Coral rate the top 10 darts walk-ons ahead of 2017 PDC World Darts Championship
Holly Thackeray | 2 January 2017
Top 10 darts walk-ons
With darts growing in popularity around the globe at a rampant rate, these days superstars of the sport put substantial preparation into their walk-ons as well as the action on the oche. It’s crucial to pick the right warm-up music, and a perfect chance to get the crowd buzzing as well as potentially put your opponents off balance.
Though, most importantly, it’s just good fun. Many quirky characters strut their stuff on the darting stage, and it seems that more and more stars are adopting some sort of entrance to get the crowd going.
Even legendary arrowsmith Phil Taylor (9/1 third favourite in 2017 PDC World Championship outright betting with Coral) has got in on the act a couple of times, as he did ahead of the 2010 World Matchplay final against old foe Raymond van Barneveld as shown below (18 minutes in):
So, with the 2017 PDC World Championship set to enthrall fans over Christmas and New Year, Coral rate our top 10 darts walk-ons of all time…
Devon Petersen: 9/10
The Spartan showed his skill transfers beyond the tungsten by shimmying to usual Shakira walk-on song ‘Waka Waka’ while also riding… a segway.
There was a moment the South African looked as though he would take a tumble but he turned it around with style, and this definitely makes him our most adventurous arrowsmith.
Wayne Mardle: 8/10
Former fan favourite Mardle, also known as Hawaii 5.0.1 for his fondness of floral Hawaiian shirts, takes his walk-on cues from the famous 70s TV show and certainly does the defunct detective series justice.
The Dagenham-born dartsman-turned-pundit brings a little of the exotic to the oche as he dances to Hawaii Five-O’s feted theme tune in a rather garish garland. Definitely a tune for your dad to party to and a popular PDC stalwart.
Ted Hankey: 6/10
Here, former BDO World Championship winner Hankey lives up to his spooky nickname The Count, as he dons a Dracula-style costume and strides onto the stage in character, thirsty for… victory. Eerie.
John Michael: 9/10
We’ll be seeing this Athenian arrowsmith at the Ally Pally turn out first against Alan Norris, and his walk-on has certainly been a spectacle at the PDC World Championship before, so watch here as he comes out to the aptly-named song ‘Zorba the Greek’ by Nikos Ignatiadis.
Cypriot-born Deadly Rose, as he is nicknamed, provides the crowd with a unique dancing display, and it is certainly one of our favourites.
Raymond van Barneveld: 6/10
Darting hero Barney rocks his own excellent walk-on, with the crowd-pleasing and inspiring ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor the song to which Van Barneveld struts out to like a boxer bounding into the ring.
Though the Dutchman’s dance moves may be limited, this tune from the Rocky III soundtrack still goes down a treat, and usually ends up with Barney (40/1 to win the Worlds this time out) bowing respectfully to fans.
Peter Wright (and Devon Petersen): 10/10
For the ultimate darting dance-off, of course two of the sport’s most colourful characters would feature. Snakebite’s antics to ‘Don’t Stop the Party’, while decked out in outrageous outfits and hair-styles are an unmistakable part of the PDC circuit.
However, this walk-on is extra special, as both Wright (a 10/1 shout to lift the 2017 PDC World Championship) and Petersen show they are great sports before a scuffle, by challenging each other to a dance duel. Forget the darts!
Terry Jenkins: 6/10
Another walk-on familiar to darts fans is the low-key and understated but delightful nickname-inspired ‘dance’ from Jenkins. Dubbed ‘The Bull shuffle’, spectators should watch out and clear some space, as The Bull is ready to charge to ‘Wooly Bully’ by Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs. Classic.
Dirk van Duijvenbode: 5/10
Another Dutch dartsman here with a passion for dance as well as arrows. Van Duijvenbode certainly looks pumped up as he treats the stage like a hardcore club; he’s just missing a DJ.
Steve Hine: 8/10
‘The Muffin Man’ may not have baked the buns he throws into the crowd himself, but it’s doubtful that well-fed fans mind when Hine pulls on his chef’s whites to ‘Bonkers’ by Dizzee Rascal and shares the goodies on his long stretch to the stage.
Points for being honest and health and safety aware by keeping the plastic wrappers on. Tasty.
Peter Manley: 7/10
There’s definitely something very Peter Kay, rather than Tony Christie, about this walk-on performance of ‘Amarillo’ by Manley. Though now retired, One Dart got everyone involved, and smiling, with his trademark march to the oche.
Have we missed out any of your favourites? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter.