David Whitcombe, born on June 27, 1954, is a former English professional darts player with a record of major tournament victories and two World Championship Finals appearances between 1980 and 1992.
Career Overview A two-time Winmau World Masters champion (1982 and 1985), Whitcombe faced off against Eric Bristow in the World Championship finals of 1984 and 1986. His other victories include the 1989 News of the World Darts Championship, British Matchplay, three Swedish Opens, the Finland Open, and both the Marlboro Masters and Dunlop Masters tournaments. Additionally, Whitcombe had numerous county and holiday camp open wins.
Whitcombe captained the Kent team in the inter-counties league and won the BDO (Darts World Magazine Sponsored) Tons Trophy and individual averages. During a single season, he achieved all nine man of the match awards, defeating nine England International players – an unprecedented accomplishment. Whitcombe also played for Essex, Suffolk, and London. He represented England on various occasions, including 4-man teams in the Europe and World cups, England vs. Rest of the World, and a Great Britain side against the United States.
His World Championship record also includes three quarter-final appearances in 1983, 1989, 1991, and a semi-final appearance in 1985. Bristow emerged as Whitcombe’s primary adversary in the championships, with Whitcombe losing all six encounters. However, Whitcombe bested Bristow in other major championships such as the British Matchplay and World Masters. Whitcombe also defeated Phil Taylor in the first round of the 1988 British Professional but lost in two finals, both against Jocky Wilson.
Whitcombe co-founded the WPDPA (World Professional Dart Players’ Association) with John Lowe, Cliff Lazarenko, and Tony Brown to promote more televised tournaments after a decline in televised darts during the late 1980s and early 1990s. This organization eventually merged with the World Darts Council in 1992, resulting in two separate darts organizations.
Whitcombe opted not to join the PDC darts circuit at its inception, effectively retiring from the sport in 1992. He made a comeback in 2004 by rejoining the PDPA and PDC circuit, qualifying for the 2006 PDC World Championship but losing to Roland Scholten in the first round. He did not qualify for the 2007 World Championship and only competed in one PDC Pro Tour event that year, the UK Open Southern Regional in March.
In May 2008, Whitcombe participated in the BetFred League of Legends, a televised tournament on Setanta Sports, alongside Bristow, Lowe, Lazarenko, Bobby George, Peter Evison, Keith Deller, and winner Bob Anderson. Whitcombe initially led the league but experienced a decline in form during subsequent weeks. Despite this, he was on track to advance to the semi-finals, ranking second after week 5 and third after week 6. However, due to his own loss to Deller and a draw between Evison and Lazarenko on the final league night of week 7, Whitcombe fell to fifth place and failed to reach the semi-final stage.
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