Priestley Praise For Cool Hand Luke

Red Dragon Darts

Double Code World Champion and Tungsten legend Dennis Priestley has spoken ahead of the World Grand Prix.

Dennis Priestley, inaugural PDC world champion in 1994 and BDO/WDF Lakeside winner three years previous in 1991 , does not expect much from former finalist Gary Anderson. The menace thinks the 52-year-old Scot may want for motivation and thus does not think Anderson will compete for the title at the World Grand Prix:

“I think he’ll struggle to get to the final and I wouldn’t expect him to get any further than the quarters.”

The Mexborough legend had warmer words for Luke Humphries:

“Luke Humphries is exceptional when he wants to be and he’s definitely the one to beat for me. He’s the one everyone should be looking out for. Obviously you’ve got the old contenders like Peter Wright, but I don’t think I’ll back him to win it as he’s been struggling a bit of late, although he’ll probably want to win it. Michael Smith is the other contender I really like.

Luke has had a very good year so far and even hit a nine-darter the other day. He’s already on the same level as the likes of Gerwyn Price. His scoring is everything and his throw is very laid back.”

Dennis Priestley, speaking to Boylesports


Catch up with our digital publication and read/download issue 12 of Darts World Extra here

During the conversation Dennis recalled the days of ‘The Split’ when 16 of the very best players in the game of darts together with their managers set up the WDC ( later the PDC) it remains something of which he is clearly very proud:

Darts would be nothing if we didn’t break away from the BDO. They couldn’t compete. I received a lot of backlash and you wouldn’t believe the dirty tricks that they tried to play on me. Trying to take us to court, take our houses off us. It’s not just a man playing darts either, you’ve got your family to think about. You try to do the right thing for them. We were put under pressure but no amount of money could’ve tempted me to go back on my decision. 

The biggest thing going forward for darts is the sponsorships. If there’s none of them then players won’t get paid. The difference between now and then is how regularly they get to play. 

I’m really proud of what we did, and people should be thankful to us for it.

Our analyst at AIM180 commented:

Dennis is a remarkable character and was a truly outstanding player in our game’s development. As well as helping to found the PDC and being the first World Champion (and thus dual code winner) his switching for treble 18 as a pure scoring decision altered the game and laid a foundation for players like Adrian Lewis and today’s generation who see switching as simply the natural choice.

One of our favourite drills ‘SwitchBlade‘ was inspired by Dennis. The full story is in Darts World Extra 11 and an online version of the game can be played over at

Read our classic ‘Priestley at 70’ interview here


Interview: Dennis Priestley, speaking to Boylesports, who offer the latest World Grand Prix odds,

Image: Winmau & Darts World Magazine

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