WITH less than four weeks until the start of the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay, we take a look back at ten of the most memorable moments in the tournament's illustrious history.

10. Butler wins first World Matchplay

When the WDC staged the World Matchplay for the first time in 1994, few would have predicted that American Larry Butler would take the title.

Butler defeated Steve Raw, Jerry Umberger, Jocky Wilson and Shayne Burgess to reach the final where he overcame then World Champion Dennis Priestley 16-12 for the £10,000 top prize.

9. Sensational comeback from The Hammer

In the 2011 quarter-finals, Andy Hamilton found himself in a hole against Simon Whitlock, trailing the Australian 8-15 in a race to 16.

Hamilton then produced one of the most remarkable comebacks in darts history, winning nine consecutive legs to claim an unlikely 17-15 victory, sealing the win with a 94 checkout on the bullseye on a memorable night at the Winter Gardens.

8. Taylor at his very best in 2013

Heading into the 2013 event Phil Taylor was seeking a sixth successive title, and the record-breaker duly delivered with one of his finest ever tournament performances.

Taylor produced a string of sensational displays, ending the tournament with a 105.81 average, but his finest display was saved for the final where he averaged 111.23 in defeating his protégé Adrian Lewis 18-13.

7. Lewis and Van Gerwen play out a classic

In reaching the 2013 final, Lewis beat 24-year-old Michael van Gerwen in one of the best games ever seen in Blackpool.

There was much anticipation ahead of the sixth televised meeting between the pair, and they served up a spectacular contest which saw Lewis take an early lead, before the Dutchman pegged him back to lead 15-14.

Back-to-back legs from Lewis saw him go within a leg of the final at 16-15 up, and after Van Gerwen missed double 13 for a 146 finish, Lewis pinned double seven to run out a 17-15 winner.

6. Anderson hits perfection in 2018

Gary Anderson struck a nine-dart leg in his thrilling 19-17 quarter-final victory over Joe Cullen on his way to winning the title for the first time in 2018.

An unforgettable night at the Winter Gardens saw Anderson raise the roof in the fourth leg of his tie with Cullen, but had to survive two missed match darts from Cullen before winning a gripping tie-break.

5. Jaws wins it with a 170

Colin Lloyd entered the 2005 tournament as the world number one and lived up to his status by reaching the final where he faced John Part, who had knocked out reigning champion Phil Taylor in the quarter-finals.

Lloyd sealed an 18-12 win in the best way possible, firing in a roof-raising 170 finish to spark jubilant scenes on another unforgettable night at the Winter Gardens.

4. Taylor's fairytale farewell

An emotional culmination to the 2017 event saw Taylor's last ever game at the Winter Gardens end in an 18-8 victory over Peter Wright as he claimed an incredible 16th World Matchplay title.

The 56-year-old had dominated the history of the tournament, and he said his farewell ahead of his impending retirement in style with a brilliant display.

Having knocked out reigning champion Van Gerwen and former World Champions Raymond van Barneveld and Lewis in reaching to the final, Taylor found another huge performance in the final, averaging 104.24 to reclaim the prestigious trophy.

3. Harrington edges out Baxter in epic final

Rod Harrington and Ronnie Baxter produced an enthralling final at the Winter Gardens in 1998.

At 17-14 down, Harrington was one leg from defeat, but after Baxter missed a dart at double top for the title, Harrington stepped in with a skin-saving 125 checkout to force a tie-break.

Harrington went on to win the next two legs for a 19-17 victory, and he repeated the feat the following year in his defeat of Peter Manley for back-to-back titles.

2. MvG hits nine-darter with Freddie in the commentary box

Van Gerwen landed the fourth nine-darter in the tournament's history in his Last 16 win over Steve Beaton in 2012, with the moment made extra-special by England cricket legend Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff.

Flintoff could barely contain himself alongside Harrington and John Gwynne in the Sky Sports commentary box, as Van Gerwen landed his first nine-darter live on UK TV as he went on to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

1. Taylor lands first televised PDC nine-darter

Eight years on from the formation of the PDC, no player had hit a perfect leg on TV.

Step forward Phil Taylor, who on August 1 2002 made history with the PDC's first televised nine-dart finish in his 16-7 quarter-final defeat of Chris Mason.

After pocketing the £100,000 prize for the feat, Taylor went on to beat John Lowe and John Part to win his fifth title.

The Betfred World Matchplay will be held from July 20-28 at The Winter Gardens, Blackpool.

Broadcast live on Sky Sports, the tournament will see 32 players competing across nine days.

Tickets are still available.