MOVE over Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor!
Huddersfield has a new kid on the darts block .
James ‘The Jammie Dodger’ Wilson, of Linthwaite, is currently No 4 in the amateur world - and rising fast.
James, 40, is through to the British Darts Organisation World Championships and reckons he’s got more than a sporting chance of winning the £100,000 top prize.
The part-time roofer, who plays out of The Royal in Scar Lane, Milnsbridge, takes on world No1 Stephen Bunting at the Lakeside Country Club in Surrey on Sunday.
This is the first time he has qualified for the amateur world championships and success could see him earn the chance to turn professional and take on the stars of the sport.
“My focus right now is on winning the World Championships but my aim is definitely to turn pro,” said James.
“I’ve played Stephen Bunting loads of times and I’ve won more than I’ve lost.
“He hates playing me. I’m the one he can’t beat.”
Also through to the World Championships is James’s sponsor Scott Waites, also a top player and former Grand Slam winner.
Scott – known as ‘Scotty 2 Hotty’ – is in the other half of the draw so if both he and James progress they won’t meet until the final.
“That would be great,” said James. “At least it would mean Huddersfield would have a world champion.”
James, who got his Jammie Dodger nickname because he kept avoiding the big names in competitions, first took up darts at the age of 14 but stopped for 10 years and only started playing again at The Royal, run by his brother David.
He has been taking the sport seriously again for the last three years and has represented Yorkshire and England and has now made the Six Nations squad for the first time.
Supported by Scott and his long-suffering fiancee and darts PA Heather Lynch, 28, James set out to qualify for the World Championships by travelling Europe to collect ranking points.
James went to places including Holland, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Romania and the Czech Republic and amassed 157 points, which earned him 23rd place out of 24 qualifiers. In total 32 compete for the World Championships, which are screened by the BBC and ESPN.
“The season runs between October and September and last year was the first time I had attempted to qualify for the World Championships,” said James.
“This year I have already got 90 points and I am No4 in the world. We are only a third of the way through the season so it’s looking good.”
James, who plays for The Royal and Honley B locally, doesn’t earn much from his darts and works with brother David as a roofer.
He will, however, receive £3,000 for qualifying for the championships and the prizemoney increases the further he goes.
His profile is set to rise and he has already been sounded out about joining top pros, including Adrian Lewis and Mighty Mike van Gerwen, for an exhibition event in September.
Scott, 35, of Outlane, went out in the second round of last year’s World Championships and is looking for better this time.
Currently laid low with a sickness bug he faces Willy van de Wiel in the first round.