Simon Whitlock

  • Last Updated: December 6 2013, 18:42 GMT

With his 'beard to be feared' and foot-long pony-tail, Simon Whitlock is certainly the most eye-catching of the PDC's biggest names.

Simon Whitlock: Knows how to reach the final

Though he reached the last 16 of the PDC World Championship in 2003 it was actually in the BDO that he made his name, twice reaching the semi-finals of the International Darts League before making the final of the 2008 World Championship, where Mark Webster beat him.

A year later he would exit in the second round at the Lakeside and two months after that he returned to the PDC, winning eight events on the Australian circuit.

Fact box

  • Date of birth: 03.03.69
  • Birthplace: Cessnock (Australia)
  • Nickname: The Wizard
  • Major titles: European Championship (once)
  • World Championship best: Runner-up (twice)
  • Walk-on music: Down Under

But it was the 2010 World Championship that really marked his arrival as a top-level player on this side of darts' divide as he beat Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade and Terry Jenkins en route to the final, with Phil Taylor finally taking his scalp.

His prize money - and successful appeals for a sponsor issued in his televised post-match interviews - enabled him to move to the Isle of Wight and compete full-time on the PDC tour.

A regular in the latter stages of televised events, Whitlock made that final breakthrough to 'major champion' in 2012 by winning the European Championship in Germany, a result which followed final appearances in the World Cup, Premier League and Championship League.