When former British Darts Organisation (BDO) Director Colin Saunders published his two-volume, 860-page, masterwork the Embassy and Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships 1978-2012 back in February 2012, I had nothing but praise for a man who, at his own expense, had spent years pulling together all the Embassy/ Lakeside stats.
Self-published and self-funded, Colin’s books sold in small numbers. However, I am proud to say that I purchased copies and often dip into his books to clarify information about the BDO World Championships for articles and responses to enquiries.
Now a similar but much more wide-ranging book has been published covering the first quarter century of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) world championships. 25 Years of the PDC World Darts Championships is compiled by Steve Morgan, of Sportradar, the PDC data partners.
This book is absolutely brilliant.
As far as I can recall, I have never, ever used that phrase in any darts book review I have written: and I’ve written a few!
One of the reasons is that I concentrate on darts history and tend to overlook, or even ignore, darts stats, unless absolutely necessary, for example when answering questions that have come direct to me or via my website.
When I received my review copy of this book from the publishers I could have easily assumed it would be boring, stat-after-stat, and never opened it but merely placed it on my bookshelf as a key reference work and never write a review. I could have done that but I didn’t.
Within this book you have everything (as far as I can see) and I mean everything that you would ever need to know about the history of and the stats relating to all of the PDC World finals up to 2018.
The original intention of the book was to provide a comprehensive media reference source for use throughout the 2019 PDC World Darts Championship but it developed way beyond that fairly restricted circulation to become, as compiler Steve Morgan states, ‘a celebration of 25 fantastic years of the PDC World Darts Championship history alongside all the originally intended statistics.’
This book is statistics made interesting with the data being interwoven with memories of players, referees and officials; all kicked off by a Foreword by PDC Chairman, Barry Hearn who writes ‘this great book, which is a must-have for darts fanatics, stats lovers and fans of top-class sport.’
I read the main text and much of the statistical information at one sitting. I didn’t even know that I would be interested to learn about ‘The Highest Score Remaining in a Leg’ (383 by Kevin Spiolek v Peter Manley, 2004/5, Last 16, Set 3, Leg 3 and Vincent van der Voort against Colin Osbourne (2008/9, Last 32, Set 3, Leg 3)) but I do now. Do you want to know how many times a particular score has been hit over those 25 years or who has achieved the highest average for India or Guyana? The answers are all here plus so much more.
The only problem with a work such as this is how it is ever going to be updated for us, the book buyer. When Colin Saunders wrote his statistical history of the Embassy/ Lakeside his intention was to issue updates every year. However, due to ill-health Colin was unable to do that.
My only criticism of this new work is that, as an historian, I would have liked it to include a brief history of the walk-on girls (and one walk-on man): now sadly lost to the World Championships.
25 Years of the PDC World Darts Championship (soft cover, 228 pages) is published by Scratching Shed Publishing and can be ordered direct online at