He may be one of the most colourful characters on the PDC Tour, but there’s no doubting that Peter Wright has a serious side when it comes to winning matches on the big stage.
‘Snakebite’ has shown his teeth already at this year’s World Matchplay, seeing off Vincent van der Voort 10-5 in the opening round and mercilessly dispatching former World Championship finalist Simon Whitlock 11-2 in his next outing.
The Scottish darting darling was acutely aware of the history of the tournament when we sat down for a chat with him, but he was also quick to praise the legions of fans flocking to see the darts at the Winter Gardens this week.
“The crowd at the World Matchplay are amazing, it’s always sunny in Blackpool and it’s roasting up on the stage,” said Wright.
“It can be very hard to play under that heat, but the fans make it easier because they are absolutely brilliant.”
They all love darts, they support every single player and no one gets booed.
“It’s really good to be here.”
Wright has got back in the winner’s circle of late, picking up the World Cup of Darts alongside Gary Anderson and the German Masters earlier this month. With some new trophies filling up his cabinet, the world number five is keen to add a few more titles to his name.
“It was about time I won something,” joked Snakebite.
“My practice has been going really well and that’s coming out on stage now.”
I’ve picked up a couple of bits of silverware now, and hopefully, that carries on for the rest of season.
“Once you win something, you’ve got to forget about it fairly quickly and get on to the next one. That’s what I do, I move onto the next tournament and try to win that.”
With Stephen Bunting standing in this way tonight, Wright knows he must beat ‘The Bullet’ if he is to have any hope of achieving his “dream” of winning the World Matchplay crown this week. He’s the 11/4 joint-second favourite to do just that, and with heavyweights Michael van Gerwan and Gary Anderson already out, he’s got one hell of a chance of claiming another major.
“It’s my dream to win this title and sometimes dreams come through,” said the Scot.
I’ve put the hard work in and I think I can do it.
“The history of the tournament is amazing. I used to sit and watch it when I wasn’t a professional player ever year.”
“Now I’m a part of it all, I know what it takes to win it and I want to do that at the end of the week.”
* All odds correct at time of posting.