Last Updated: March 26, 2013 11:39am
Robert Thornton will make his full debut in the Premier League after claiming a first major trophy last year during a spell where he played as well as anyone in the world of darts.
After two lakeside quarter-finals and a World Masters win in the BDO, Thornton joined the PDC in 2008 and quickly stormed up the rankings by making the 2009 Players Championship final.
Thornton became just the third man to win both Players Championship floor events in the same weekend with success in the Irvine double-header in his native Scotland, and he threatened to climb up even further.
- Born: Ayrshire 17/7/1976
- Nickname: The Thorn
- Major titles: UK Open, World Masters
- World championship best: Last 16
- Walk-on music: I'm Gonna Be - The Proclaimers
However, 2011 was a bad year for Thornton as he broke his hand during the season and then had his campaign ruined by a bout of pneumonia, and he only just made it back for the World Championships where he lost in the second round.
2012 was to prove to be Thornton's big year though, as he claimed his second major tournament victory and his first in the PDC by lifting the UK Open crown in Bolton.
Thornton beat the likes of Mark Webster, Gary Anderson, Wes Newton and Dave Chisnall in the 'FA Cup of Darts' to set-up a final showdown with the legendary Phil Taylor.
He sealed an 11-5 win with a 121 finish, and then repeated the feat at the World Grand Prix in Dublin as he put Taylor out in one of the best matches the event has ever seen, although he was later beaten by Mervyn King 3-0 in just half an hour.
Big things were expected at the last World Championship, and a thrilling sudden death win over Paul Nicholson set up another clash with Taylor, but The Power proved far too strong this time around and Thornton won just three legs in a 4-0 reverse.
The performances were enough to earn Thornton a first permanent Premier League appearance having previously played in the event as a guest.