April 25 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Tonight Peter Snakebite Wright, of Mendham, near Harleston, will compete for the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship title. Here is Amy Smith’s report of her meeting with him last month.
Multi-coloured hair and outrageous outfits might not sound like a typical darts player’s attire, but for Peter Snakebite Wright, ranked number 16 in the world, his wacky image is what gives him the confidence to perform.
Dressed head-to-toe in florescent patterns, and with the hair to match, Mr Wright stole the show at the opening of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) World Darts Championship last week, something he plans to repeat when he plays in the second round today.
The 43-year-old, who started playing darts at the age of 13, has played professionally for the last six years, and attracted sponsorship for the championship from LoudMouth golf, a brand that is worn by TV personality Keith Lemon.
Mr Wright said: “It’s like going to war, it’s my war paint.
“It makes me feel like I’m ready to play and it makes me feel confident.
“I used to get a few stares but now players respect me because they know I can play as well.
“It’s brilliant to have a clothes company sponsoring me and bringing some outrageous clothes to the darts scene.”
Mr Wright started experimenting with his image six-years-ago when his daughter dyed her hair.
With his wife Jo running her own hair salon Medusa in Lowestoft, which she recently renamed to fit in with her husband’s snake theme, the world was his oyster.
Mrs Wright said: “Naomi was experimenting with different colours so I would get them in at the salon for her to try. Peter said to me I would like to try that too. I said to him I will do it once and once only, and that was six years ago.
“We started using permanent dye but he wanted the colour changed every weekend.
“People think that it was me who pushed him into it but it all stemmed from him wanting to have it done.”
Now Mrs Wright airbrushes her husband’s hair with colours the morning of a match and uses a stencil to paint snakes on the side of his head to honour his nickname, which comes from his favourite drink.
Although Mr Wright has always worn loud shirts to match his hair-do, gaining sponsorship from LoudMouth has allowed him to make even more of a statement with outrageous shirts and trousers to match.
Mrs Wright said: “Loudmouth got in touch with us and said we’ve got some bright trousers we would like you to wear.
“We looked at their website and we thought wow. The clothes are Peter all over.
“They are supposed to wear black trousers but I said it is worth asking. I contacted the PDC to ask if there was any chance Peter could wear them and we were totally gobsmacked when they approved it.”
Mr Wright then had a day-and-a-half to get the clothes printed with his name and sponsors at Screens printers and embroiders in Lowestoft ready for the first round last Friday. He has left four more shirts in their care to be printed in case he makes it through to the final over Christmas.
Mr Wright usually keeps his outfit a secret until he steps out to play, but revealed today’s attire will have a festive theme. Mr Wright has his own darts room in his home which allows him to practice anywhere between six and 11 hours a day.