BIG-TIME darts is back in Bolton today for the first time in nearly eight years.

Having for so long been the home of ‘the FA Cup of darts’, the UK Open, the game’s stars have descended on the University of Bolton Stadium for the first four-day Super Series in the Premier Suite.

Home favourite Lisa Ashton, the only female competitor on the professional circuit at present, will be part of packed field that also includes world champion Gerwyn Price, Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright and the returning Raymond van Barneveld among others.

Four separate 128-player Players Championship events will take place today, tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.

They kick-off at 2pm with coverage from two boards simultaneously to be streamed on PDCTV on the PDC website.

Prize money is £75,000 per event with players competing in the first ranking events since December’s World Championships.

Five-time world champion Van Barneveld, a two-time UK Open winner in Bolton, will make his comeback on the PDC circuit after securing his tour card at Qualifying School last week, with the Dutchman coming out of retirement after initially hanging up his darts at the end of 2019.

America’s Danny Baggish and Australia’s Gordon Mathers are amongst the international players stepping onto the PDC tour for the first time since their success at Qualifying School.

There is also the prospect of a father-son match up on any of the four days – which each have a separate, random draw – after Bristol’s Steve Brown was joined on the circuit by 20-year-old rookie John, who came through Q School last week.

Ashton is entering her second year on the PDC Tour having made history 12 months ago when becoming the first woman to win a tour card at Q School.

The four-time BDO Women’s World Champion known as the ‘Lancashire Rose’ will be looking to make a major breakthrough in 2021 after her first round exit at the World Championships.

The 50-year-old, who also made it to the Grand Slam of Darts last season, has previously got as far as the last 16 in a Players Championship event when doing so in the Autumn Series in Niedernhausen, Germany, back in September.

She also holds victories over top 10 players Cross and Michael Smith.