Name: Peter Wright
Date of birth: 10 March 1970
Home town: Mendham
Walk on music: Don't Stop the Party - Pitbull
World titles: 1
TV titles: 7
Nine-dart finishes: 2 (None on TV)
Highest TV average: 119.50 (Premier League Darts 2017)
Peter Wright wrote his name into the history books when becoming the oldest ever first-time PDC World Champion in January 2020 after his career had gone from strength to strength in recent years. With three major televised victories Snakebite is firmly in possession of the World No. 2 spot.
In the 1990s Peter Wright was not a name on the radar of those searching for world champions of the future, and rightly so. Having been knocked out in the first round of the World Masters and the BDO’s World Championship in 1995 the Scot headed for local leagues and was not a feature of professional darts for the next decade.
After being convinced by his wife, Joanne, to resume his pursuit of a career on the professional circuit, Wright joined the PDC and played his first major event in 2005 at the UK Open. He lost in the third round of that event, but this was an important stepping stone in his journey to the top.
Wright’s first full schedule on the PDC came in 2008 but it was the following year that he hit our TV screens for the first time as a PDC player. Wright was beaten 6-3 by Colin Lloyd in the opening round of the Las Vegas Desert Classic but did not let this derail his progress.
Wright qualified for the World Matchplay and good showings in Players Championship events saw him headed for Alexandra Palace to compete in his first PDC World Championship where he was beaten by current World No. 1 Michael van Gerwen in the first round.
Later in 2010 Wright went on to reach another landmark as he reached his first PDC final. He came up against the Phil Taylor at the sixth UK Open qualifier of the year and was on the wrong end of the 6-2 result.
The Scot’s first match win at a PDC World Championship came in the 2011 season where he beat Co Stompé in the first round and followed that up with a second win over Paul Nicholson in the next round.
Wright’s first quarter-final appearance in a major event followed in 2011 as he beat Gary Anderson and John Part on the way to the last eight at the European Championships where he was eventually beaten by Simon Whitlock.
At this point Wright was a consistent performer on the PDC circuit but was unable to really crack the elite group of players and establish himself as a thoroughly top talent, but in October 2012 he made another big step towards doing that.
A first ranking title was heading home with Wright after he was victorious in the 15th Players Championship of the season in Ireland. This set him up for a big 2013 and he continued to impress.
At the UK Open Wright recorded his first major semi-final appearance in which he was again beaten by Taylor but shortly after he secured his second ranking title at Players Championship 5.
Wright’s terrific form continued but having reached the final at the German Darts Championship and Players Championship 7, he was defeated by Dave Chisnall on both occasions.
He first moved into the world’s top 16 towards the end of 2013 achieving a goal that had been chased for so many years.
The 2014 World Championship was a huge event for Wright as he blitzed his way through the rounds to face Michael van Gerwen in the final.
He was unable to stop Mighty Mike and eventually lost 7-4 in sets, but he did jump to 7th in the world rankings and collect the biggest cheque of his career, £100,000.
Snakebite, now a fan favourite with his flamboyant Mohican and boisterous walk-on, earned a place in the 2014 Premier League and did not look out of place. He came close to reaching the final four just missed out finishing fifth.
Having continued to prove his class over the coming years a first major title still eluded Wright until 2017 when he finally got over the line against Gerwyn Price to win the UK Open.
Some of the best darts of Wright’s career have come over the past two seasons. In 2019 he won the World Cup alongside Gary Anderson as well as the German Darts Masters and reached finals in both the Champions League and the Grand Slam of Darts.
The defining moment of his career so far undoubtedly came in January 2020 where he convincingly beat Michael van Gerwen to win his first World Championship, the oldest first-time winner of the PDC’s marquee event.
Wright followed up his World Championship success with another win at the next televised event, the Masters, where he beat Michael Smith in the final.
Wright has become one of the most recognisable and iconic players in darts and aside for his high-quality play this is largely due to his colourful style and unique hairstyle.
While his Mohican has become a consistent feature of his look, he changes the colour and design for each tournament.
His wife, Joanne, is a hair stylist by trade and does all of Wright’s styles herself. One side of his head always features a painted snake which links to his Snakebite nickname and the rest of his hair ties in with the theme of each particular outfit. Wright’s nickname is believed to have come from his love for snakes.
Wright is very much aware that darts is a sport designed to entertain and with this in mind he always ensures to make a big entrance onto the stage. Pitbull’s Don’t Stop the Party accompanies Wright’s trademark sidestep dance on stage prior to his matches.