Darts: Peter Wright wins maiden World Darts Championship title, beats Michael van Gerwen in decider

An emotional Peter 'Snakebite' Wright struggled to hold back the tears as he won his first Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) World Darts Championship title at London's Alexandra Palace on Thursday (NZ time). 

Wright beat defending champion Michael van Gerwen 7-3 to win the Sid Waddell trophy along with £500,000 (NZ$986,295) in prize money. 

The win marks the first time Wright has beaten van Gerwen in a major darts final, having lost in nine previous attempts, including the 2014 World Darts Championship final. 

Overall, he had lost 12 of the 13 major finals he'd competed in, with his only triumph coming at the 2017 UK Open - an event van Gerwen didn't take part in. 

Because of that, the Scotsman had often been criticised for failing to deliver in finals, but he can finally put that to bed by claiming the biggest prize in darts.

Wright hit double 10 to win the match and immediately burst into tears. 

Asked how he felt to be world champion, Wright said: "That sounds amazing, doesn't it? Sorry to Michael. The chances I used to give him, he gave me them tonight. He deserved a lot more sets. But hey, that's a nice 'champion of the world' thing. Argh!

"I couldn't believe the first two darts [at D10] didn't go in. I thought, 'Oh, don't do it again,' because he's blown me away in the past."

His triumph comes after 25 years of hard work and dedication, having competed in the 1995 British Darts Organisation world champs. 

At age 49, he's the oldest first-time winner and the second-oldest champion, behind Phil Taylor who was 53 when he won his 16th and final title. 

He's also the second Scot to win the title, after Gary Anderson's triumphs in 2015 and '16. 

Dutchman Van Gerwen, a three-time world champion, won £200,000 (NZ$400,000) for losing the final. 

"I'm very disappointed, but what you can do?" said van Gerwen. "Every important shot I missed, he took his out - his finishing was phenomenal. 

"I can only blame myself. I had several chances to go in front, but when you don't take them against a player like Peter Wright, you're not gonna win, simple as that.

"I'll be back stronger next year. Fair play to Peter, he played a phenomenal world championship. He got away with a scare early on, but everyone does. Fair play. What else can I say?"

Wright started the match in style, winning the first two sets, but van Gerwen wouldn't budge as he levelled up the final.

In past years, Wright would have likely buckled at this stage, but he kept composed and quickly restored his two sets lead, before van Gerwen closed the gap to 4-3. 

Van Gerwen, 30, then had two darts to level the match, but missed Wright made him pay to restore the two-set lead.

Both players missed two darts to win the ninth set but Wright eventually claimed it to move within one set of the title.

Then after years of failure and heartbreak, Wright finally got over the line, and he'll forever be remembered as a world champion.

Wright is the ninth winner of the Sid Waddell trophy, joining Taylor, van Gerwen, Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld, Adrian Lewis, John Part, Rob Cross and Dennis Priestley as champions.