Michael van Gerwen

  • Last Updated: December 10 2013, 12:52 GMT

Michael van Gerwen is the rising force in darts after his exploits in the big events over the last couple of years.

Michael van Gerwen

An exceptional 2012 saw the young Dutchman win the World Grand Prix in October and reach the final of the Grand Slam where he was edged out by compatriot Raymond van Barneveld.

But he really caught the imagination in the 2013 World Championship when his fast throwing, heavy scoring and adrenalin-filled celebrations thrilled the crowds and watching TV audience.

Van Gerwen raced to the final and led Phil Taylor 4-2 but, just as it seemed the young pretender was about to topple the master, the Stoke ace roared back to show the Dutchman who was boss

It was still an amazing tournament for van Gerwen, who came within a whisker of hitting historic back-to-back nine-darters in his semi-final win over James Wade.

Fact box

  • Date of birth: 25.04.89
  • Birthplace: Boxtel (Netherlands)
  • Nickname: Mighty Mike
  • Major titles: World Masters (once), World Grand Prix (once), Premier League (once), Players Championship (once)
  • World Championship best: Runner-up 2013
  • Walk-on music: Seven Nation Army

This year he's become the first player other than Taylor to finish top of the Premier League and then in the knockout phase defeated the world number one in the final.

He also took Taylor's scalp to win the Players Championship and bag a second major title of 2013 and beating The Power in the final will give him a huge boost heading to Alexandra Palace.

'Mighty Mike', who burst to the world's attention when he became the youngest player in history (aged just 17) to win a darts major at the (BDO) World Masters in 2006, goes into this year's World Championship with a huge chance.

Without doubt he's the man most likely to dethrone the mighty Taylor.