Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright ready for match of his life against Michael van Gerwen in PDC World Championship final
- Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG
Suffolk darts star Peter “Snakebite” Wright insists he has a lot more to give as he prepares for the biggest game of his life on New Year’s Day.
The 43-year-old faces Dutchman Michael van Gerwen in the PDC World Championship Final at Alexandra Palace, having overcome Simon Whitlock in Monday’s semi-final.
Wright, who lives in Mendham, averaged 100.24 during his 6-2 victory over Australian Whitlock, but the Scottish-born world number 16 believes he has been in better form.
“I am still not playing as I would want to,” said Wright, a colourful figure at the oche.
“I am pretty consistent at the moment but I have been averaging between 110 and 118 on the pro tour so I know there is more to come from me.
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“But I set myself a target to reach the semi-finals here and I have overcome that, so now it is just a case of concentrating on tomorrow night’s final.”
Dutchman van Gerwen is something of a rising star in the game and will be looking to go one better than last year, when he was beaten in the final by 16-time world champion Phil “The Power” Taylor.
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He won this year’s Premier League and Players Championship Finals and defeated Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis 6-0 in his semi-final. However, he is not invincible and Wright has a decent record against him.
“His (van Gerwen’s) form has been up and down and I have beaten him a few times this year,” said Wright of the 24-year-old, nicknamed “Mighty Mike”.
“He misses a few doubles and it’s up to me to put pressure on him.”
Wright could now complete a remarkable career turnaround with victory today, having not competed in either the PDC or BDO world final between 1996 and 2009.
He is guaranteed a bumper pay day of at least £100,000 - and will take home double that if he wins tomorrow.
“I’m pretty emotional right now as I’ve just realised what I’ve achieved,” said Wright, after his semi-final win.
He added: “I lost in the first round of the BDO tournament in 1995 but I did not take it that serious back then, I was just a pub player.
“I went and did different types of jobs and then my wife (Joanne) asked me six years ago if I wanted to have a go at darts properly.
“Now I am here, and playing in the World Championship is fantastic, unreal, and if I could bottle the atmosphere I would.
“My fans have been great and I would urge them to carry on.”
Asked whether he will have a new, zany hair design for the final, Wright added: “My wife (a hairdresser) comes up with all the designs for that, so I don’t have a clue!
“We’ll take it as it comes.”