World Ranking: 14
Home: Waterlooville, Hampshire, UK
Nickname: The Wizard
Walk On Music: Down Under By Men At Work
2012 European Championship hero and former World Championship runner-up Simon Whitlock has won over 50 PDC tournaments worldwide and was also one of the best players on the BDO circuit from 2005 to 2008. A regular in the Premier League, his best display in recent years came in the 2017 World Grand Prix, when he finished runner-up to Daryl Gurney.
Whitlock had a 50% strike rate in his last 10 matches before the Home Tour, with some of his most recent victims including Jeffrey de Zwaan, Robert Thornton and Andy Hamilton.
MIKE VAN DUIVENBODE
World Ranking: 98
Home: Dordrecht, Nederlands
Nickname: The Pigeon
Walk On Music: Narcotic By Liquido
To date, Mike van Duivenbode is low on experience having only earned his PDC Tour card in January of last year. On the Development Tour in 2017, he did win two tournaments, one of which included a defeat of Dimitri Van den Bergh in the final.
The young Dutchman has lost his last eight consecutive matches, with a February win against Chris Dobey being a rare glimpse of joy. It’s also worth noting that he hasn’t played competitive darts in six weeks.
World Ranking: 74
Home: Swindon, England
Walk On Music: 20th Century Boy By T-Rex
Kirk Shepherd is still remembered as being the youngest player ever to contest a World Championship final. However, since that 2008 final loss to John Part, things haven’t gone to plan for the 33-year-old. A last-32 place in the 2017 UK Open is the best showing of late for the former World Youth Masters champion.
Shepherd’s recent form is worrying too as he lost six of his last seven competitive matches before the Home Tour. On the upside, he did beat Simon Whitlock is their most recent head-to-head.
World Ranking: 96
Home: St Helens, Merseyside, England
Nickname: The Saint
Walk On Music: The Saints Are Coming By U2 & Green Day
Ten-time tournament winner Alan Tabern has been on the PDC circuit since 2005, with his biggest win to date coming in the 2008 Atlanta Players Championship. His most recent win came on the PDC Challenge Tour in 2017.
Of his last 50 games before this competition, Tabern has a 40% strike rate with wins over Danny Noppert, Christo Reyes and Steve Beaton included in that period. However, he lost his last three competitive matches and was easily brushed aside in a recent game against Whitlock.
World Ranking: 6
Home: Stockport, England
Nickname: The Asp
Walk on Music: Mr. Brightside by The Killers
Nathan Aspinall reached the semi-finals in the World Championships in 2019 & 2010. He won the UK Open at Butlins, Minehead in 2019 beating Rob Cross in the final 11-5. He’s been playing in the PDC since 2012 but has only emerged as a serious contender in all the big competitions in the last two years.
World Ranking: 42
Home: Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
Walk on Music: Life Is Life by Opus
Ryan Joyce started his career with the BDO in 2013 before switching to the PDC in 2018. He reached the quarter finals of the 2019 World Championship at the Alexander palace, beating Simon Whitlock & James Wade on the way.
His only notable career victory was the BDO Gold Cup in 2017. He averaged 95 when losing out 10-9 to Gabriel Clemens in the last 64 of the 2019 UK Open in Butlins, Minehead in March this year.
World Ranking: 114
Home: Bristol, England.
Nickname: The Bomber
Walk on Music: Juke Box Hero by Foreigner
Steve Brown has been playing in the PDC since 2006. His best World Championship performance was in 2011 where he made the last 32 losing to Terry ‘The Bull’ Jenkins 4-1.
He’s never got any further than the last 16 in feature PDC tournaments. He had a 9 darts finish in a Players Championship event in Crawley in 2013.
World Ranking: 64
Home: Plymouth, Devon, England
Nickname: The Mirror Man
Walk on Music: Mirror Man by The Human League
Simon Stephenson gained the nickname ‘The Mirror Man’ in a 2014 clash in the West Midlands Derby, matching exactly dart-for-dart three unusual finishes by opponent Darren ‘Hardbox’ Hardyment before eventually winning that minor event.
He’s been with the PDC since 2014 & made the last 72 in the 2017 World Championships at the Alexander Palace. Simon’s best PDC feature event showing was in the 2019 UK Open at Butlins, Minehead where he made the quarter finals. He edged past Dave Chisnall 10-9 in the last 16 of that Championship before losing out to Gerwyn Price 10-5.
World Ranking: 15
Home: Pontyberem, Wales
Nickname: The Ferret
Walk on Music: Johnny Be Goode by Chuck Berry
Jonny Clayton made the last 32 in the World Championships at the Alexander Palace in 2017 & 2020. His career best performance was reaching the semi finals of the UK Open at Butlins, Minehead in March this year, where he lost to fellow Welshman Gerwyn Price 11-4.
World Ranking: 39
Home: Romsey, Hampshire, England
Nickname: The Lionheart Northy
Walk on Music: Shotgun by George Ezra
Richard North has been playing the PDC circuit since 2011. His best performances in the World Championship were in 2018 & 2019 where he made the last 64. His best results were in the 2017 World Grand Prix, where he lost out in the last 16 to Simon Whitlock 3-0 & in the 2018 European Championships, where he lost his last 16 match to Rob Cross 10-2.
World Ranking: 94
Home: Chester-Le- Street, Durham, England
Nickname: The Hunter
Walk on Music: Underdog by Kasabian
Adam Hunt has been on the PDC circuit since 2011. His best World Championship was in 2019 where he made the last 96. He won a couple of Challenge Tour events in England in 2013 & 2016 & has had a few wins in PDC Youth Tour events (2011,2014, 2016)
World Ranking: 91
Home: Newport, Shropshire, England
Nickname: none (known as ‘Dave’)
Walk on Music: Parklife by Blur
Dave Pallet started with the BDO as a youth in 2005. He switched to the PDC in 2013. His best performance in the World Championship was in 2016 where he made the last 32.
His best tournament performance was in the 2018 UK Open in Butlins, Minehead where he reached the Semi Finals. He lost out to eventual winner Gary Anderson 11-7. Dave averaged a very respectable 95 in the quarter final of that 2018 UK Open.