BDO World Darts Championship: What happened to the Lakeside competition, will it return and which players won both world championships?

As the players prepare to take to the oche for the PDC World Darts Championships, here’s what happened to the original competition that pitted the planet’s greatest throwers against each other.

Starting on Thursday, December 15, 2022, the New Year-spanning PDC World Championships is the most sought after trophy in world darts.

This year’s tournament is the 30th organised by the Professional Darts Corporation, but until 2020 there were two competing world championships, with the other running for 43 years.

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The rival – and original – tournament organised by the British Darts Organisation (BDO) made dart players household names in the 1970s and 1980s as the sport became big business, with the likes of Eric Bristow, Jocky Wilson, Phil Taylor and John Lowe lifting the trophy while millions of fans watched on television.

Here’s everything you need to know about the BDO World Championship and why it won’t be taking place this year.

Where were the BDO World Championship held?

The BDO World Darts Championship was a world championship competition in darts, organised by the British Darts Organisation (BDO). It was held 43 times from 1978 to 2020.

The championship was first held ain 1978 at Nottingham’s Heart of the Midlands Nightclub before moving to the Jollees Cabaret Club, in Stoke, the next year.

The BDO World Darts Championship produced many great champions, including Scotland's Jocky Wilson who triumphed in 1982 and 1989.

From 1986 the competition enjoyed its largest success, being held at the Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, Surrey, until the final tournament was held at the Indigo venue in London.

What led to there being two darts world championships?

The World Darts Council (WDC) was created in 1993 after a dispute between many of the top players and the BDO governing body about their inability to reverse declining television audiences in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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The 16 top players from the BDO - including every fomer world champion still playing - breaking away from the BDO to form the WDC (later renamed the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC)).

Between 1994 and 2020, each organisation held its own version of the World Professional Darts Championship weeks apart, during December and January of each year.

The PDC competition quickly became established as the gold standard for world darts, with many BDO champions defecting to the more profitable tour.

What happened to the BDO World Championship?

Losing many of its top players to the PDC was just one of the problems suffered by the BDO in its later years.

In 2016 the BBC announced it would no longer cover the BDO World Championship, which it had broadcast for 38 years.

Three years later there were multiple problems with qualifying criteria which saw several seeded players withdrawing and others arriving to find they had not been registered. Meanwhile the ever-dwindling prize money pot wasn’t announced prior to the start of the competition.

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Five days before the start of the 2020 BDO World Championship, the BDO announced that the prize money would be "reduced somewhat" due to the lack of a sponsor but didn’t reveal how much it would be. Champion Wayne Warren ended up winner £23,000, a huge reduction on the £100,000 won by Wayne Warren the previous year.

Later that year, in September 2020, the BDO went into liquidation, bringing an end to 47 years of their World Championships.

Will the BDO World Championship return?

With the liquidation of the BDO there is very little chance of the tournament returning in its previous guise.

However the World Darts Federation (WDF), the sport’s governing body, have taken over some of the BDO’s former events and held the first WDF World Championship in April this year – returning to the sport’s spiritual home of Lakeside Country Club.

The inaugural men’s tournament was won by Northern Ireland’s Neil Duff, while the women’s trophy was lifted by Beau Greaves. Duff won £50,000, with Greaves taking home £25,000.

Who won the most BDO titles?

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Eric Bristow won a record five BDO World Championships, followed by the Netherlands’ Raymond van Barneveld with four titles. John Lowe, Martin Adams and Glen Durrant all lifted the trophy a total of three times.

Which players won both the BDO and PDC world championships?

A very select group of players won both world championships during their careers – and are some of the biggest names in the world of darts.

Led by Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, the other players to achieve the feat were Dennis Priestly, John Part, and Raymond van Berneveld.

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