World Finalist Wayne Warren is one of those mysterious players that darts has a habit of throwing up. Darts World has a regular series about such players, it’s called Unsung Heroes. The Welshman (57) certainly fits the first part of the bill, if could secure the BDO World Professional Darts Championship today he will claim the hero status to match.
Since first appearing, on the main scene, back in 2003, ‘Yank’ as Wayne is known, has had had both great highs and barren spells. He qualified for the BDO World Championship as far back as 2005 and reached the last 32. Unfortunately, this promising start was followed with a run of poor form and near misses and it was not until 2012 that glimpses of Warren’s real ability began to emerge.
After some promising early season results Wayne won the BDO International Open, reached the final of The Gold Cup and qualified for another World Championship. He again reached the last 32 stage, losing out to Alan Norris.
Again, a couple of hit and miss years followed but the Welshman had done enough to again qualify for the Lakeside event in 2018. This time he was to make a big impression. He knocked out talented continental players Willem Mandigers and Wes Harms before losing out in an epic battle with ‘Gladiator’ Mark McGeeney.
Although no major titles came his way Wayne now settled into the role of highly ranked payer, repeatedly reaching the later stages of major BDO/WDF events all over Europe. He was selected to play the 2019 Grand Slam of Darts. He had again qualified for the World Championships!
Wayne is a non nonsense player. He has a simple technique and uses a simple design dart, produced and marketed by Welsh brand Red Dragon, that are similar to an old Eric Bristow type barrel but with a grip more like (early) Bob Anderson‘s. At 20g he is another member of, what has been termed, “The Light Brigade“.
As our resident coach is fond of saying “there is nothing new in darts were just very good at repackaging!”
‘Yank’ has been on a tremendous run in this years World Championship, he almost seems to have allowed himself to shine. His run has also showed, yet again, the depth of talent in the darting world. While many obsess with the ‘cult of youth’, it can be smarter, and more profitable, to look at the other end of the age spectrum. At 57 Warren will be one of the oldest to grace a World Final and certainly for for the first time.
His defeats of Justin Thompson and Andy Hamilton were based on patience and superb doubling. He seemed to barely miss an opportunity to finish a leg. Against Chris Landman he showed that he could adapt and score heavily in order to establish a dominance. He also showed he could cope with things going his opponents way, Landman repeatedly seemed to be about to get back into the game yet Warren held him at bay and completed the win.
In his semi final Wayne demonstrated he can be a complete player. Playing a player of Scott Mitchell’s standing, in a World Semi-Final, can be intimidating and draining, esp at 57. Wayne Warren simply stepped up a gear and put Scott away with relative ease.
The final takes place later today against fellow Welshman Jim Williams. Williams was a pre-event favourite who has built up his game through the event. Williams seems a more resilient player than the one who appeared at the Grand Slam in November. Let’s face it, against Warren he is going to need to be!