Ten of the best World Darts Championship walk-ons

Wayne Mardle entertains the crowd (credit:PDC)

The walk-on has become an essential part of a Darts player's repertoire in recent years, and with the PDC World Championship just around the corner, we pick out our top ten in the history of the tournament.

With thousands of fans packing arenas all over the world on a regular basis, players can instantly become fan favourites with the entrance they make onto the big stage.

Whether it be a favourite song, name association or nickname association, very few walk-ons are dull and always get fans in the mood for the high-quality spectacle they are about to witness.

Here are our top ten entrances in the history of the PDC World Championship...

Peter Manley - Amarillo

Something of a pantomime villain since refusing to shake hands with Phil Taylor following his defeat in the 2002 World Championship Final, Manley turned heads at the Circus Tavern four years later.

The switching of his walk-on music to Amarillo by Tony Christie encouraged crowd participation that appeared to spur him on during his run to a second Final and another showdown with Taylor.

Even the walk-on girl joined in with his charismatic entrance, although he would go on to lose 7-0 to a red-hot Power.

Wayne Mardle - Hawaii 501

Like Manley, Mardle is another player whose darting career will probably be best remembered for his walk-ons as opposed to his performances on the oche.

Nevertheless, Hawaii 501 delighted the crowds during the first staging of the tournament at the Alexandra Palace in 2008, as seen during this entrance to the theme of the popular US crime drama before his quarter-final showdown with Taylor.

The inspired Romford thrower would recover from 3-0 down to secure a remarkable 5-4 victory over the Power.

Devon Petersen - This time for Africa

Few can rival this charismatic South African when it comes to busting some moves on the big stage - dancing Devon has the lot.

Petersen has appeared in three World Championships, most recently mounting a superb run to the Last 16 as a Preliminary Round qualifier in 2014.

During that campaign, he captured the imagination of fans all over the world with his outrageous dance moves, including the trademark 'Mirror'. He has since taken to stages on a hover board and challenged Peter Wright to a dance-off on the European Tour in Dusseldorf.  

Steve Hine - Bonkers

There have been many memorable walk-ons in the history of Darts, but few could match the originality of that shown by Coventry thrower Hine.

The Muffin Man, who works as a baker when he is not at the oche, walked on wearing his day-job attire during the 2010 World Championship while distributing muffins out to the crowd.

Bizarre indeed, although his music may explain a lot!...

Bob Anderson - Swamp Thing

 In 1994, the legendary Bob Anderson was escorted to the stage at the Circus Tavern by a horse, an actual horse.

Breaching just about every health and safety rule in book, the horse serenely followed Anderson to the stage, and in true 90s fashion, no one batted an eyelid, well except for 'The Limestone Cowboy' himself - who ensured he kept a safe distance.

"I was petrified!" Anderson recalled. "It was great fun and a great stunt but I remember the horse was huge and I was just glad to get on stage!"

Peter Wright - Don't stop the party

If there was an award for the player to have regularly produced the most entertaining walk-ons, Wright would win hands down.

The colourful Scotsman's entrances have become his trademark since joining the PDC in 2004 - bouncing across the stage and geeing up the already buoyant crowds.

Here is Snakebite's effort ahead of the biggest match of his life - the 2014 World Championship Final...

Daryl Gurney - Sweet Caroline

Sweet Caroline has become synonymous with many great sporting events in recent years, and the darts is no exception, thanks to 'Superchin' - Daryl Gurney.

Gurney has the crowd in the palm of his hands without even throwing a dart as the Neil Diamond classic prompts a mass singalong, conducted by Gurney himself.

Since opting for the popular entrance music, Gurney has picked up two televised ranking titles - the World Grand Prix and Players Championship Finals and is a major force in the sport, though it appears he is still yet to learn all the lyrics...

Dimitri Van den Bergh - Happy

Fancy footwork is not necessarily an attribute that you would associate with a Darts player, but rising Belgian star Van den Bergh certainly has it in abundance.

All players are looking to leave a lasting impression whenever they make their debut at the World Championship, and he did just that in front of the Ally Pally crowd.

As you can see, the 22-year-old boasts very slick moves as he cuts some shapes that Pharrell Williams, himself, would have been proud of...

Vincent van der Voort - Give It Up

Van der Voort has earned cult status among darts fans for his walk-on music 'Give it Up' by 70s funk group KC and The Sunshine Band.

The crowd affectionately swap the lyrics 'baby give it up' for 'Vincent van der Voort', but the Dutch star has previously admitted he is not a fan of the tune.

"It's a sh*t song but it helps a lot!" he joked.

"If you go on YouTube and see the song, it's crap but it helps because everyone is cheering you on and it gives you a boost.

"People sing the song outside my house and when I'm on a flight back from a ProTour there are always English people on there singing it."

Jerry Hendriks - Freed from Desire

Dutchman Hendriks had prevailed in his Preliminary Round tie against Warren Parry earlier in the evening and made sure he savoured every moment of his entrance ahead of his clash with Peter Wright.

Hendriks whipped himself and the crowd up into a frenzy as he made his way to the stage to the backdrop of Gala's 'Freed From Desire' - which had been popularised by football fans at Euro 2016.

The 28-year-old seemingly put all of his energy into the walk-on as he went on to lose in straight sets, hilariously describing himself as "like a fish on stage" in a post-match interview.

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Ten of the best World Darts Championship walk-ons

The walk-on has become an essential part of a Darts player's repertoire in recent years, and with the PDC World Championship just around the corner, we pick out our top ten in the history of the tournament.

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