This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful.Find sources: "Lionel Sams" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Lionel Sams
Personal information
Full nameLionel Jeffrey Sams
NicknameThe Lion
Born (1961-01-20) 20 January 1961 (age 59)
Paddington, London, England
Home townLetchworth, Hertfordshire
Darts information
Playing darts since1986
DartsA180/Lionel Sams 19gm Tungsten
Walk-on music"Jungle Rock" by Hank Mizell
Organisation (see split in darts)
BDO1986–2001, 2011–2012
PDC2001–2010, 2013–2015
BDO majors – best performances
World MastersLast 64: 1995
PDC premier events – best performances
World Ch'shipLast 16: 2004
World MatchplayLast 16: 2006
World Grand PrixLast 16: 2006
Desert ClassicLast 32: 2004, 2005
UK OpenLast 16: 2005
US Open/WSoDLast 32: 2007
Other tournament wins
Bury St Edmunds Open
Cosham Xmas Open
Kent Open
West Tyrone Open

Other achievements
Nine dart finish Le Skratch Open, Montreal, 12 May 2002
Updated on 11 February 2008.

Lionel Jeffrey Sams (born 20 January 1961 in Paddington, London) is a former English darts player who previously played in the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) tournaments. His nickname was The Lion for his matches. Since 2011, he played for the British Darts Organisation (BDO).

Sams' first televised darts match was on Anglia Television in 1986 at the Ladbrokes Festival (British Matchplay). He reached the final, but lost to Terry O'Dea. He then had some minor tournament victories including the Camber Sands Singles (1988) and Kent Open (1988 and 1989) but it was a long time before he made any impact on the darts circuit.

Professional Darts Corporation career

His career turned for the better after joining the PDC. He hit a perfect nine-dart leg in a match against Ronnie Baxter in Montreal in May 2002 – there was no prize for the achievement, but players passed round a hat to collect $400.[1] He qualified for the PDC World Championship for the first time in 2004 and beat Roland Scholten before losing to Simon Whatley in the last 16.

Sams consistently reached the last 16 of tournaments on the PDC circuit, which helped him to maintain a world ranking inside the top 32. He was seeded 16th in 2006 and 22nd in 2007 for the World Championship as a result.

Sams was successful at the West Tyrone Open in February 2007, winning the singles and the doubles event, with Sean McGowan.[2]

Career decline

Sams' record at the World Championship has been poor since reaching the last 16 in 2004 and he lost his first match at each of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Championships. He also failed to achieve success in the other televised tournaments, being unable to reach the quarter-final stage of any of the majors. He slipped outside the top 32 towards the end of 2007, and as a result, he inadvertently failed to enter himself for the qualifying rounds for the 2008 World Championship, missing out on the tournament for the first time since 2003. He has failed to qualify for the PDC World Championship since 2007.

During 2009, he reached two quarter finals on the PDC Pro Tour, but ended the year with only £6,100 in total prize money. He had a further decline in 2010, picking up just £600 in total prize money, as he entered fewer events and then failed to get past the last 64 stage of any Pro Tour Event. His PDC ranking fell to near 100 at the start of 2011 and he chose to decline a Pro Tour card for the year, effectively ending his PDC career. He joined the British Darts Organisation circuit in 2011.[3]

World Championship Results



  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 28 February 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Planet Darts – News – Latest – Lion Roars In West Tyrone Open". 2 March 2007. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 January 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)