Wayne Warren became the oldest world champion in darts history as he beat Jim Williams 7-4 in the BDO final.
The 57-year-old defied a slow start to run out a convincing winner, in the process landing a touch for followers of Chris Hammer's pre-tournament preview, in which he was advised as a 28/1 selection.
Williams, 7/2 favourite entering the event but only narrowly odds-on come the final, was unable to capitalise on a fast start but was unfortunate to lose by such a distance in a match of fine margins.
Warren completed a sensational victory on double top, his second match dart, but Williams had applied pressure and will head to PDC Qualifying School with a bright future still ahead of him.
For Warren, this was surely a chance he had to take and that he did, becoming the oldest ever winner on either circuit, surpassing Martin Adams (54) in this event and Phil Taylor (52) in the PDC equivalent.
Both players ought to be proud of producing an excellent final at the end of a difficult week for the BDO, and it was Williams who came out firing, hitting a 102 checkout in the second leg and later sealing the opening set in 13 darts.
More maximums came Williams' way in the second set, and he was there to capitalise after Warren missed three darts to draw level, his profligacy - despite a sparkling 131 finish - allowing the younger man into a 2-0 lead.
Warren was warming up, however, much like he had in Saturday's semi-final with Scott Mitchell, and when the deciding leg for the third set came around this time he was better prepared, albeit he ultimately needed double one to get on the board.
Williams then found another big finish to keep alive the fourth set, taking out 104, but after missing two darts for a 3-1 lead he was made to pay as Warren struck with his sole dart at double 10.
That was a huge moment, and having drawn level at 2-2, Warren never again trailed in the match - though that does little justice to the intensity and drama still to come.
First, Warren took the fifth set from 2-0 down, before Williams levelled with the most one-sided set of the match, taking all three legs and keeping his average just below 100.
Warren responded to take the seventh set, but Williams again had his chances, missing tops for a 116 finish which would have given him the chance to break and lead.
Instead, it was the older man who again edged ahead, but this time it was Williams' turn to respond as he took the eighth set in a decider - only after Warren had missed two darts for a break of throw.
By now, though, he was throwing with the greater assuredness, and after moving back in front at 5-4, so followed the vital set as he broke in the opening leg of the 10th, dominated the next, and held throw when it mattered most on double five.
That 15-dart leg didn't quite break the resistance of Williams, but it took everything he had to force yet another deciding leg - the sixth in 11 sets of a nip-and-tuck match - and he could only watch as Warren lined up 50 for the title.
In went the 10, in went tops, and history was made at the end of a gripping encounter between two friends, far apart in age and experience but close together by every other measure.
"I can't believe it," he told Eurosport. "This is a dream. I tried my hardest all week. "We're great mates. I think Jim will be world champion multiple times.
"This might be my last chance. He's the best."
Williams, who lost to close friend Glen Durrant at the quarter- and semi-final stages in the final two editions at the Lakeside, took another step closer here - but could not take the final one.
"I'm gutted, but I couldn't wish for a nicer guy to win it," said a magnanimous Williams. "If it wasn't for me, I'm glad it's him.
"The better guy won on the day. He was relentless with his scoring, so fair play to Wayne."
Warren became the fourth world champion from Wales. The first of them, Leighton Rees, took the inaugural edition of this famous championship back in 1978.
It's to be hoped that Warren isn't its final champion, but if this is how it ends, then it was a fitting reminder that this might not be the noise or the zeal of the PDC, but it is a championship with a rich history and, had guidance been better, much to offer.
BDO World Championships: 2020 results
Seedings in brackets
FINAL (Best of 13 sets)
- (5) Wayne Warren 7-4 Jim Williams (2)
SEMI FINALS (Best of 11 sets)
- (9) Scott Mitchell 3-6 Wayne Warren (5)
- (11) Mario Vandenbogaerde 4-6 Jim Williams (2)
QUARTER FINALS (Best of 9 sets)
- (16) Scott Waites 4-5 Scott Mitchell (9)
- (5) Wayne Warren 5-3 Chris Landman
- (14) David Evans 3-5 Mario Vandenbogaerde (11)
- Paul Hogan 1-5 Jim Williams (2)
THIRD ROUND (Best of 7 sets)
- (1) Wesley Harms 2-4 Scott Waites (16)
- Michael Unterbuchner 0-4 Scott Mitchell (9)
- (5) Wayne Warren 4-1 Andy Hamilton (12)
- Chris Landman 4-3 Ben Hazel
- (3) Richard Veenstra 2-4 David Evans (14)
- Dennie Olde Kalter 1-4 Mario Vandenbogaerde (11)
- (7) Martijn Kleermaker 1-4 Paul Hogan
- (2) Jim Williams 4-0 Ryan Hogarth (15)
SECOND ROUND (Best of five sets)
- (1) Wesley Harms 3-2 Andreas Harrysson
- (16) Scott Waites 3-2 Martin Adams
- (8) Willem Mandigers 1-3 Michael Unterbuchner
- (9) Scott Mitchell 3-1 Leighton Bennett
- (5) Wayne Warren 3-2 Justin Thompson
- (12) Andy Hamilton 3-1 Darren Herewini
- (4) Dave Parletti 2-3 Chris Landman
- (13) Gary Robson 2-3 Ben Hazel
- (3) Richard Veenstra 3-1 Justin Hood
- (14) David Evans 3-2 Nick Fullwell
- (6) Nick Kenny 2-3 Dennie Olde Kalter
- (11) Mario Vandenbogaerde 3-0 Sebastian Steyer
- (7) Martijn Kleermaker 3-0 Gino Vos
- (10) Adam Smith-Neale 0-3 Paul Hogan
- (2) Jim Williams 3-2 Gary Stone
- (15) Ryan Hogarth 3-1 Thibault Tricole
FIRST (PRELIMINARY) ROUND
- Andreas Harrysson 3-2 John O’Shea
- Justin Thompson 3-0 Scott Williams
- Darren Herewini 3-1 Simon Stainton
- Joe Chaney 2-3 Ben Hazel
- Gabriel Pascaru 1-3 Justin Hood
- David Cameron 1-3 Nick Fullwell
- Paul Hogan 3-1 Brian Raman
- Thibault Tricole 3-2 Ross Montgomery
WOMEN'S DRAW BRACKET
FINAL (Best of three sets)
- (1) Lisa Ashton 0-3 Mikuru Suzuki (2)
SEMI-FINALS (Best of three sets)
- (1) Lisa Ashton 2-0 Corrine Hammond
- (6) Beau Greaves 0-2 Mikuru Suzuki (2)
QUARTER-FINALS (Best of three sets)
- (1) Lisa Ashton 2-0 Casey Gallagher
- Corrine Hammond 2-0 Laura Turner
- Beau Greaves 2-1 Aileen de Graaf
- (2) Mikuru Suzuki 2-0 Anastasia Dobromyslova (7)
FIRST ROUND (Best of three sets)
- (1) Lisa Ashton 2-0 Paula Jacklin
- (8) Lorraine Winstanley 2-0 Casey Gallagher
- Vicky Pruim 0-2 Corrine Hammond
- (5) Deta Hedman 0-2 Laura Turner
- (3) Aileen de Graaf 2-1 Kirsty Hutchinson
- (6) Beau Greaves 2-0 Tori Kewish
- (2) Mikuru Suzuki 2-1 Maria O’Brien
- (7) Anastasia Dobromyslova 2-0 Sharon Prins
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