Updated on 22/08/2017 19:55
Professional Darts Corporation

World Matchplay 1997

Winter Gardens, Blackpool
From: Monday 28 July 1997
Till: Saturday 2 August 1997
Prize money:
  1. £12,000
  2. £6,000
  3. £3,250
  4. 4d place £2,750
  5. Q/F £1,700
  6. Last 16 £900
  7. Last 32 £500
Other prize money:
  1. High finish £0
  2. Total: £46,000

The fourth edition of the World Matchplay was held from 28 July to 2 August in the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. In 1997 Taylor wins his title back by beating Alan Warriner in the final 16-11.

Taylor, who has at this time also won the PDC world title three times in a row, is never really pushed in the tournament. Gary Mawson doesn’t win a leg in the first round, he loses 0-8 while Taylor has an average of 113.43 per throw, an average that is enough to scare his upcoming opponents. The last two legs in that first round match Taylor finishes in 10 darts. Both times the tenth dart is a bullseye. Mick Manning manages to win two legs in the second round, the same number that Bob Anderson wins in the quarterfinals. Rod Harrington is put aside 13-9 in the semi-finals. The final is the first really close game. Until 8-8 there was is difference but then Taylor finds another gear and Alan Warriner cannot follow that.

In the early years of the World Matchplay every player could qualify for the tournament. Some BDO ranking tournament also counted towards qualification for the World Matchplay. That is why in 1997 players like Andy Jenkins, Richie Burnett, Chris Mason and Darryl Fitton made their appearance on stage in Blackpool. And that while they had participated in the World Championship of the BDO; The Embassy. A situation that today would be unimaginable.

The story of 1997 is also the story of Richie Burnett; in the quarterfinals he beat the defending champion Peter Evison. Burnett is 1-6 behind against Evison, but then wins 10 of the last 13 legs. The semi-final against Alan Warriner is an exciting and close affair, but at the end of the contest "The Iceman" was too cool for Burnett.

Played finals