The 1997 Red Band World Darts Championship was held between 29 December 1996–5 January 1997 at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet, Essex. It was the fourth World Championship organised by the World Darts Council, which had acrimoniously split from the British Darts Organisation in 1992/93. As a result of an ongoing legal battle, this would be the last time that the WDC name would be used - an out-of-court settlement (Tomlin Order) in the summer of 1997 meant that the organisation had to change its name to the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC).
The Championship saw two tight semi-finals, the most memorable of which was the clash between mentor and protégé - Eric Bristow and Phil Taylor. Taylor emerged victorious 5-4 in sets to reach the final. Ironically, he managed to equal his mentor's feat of five World Championship titles when he beat Dennis Priestley in the final. They were now level as the most successful players of all-time.