John Walton (darts player)
|Full name||John Michael Walton|
10 November 1961 |
Bradford, Yorkshire, England
|Home town||Sheffield, Yorkshire
|Playing darts since||1970/71|
|Walk-on music||"Cotton Eye Joe" by Rednex|
|Organisation (see split in darts)|
|Current world ranking||(BDO) 100|
|BDO majors - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Winner 2001|
|World Masters||Winner 2000|
|World Darts Trophy||Quarter Final: 2005|
|Int. Darts League||Last 16: 2005|
|Zuiderduin Masters||Quarter Final: 2004|
|Other tournament wins|
|Updated on 17 November 2007.|
John Michael Walton (born 10 November 1961 in Bradford, Yorkshire) is a former World No. 1 English darts player who currently plays for the British Darts Organisation. He is best known for winning the 2001 BDO World Darts Championship. He has adopted the nickname John Boy and uses the song "Cotton Eye Joe" by Rednex as his walk-on theme.
1993–2000: Early career
Walton picked up some small tournament victories in the early stages of his career, including the Websters 150 Championship in 1993 and the Highlands Open Championship in 1996 but didn't manage to qualify for the World Championship until 1999 when he lost 0-3 to Roland Scholten on his first round debut. He failed to qualify for the World Championship in 2000, but in the autumn of that year he won the prestigious Winmau World Masters. Despite that success, he was 50/1 with the bookmakers to win the World title in the New Year, and his Masters form possibly led to him being tipped by darts pundit Bobby George at the start of the BBC televised coverage as a possible winner.
2001–05: World Title
He opened his 2001 campaign with a 3-1 first round win over Ritchie Davies and averaged an excellent 100.62 during the match. He then beat Mervyn King 3-0 with another high average of 99.00. His quarter-final victory over Marko Pusa saw Walton achieve an incredible 14 consecutive legs. Not surprisingly, the result was a 5-0 whitewash. Walton then beat Wayne Mardle 5-3 in the semi-final and Ted Hankey 6-2 in the final to become World Champion and also one of only a few players to have held both the Winmau World Masters and World Championship simultaneously. He joined Eric Bristow, Richie Burnett and Bob Anderson as the fourth player to win them in the same season. Martin Adams and Stephen Bunting have since joined this elite group of players. He has enjoyed only moderate success since his 2001 World Championship victory - the defence of his title ended with a second round loss to Colin Monk and he went out in the second round to Davies in 2003. He did manage to reach the 2004 quarter-finals, but lost 1-5 to Raymond van Barneveld. In 2005 he lost to Darryl Fitton in the second round and he was knocked out by Stephen Roberts in 2006. Another second round defeat, this time to Gary Robson followed in 2007, and in 2008 he lost in the first round to the then-reigning Winmau World Masters champion Robert Thornton. He hasn't won any of the major open events since his successful year in 2001 when he took the British Open, British Classic, Belgium Open, Scottish Open and Portland Open. Overall his tournament success has dried up since winning the world title, but he continues to maintain a high world ranking by progressing to the quarter-final and semi-final stages of several Open darts events.
Walton made history at the 2007 Winmau World Masters in Bridlington by hitting a televised nine dart finish. It was the first time a player had hit a nine-darter in the televised stages in the 34-year history of the event (Chris Mason achieved one in the preliminary round a few years previously), and was the first on BBC television since Paul Lim's historic World Championship feat in 1990. Walton's 2008 campaign was hampered by a shoulder injury but despite sliding down the world rankings, he entered the 2009 BDO World Championship as the number 15 seed. He won through an emotional first round game against his friend Shaun Greatbatch who was battling bone marrow cancer. He then caused a major shock by beating defending champion Mark Webster 4-0 in the second round. He then played Hankey in the quarter final, a repeat of the 2001 Embassy Final which Walton won. Hankey avenged the earlier loss with a 5-1 win, and went on to win the championship. On 24 May 2009, Walton hit another 9 darter at the Antwerp Open in the final against Drik Beni. The 9 darter came in the third leg and he went on to win the game 4-0, only to go out the next round to Joey ten Berge in the last 32. Walton was unseeded for the 2011 World Championship, but beat 16th seed Dave Prins 3-1 in the first round before being defeated by Martin Adams 4-3 in a sudden death leg. The match has already been touted as one of the best in the tournament's history. In 2011 season, he retained the English Masters beating Ross Montgomery in the final. Walton failed to qualify for the 2014 BDO World Darts Championship, the first time since 2000 he did not appear at the event.
He lost Malta Open 2015 Final in November 2015 against Umit Uygunsozlu who is the best dart player of Turkey. For the first time since 2013. He has qualified for the 2016 BDO World Championship And will play in the Preliminary Round against Australian Rob Modra.
In January 2015, Walton joined the rival PDC by entering the PDC Qualifying School in an attempt to win a tour card. He was unsuccessful in doing so having failed to finish in the top 18 of the Q School order of merit.
- Walton was the first player to win either version of the World Professional Darts Championship wearing spectacles. Martin Adams became the second in 2007 and Webster became the third in 2008
World Championship Results
- 1999: 1st Round (lost to Roland Scholten 0-3)
- 2001: Winner (beat Ted Hankey 6-2)
- 2002: 2nd Round (lost to Colin Monk 2-3)
- 2003: 2nd Round (lost to Ritchie Davies 0-3)
- 2004: Quarter Final (lost to Raymond van Barneveld 1-5)
- 2005: 2nd Round (lost to Darryl Fitton 0-3)
- 2006: 1st Round (lost to Stephen Roberts 0-3)
- 2007: 2nd Round (lost to Gary Robson 3-4)
- 2008: 1st Round (lost to Robert Thornton 0-3)
- 2009: Quarter Final (lost to Ted Hankey 1-5)
- 2010: 1st Round (lost to Willy van de Wiel 2-3)
- 2011: 2nd Round (lost to Martin Adams 3-4)
- 2012: 1st Round (lost to Martin Atkins 1-3)
- 2013: 1st Round (lost to Tony O'Shea 0-3)
- 2016: 1st Round (lost to Brian Dawson 2-3)
BDO major finals: 2 (2 titles)
|World Championship (1–0)|
|Winmau World Masters (1–0)|
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score[N 1]|
|Winner||1.||2000||Winmau World Masters||Mervyn King||3–2 (s)|
|Winner||2.||2001||World Championship||Ted Hankey||6–2 (s)|
- (l) = score in legs, (s) = score in sets.
|17 November 2007||Martin Phillips||World Masters||3 x T20; 3 x T20; T20, T19, D12||£2,000|