Every sport has its fair share of unlucky losers, who manage to enjoy successful careers despite falling short of the top prizes. Take snooker’s Jimmy ‘Whirlwind’ White, for example, who was as shining star during the sport’s heyday in the 1980s but failed to win the coveted World Championship despite appearing in six finals.
Darts is another sport with a wealth of infamous losers, who have continually managed to flirt with success only to fall agonisingly short of their objectives.
In this post, we’ll look at the sports unluckiest losers while exploring their exploits throughout the years.
Let’s start with the man known as Snakebite, whose exploits as a perennial runner-up are well-known.
Peter Wright managed to finish a close second in the 2015 and 2016 World Series of Darts finals, for example, as he twice lost to the brilliant Michael van Gerwen by scores of 11-10 and 11-9 respectively- leading him to almost quit the game completely.
He also took the runners-up prize in the coveted PDC World Championship in 2014, whilst he has recently finished second in several high-profile tournaments. These included the World Matchplay and Grand Slam tournaments in 2017, along with the World Grand Prix events the following year.
It’s not surprising that many of the players on our list our fan favourites, as Brits love nothing more than a gallant and charismatic underdog.
Terry ‘The Bull’ Jenkins certainly fits this bill, with his ebullient personality remaining intact despite his record of nine losses in major finals.
This run also included high-profile tournaments such as the Grand Prix, the Premier League and the World Matchplay tournament, while the perennial runner-up has also fallen at the last hurdle in the European Championship, the UK Open and the Las Vegas Desert Classic.
You’ll still find ‘The Bull’ working the circuit but if you fancy backing him to win one of the major tournaments this year it’s probably best to find a no deposit free bet, so you don’t lose any of your cash if the big man does fall short again.
Dave Chisnall burst on the professional scene when he claimed second place at the 2010 BDO World Championship at the tender age of 29.
While this hinted at a bright future for the Arrowsmith, Chisnal struggled to fulfil his promise and remains all too likely to lose his cool when the pressure’s on.
In the last nine years, he has experienced further heartache on the Masters, Grand Slam, World Grand Prix and the Players Championship Finals, as his heavy scoring is increasingly let down by poor finishing. The 2013 World Grand Prix was a testament to this, as he was embarrassingly whitewashed by Phil Taylor and failed to win a single leg in the first five sets.
Next up is a man who can also be classed as a perennial winner, especially as he made his mark in the BDO.
Since switching to the PDC however, he has endured a significant change in fortune, with final defeats in the World Grand Prix, the Premier League, the Masters the Players Championship finals and the coveted Champions League.
The 2010 defeat in the Players Championship finals was particularly hard to stomach, as King lost out to Paul Nicholson in a tight final after beating stellar names including James Wade and Jelle Klaasen.
We close with yet another loveable loser in the form of Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ Baxter, who struggled manfully to cross the finish line in several televised events.
The Blackpool-born Baxter has the unfortunate distinction of losing both the BDO and the PDC finals, while he has also finished as the runner-up in the World Matchplay tournament.
His last shot at major glory came in the 2002 Las Vegas Classic when he was edged out by Taylor in a tough final. He has now retired after falling away in the rankings, with his immense talent and promise having failed to translate into a major tournament win.