Kettering darts star Ricky Evans is hoping to cap a fine year by taking the world stage by storm at the Alexandra Palace.
With Christmas approaching, it’s the most wonderful time of the year for dart players and fans of the sport as the PDC’s William Hill World Darts Championship gets under way at the ‘Ally Pally’ tonight (Thursday).
Evans, who’s nickname is ‘Rapid’ due to the quickness of his throw, takes on Rowby-John Rodriguez in his first-round match in the afternoon session next Tuesday and he is in confident mood.
The 28-year-old returns to the venue for the third time having risen to 42nd in the world after an impressive year on the PDC ProTour while he also qualified for the World Grand Prix and the Players Championship Finals for the first time.
But the Worlds remains the pinnacle and Evans said: “I feel like I have had a good year, the practice has paid off and I have been part of every tournament I want to be in at the start of the year.
“But this is the main one. Form means nothing, it’s all about doing it on the big stage.
“I have been there before so I think that has to help. You get used to the venue and the crowd so I know what to expect.
“Hopefully I can prepare well on the day and get through. It won’t be easy, I rate Rowby-John, he is a stage player. He’s not had the best of seasons but he is dangerous.
“But I am just really looking forward to it. There’s no better place than the ‘Ally Pally’ at this time of year.
“Everyone watches the darts over Christmas and when I joined the PDC this was the event that I always wanted to be part of. I can’t wait to get back there.”
Evans has delighted live audiences both at home and abroad with his walk-ons in recent tournaments.
Using the song ‘Baby Shark’, which was popularised on social media and on radio, Evans has endeared himself to fans of the sport.
And, as long as he’s allowed to use it at the Worlds, he is hoping the crowd will be behind him.
“I am hoping they will let me use it,” he added.
“It’s a bit of fun. I make myself look a bit silly but it’s all part of the entertainment and I am sure the fans will enjoy it.”
All the action, including Evans’ match with Rodriguez, is being screened live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.