ENGLAND footballer Neil Ruddock will partner Phil Taylor in the PartyPoker.com Pro-Celebrity Challenge on Friday November 14.

The Pro-Celebrity Challenge will see eight celebrities team up with eight of the top names in world darts at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall ahead of the start of the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts.

Ex-Liverpool and England defender Ruddock was drawn to team up with Taylor in the tournament, and they will face Women’s World Champion Anastasia Dobromyslova and six-time World Snooker Champion Steve Davis in the opening game.

“I can’t wait to play with Neil – but he’d better get practising as I’m a tough cookie!” said Taylor.

“Steve is a very good player and it’s all about whether he holds his nerve in that first match, but he’s as good at darts as he is at snooker!”

Former boxer Barry McGuigan teams up with the current PDC World Champion John Part, and they meet Wayne Mardle and actor Michael Le Vell, best known as Coronation Street’s Michael Le Vell.

“I can’t wait to play in the PartyPoker.com Pro-Celebrity Challenge,” said Le Vell, nicknamed “The Spirit”.

“I love watching darts and used to play regularly but I’m hoping for some practice advice from Phil Taylor before the event!

“I’ve played Phil Tuffnell before and beat him, so I am sure he will be looking for revenge if I get to play his team.

“I hear Neil Ruddock is pretty handy with the arrows , and I reckon Steve Davis will be keen to do well, so I am looking forward to hopefully taking them on in Wolverhampton.”

BDO World Champion Mark Webster teams up with another top sportsman, England rugby union World Cup winner Mike Tindall.

“I am really looking forward to playing with the best players in the World,” said Tindall.

“I love watching Darts on the TV when I can, especially when I am away with Gloucester with the other lads and I try and play when I can.

“I think playing in front of a few thousand people in the arena and millions of people watching on TV is going to be a brilliant experience, and I’m going to be trying my best to make sure I contribute to winning the event with James.”

They will meet former England cricketer and “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here” winner Phil Tufnell and Raymond van Barneveld in the opening games.

Three-time Olympic javelin medallist Steve Backley links up with James Wade, while poker legend David “Devilfish” Ulliott partners Peter Manley.

PartyPoker.com Pro-Celebrity Challenge Draw
Phil Taylor & Neil Ruddock v Anastasia Dobromyslova & Steve Davis
John Part & Barry McGuigan v Wayne Mardle & Michael Le Vell
Raymond van Barneveld & Phil Tufnell v Mark Webster & Mike Tindall
James Wade & Steve Backley v Peter Manley & David “Devilfish” Ulliott

* Tickets for the PartyPoker.com Pro-Celebrity Challenge on Friday November 14 and the PartyPoker.com Grand Slam of Darts from November 15-23 at the Wolverhampton Civic are still available on 0870 320 7000 or via wolvescivic.co.uk.

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