Top five World Championship shocks

Phil Taylor (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

We continue the countdown to the 2019/2020 William Hill World Championship by looking back at five of the biggest shocks ever seen.

5. Young Smith stuns reigning champ Taylor

Michael Smith, Phil Taylor (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Then 23-year-old Michael Smith claimed the biggest win of his career in incredible fashion, knocking reigning champion Phil Taylor out of the 2013/14 World Championship in the second round.

Smith capitalised on errors from 16-time champion Taylor, producing 11 and 13-dart legs in the deciding set before taking out a 128 finish on the bullseye to secure a memorable 4-3 victory.

4. South African rookie's incredible comeback KO's Manley

Wynand Havenga, Peter Manley (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

South Africa's Wynand Havenga made a name for himself at the 2006/07 World Championship by knocking out three-time runner-up Peter Manley in round two.

On the back of his dream debut win over Steve Maish, one-hit wonder Havenga found himself 3-0 down to Manley before a sensational comeback saw him win 4-3 in only his second TV appearance.

3. Lewis blows away Wright with career-best performance

Jamie Lewis celebrates defeating Peter Wright (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Jamie Lewis produced the performance of his career to blow away number two seed Peter Wright 4-1 in the second round of the 2018 World Championship.

With 11 titles to his name in 2017, many fans and pundits were tipping Wright to land a first World Championship title ahead of the event, but Lewis tore up the form book with a spectacular 107.27 average.

The Welshman had only qualified for the tournament following a third-place play-off at the PDPA qualifier, but made up for a nightmare year on the circuit by dropping just two sets en route to the semi-finals, where he became Phil Taylor's last victim in professional darts.

2. Ruthless Richardson dumps out Barney

James Richardson celebrating (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

Unknown bricklayer James Richardson shocked five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld with a 3-0 demolition in the first round of the 2011/12 World Championship.

Ranked 85th in the world, inspired debutant Richardson romped to a convincing victory to inflict a first ever opening round defeat on Van Barneveld.

1. Shepherd shocks the world

Kirk Shepherd (Lawrence Lustig, PDC)

The story of Kirk Shepherd's fairytale run to the final of the 2007/08 World Championship remains one of the most heralded in darts history.

A 21-year-old sheet metal worker from Ramsgate, qualifier Shepherd took to the oche in his first round game against Terry Jenkins with few people giving him a chance of progressing to the second round.

But after Jenkins missed seven match darts, Shepherd battled his way to a surprise 3-2 victory, and went on to survive more match darts to edge past Mick McGowan and Peter Manley, while also defeating Barrie Bates to reach the semi-finals.

There, he stunned Phil Taylor's conqueror Wayne Mardle to become the highest priced outsider in World Championship history to reach the final as a pre-tournament 1000/1 shot.

John Part ended his World Championship dreams in the final with a 7-2 success, bringing the curtain down on an incredible tournament.

The 2019/2020 William Hill World Darts Championship will be held from December 13-January 1 at Alexandra Palace in London.


The tournament will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK, on PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.