or Mighty Mike can boast three PDC World Championships and five Darts Premier Leagues as well as just about any other major televised PDC event you can think of – at least twice!
This includes the World Cup where he has successfully partnered up with Raymond van Barneveld on three occasions.
As we say, MVG is the only player on this that could yet make it to number one, we will just have to see what the next few years bring for the Green Machine.
1.) Phil Taylor
There is simply no question that king of the Ally Pally, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, is the greatest darts player of all time.
It is inconceivable to argue against anyone that has won an incredible 16 World Championship titles, plus a further 16 World Matchplays.
The Power has won everything that there is to win, most of them numerous times.
Between 1994 and 2007, he made the World Championship final 14 consecutive times, emerging victories on eight back to back occasions between 1995 and 2002.
On retirement in 2018, after 25 years at the top, Taylor had amassed an amazing 209 professional wins, including 85 major international titles.
His scoring was also something to be admired. In the 2010 Darts Premier League final, he hit two nine-dart finishes, a feat we are unlikely to see ever again.