The 1996 Vernons World Darts Championships was the third year that the Professional Darts Corporation (then known as the World Darts Council) held their own World Championships following an acrimonious split from the British Darts Organisation during 1992/93. The tournament had its third sponsor in as many years, with Vernons taking over from Proton Cars.
Although he hadn't officially announced his retirement, Jocky Wilson had played his last competitive televised match at the World Matchplay in Blackpool in the summer of 1995 so missed out on the World Championship for the first time since the 1979 Embassy Championship. Nigel Justice and Steve Raw were the two English players making their WDC World Championship debuts.
Phil Taylor gained revenge for his 1994 final defeat against Dennis Priestley to retain his title - his fourth overall World Championship victory.