Peter Wright is determined not to be remembered as the ‘nearly man’ as he aims to fulfil his dream of being crowned PDC World Champion.
The Mendham-based darts ace returns to London’s Alexandra Palace today to start his quest for the prestigious Sid Waddell Trophy against Gerwyn Price, 12 months after stepping away from the oche as a beaten finalist, in a 7-4 defeat to world number one Michael Van Gerwen.
And after missing out on crowning his breakthrough tournament in the sport in the final glory, ‘Snakebite’ is desperate to make amends and lift darts’ biggest prize.
“I’m not going to be remembered as the nearly man,” he said. “I will win the World Championships at some stage and I’m confident that will be this year.
“I wasn’t experienced enough to handle the final. The atmosphere was different to anything I’ve ever experienced, my whole body was tingling, it was difficult not to be overawed.
“I had watched the final for years; at that point my life changed and things got on top of me.
“If I get there again this year, I know what to expect and things will be different. Having that experience will be key.”
The admission of nerves may surprise Wright’s ever- growing legion of fans, who are accustomed to seeing their flamboyant, multi-coloured Mohawk topped hero thrive in the spotlight with audacious showmanship.
Despite not revelling in the hype away from stage, the 44-year-old, who emerged as one of the standout stars of last year’s tournament, is adamant he will not change his persona as he looks to finally realise his dream.
“I’m actually a really shy guy, what you see on stage is my character for the fans,” added the world number five.
“Maybe being dressed as I am and the way I act brings added pressure but I can deal with it.
“I know what to expect now, I can deal with it and I’m stronger for it.
“To win would be a dream come true. It’s all I’ve ever wanted and I won’t stop until I’m World Champion.”