Diamond’s views on PDC Worlds, his career aims and more
We are delighted to be joined by the hugely popular Ian White, who shares his exclusive thoughts to Sam Barnard for Darts World ahead of his seventh successive Ally Pally appearance, in Part 6 of our 2018 PDC World Championship profile/interview series.
Diamond has been a big part of the PDC and the Worlds for many years now, with a best performance to date coming at the 2014 edition when he reached the quarter-finals.
He actually first came to prominence way back in 1997, when facing Phil Taylor in the final of the last ever edition of the News of the World Darts Championship – eventually losing 2-0 to his fellow Stoke native – but has since established himself as one of the top names in the sport, and broke into the top eight in 2015.
Having won three Players Championship titles in 2016 and reached a further two finals this year, White is still firmly in the top 20, but feels he has plenty more to give in the game – particularly on the big stage.
So, read on about the above and more for our exclusive Ian White interview and profile, the sixth in our series, ahead of the 2018 PDC World Championship from December 14 – January 1…
Ian White profile
Date of birth: 17/08/1970 (age 47)
Place of birth: Nantwich, Cheshire
Walk-on song: Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry
Darts used: 23g Unicorn
Management company: Dunvegan Enterprises
Sponsors: Unicorn, WMH HWIN, Mayday Homecare
Twitter handle: @IanDiamondWhite
Favourite double: 4
Favourite checkout: 170
Favourite tournament: World Matchplay, Blackpool
Favourite country played in: Germany
Toughest players faced: Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson
Player to watch in future: Jeffrey de Zwaan
Sports/darts hero growing up: Kenny Dalglish
Best mates in darts: Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson, Michael Smith, James Wade, Jamie Caven, John Henderson.
Favourite food: Chinese
Favourite film/TV show: Dirty Dancing (chick flicks)
Favourite band/music: Bon Jovi
Hobbies outside of darts: Fishing
Current/previous day job: Previous job – process Leader at an aluminium company
Ultimate darting ambition: World champion
Ian White interview
How excited are you ahead of this year’s Worlds? Do you have hopes of matching or even bettering your run to the quarters in the 2014 edition?
This is the biggest tournament of the year, and I would not only like to equal the quarters from 2014 but also to better it.
You jumped onto the darts scene many years ago, reaching the News of the World Championship final in 1997. But what made you take a step back from the sport soon after and then eventually give it another go?
My reasons for stepping back from darts after the 1997 News of the World Championships, was I found it difficult to win games after.
So I started a few years later in local leagues in Runcorn, then onto Superleague, the BDO circuit, then playing for England.
You have been a top player on the PDC circuit for a number of years now, and have reached two finals in 2017. How do you feel your year has gone so far?
The standard of my darts has improved but I’ve just not had the luck this year.
One of your highlights in 2017 is surely thrashing Van Gerwen 6-1 at the German Masters, where you averaged well over 100. Do those kinds of performances give you great hope that you can beat anyone on your day, and more consistently on the big stage?
Yes, and I have been doing 100-plus averages most of the year.
It’s only a matter of time before my luck changes for the better.
What are your aims for 2018? Do you still hold hope that the PDC will finally reward your performances over the years by inviting you to the Premier League or even World Series in future?
[My 2018 aims are to] reach and establish myself in the top 10 at least. [And] yes, definitely.
The standard in darts just keeps getting higher and higher. Have you had to change anything you do to ensure you stay among the elite? And how different do yourself and others approach the sport now compared to when you first started out on tour?
I have stepped up my practise in the hours and days I put in, because if you want it you have to work for it.
Being with management company Dunvegan, it must be great for motivation to be stablemates with fellow top players like Anderson and Smith and future stars like Quantock, Dobey and Hunt. How much of a help is the set-up there in terms of on and off the oche?
It’s nice to have a management team with great teammates and support.
And I know that I am always backed strongly by the Dunvegan Team taking away any concerns knowing that things can be dealt with, so I can get on with my work as a professional dart player.
And finally, do you have any favourite or standout memories watching the World Championship in the past, besides your own successes? And what makes the PDC Worlds so special to you?
My biggest memories are that when the World Championships were on in the late 90s.
I used to watch in my local in Runcorn (the Dockside) whilst practising. I used to play with the match and try and beat the scores.
One game that tends to stick in my memory was a Phil Taylor and Dennis Priestley final.
The PDC World Championship is special for me because the crowds, the atmosphere is electrifying, and it is a massive honour to be a part of. All my hard work is paying off to be a part of the biggest competition in the world.
Many thanks to Ian for speaking to us this week. Join us for part 7 of our PDC Worlds interview series next time, where we’ll hear the thoughts and views of rapidly rising star Rob Cross.