Top 10 Darts Players Of All Time
Comparing sportsmen across different eras is not easy. Standards change, equipment changes, levels of professionalism generally increase. Believe it or not, you can say these exact things about darts which makes it equally difficult to draw up an all-time list of players. But here we have one nonetheless. The best 10 players ever to to grace the oche.
10. Adrian Lewis
Is Adrian Lewis an example of unfulfilled potential? Have we already seen the best of him? It is impossible to know this just yet, but at just 32-years-old and with two world titles under his belt he is doing alright. His back-to-back world titles in 2011 and ’12 made him only the third man to retain the World Championship after winning it for the first time. In that 2011 final he become the first player in history to hit a 9-darter in a world final and saw off the significant challenge of Gary Anderson to win that game. Outside of the worlds, he has appeared in the final of every single PDC major except the Grand Slam. He has not quite picked up as many trophies as he would have liked but his European Championship and UK Open titles confirm what a superb player he has been over the last decade and there could be much more to come.
9. Martin Adams
Because of the great darting divide we will never truly know how good Martin Adams could have been, but even with our limited framework, he is a legend of the game. Wolfie has played in some PDC events and performed well in the Matchplay and the Grand Prix in 2001, but he has largely been confined to the BDO system for his long career. At Lakeside he has won the world title three times and similarly picked up the World Masters trophy on three occasions. His longevity and success earn him a spot on this list. If he had taken on and beaten the PDC boys during his peak, he would certainly have been even higher.
8. John Part
John Part is such a tough player to rank in the greatest ever debate. He has achieved incredible things, but has not been consistent through his career and actually not won that many tournaments at all. His 1994 BDO world title will be forever tainted by being the first in which the PDC World Championship existed at the same time, so the standard was lower. Some will even denigrate his 2008 PDC win for being the first on the return to Alexandra Palace and most of the big names struggling as a result. However, his 2003 victory, in which he beat a peak Phil Taylor in an epic final cannot be questioned. At that point and for a year either side, Part was on par with Taylor and that is some achievement. Outside of the worlds he has not achieved what he should have – finishing runner-up in five majors, but his three world titles and form at his peak mean he stands eighth greatest darts player ever.
7. Gary Anderson
The greatest Scotsman to ever chuck the tungsten, Gary Anderson feels like he should have won more with the talent he has, but nevertheless has achieved an awful lot. Two PDC World Championships to his name and two Premier League titles puts him right amongst the elite of all time. He was inexplicably incapable of winning the big ones whilst in the BDO, but the talent was there for all to see and he still picked up four BDO majors, just not the world title or the Masters. He might not quite have the trophies to show it, but his skills when on form are second to none. He has hit a 9-darter at the World Championships and the UK Open. He shares the world record for most 180s in a match (22) and he holds the record for the highest losing average in a world final (104.93). On paper, maybe he shouldn’t be ranked this eye, but watch him and you will struggle to argue the point.
6. John Lowe
The first man to win World Championships in three different decades and one of the original pioneers of the game on television. It is a testament to his skill that you can say this about John Lowe because he was not about the glitz and the glamour, he was not particularly exciting to watch, he was just very, very good. He won the BDO world title in 1979, 1987 and 1993 and twice won the World Masters as well. Arguably more famously, he became the first man ever to hit a 9-darter on television, at the 1984 World Matchplay. Lowe’s longevity was remarkable as he still reached the semi-final of the PDC World Grand Prix in 2001 and then the same stage of the Matchplay in 2002, 26 years after his first BDO tournament win.