Eight amateur darts players from Scotland will swap their garage dart board for a game on the world’s biggest stage, after beating hundreds of competitors in Glasgow to qualify for one of the sports biggest tournaments.
In a David and Goliath story for the sport, scores of hopeful throwers descended upon the Speedy Glasgow Power Superstore in Downiebrae Road, Rutherglen in the hope of making it through to the UK Open in June.
Out of hundreds of entrants, Kirk Gordon (Livingston), Tommy Little (Glasgow), Charlie Burns (Edinburgh), Ryan Murray (Edinburgh), Gordon Foster (Middlesbrough), Danny Jones (Haydock), John Donaldson (Falkirk) and Duncan Hastings (Falkirk) eventually prevailed and are now dreaming of a date with the finest players Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and Scotland number one Gary Anderson.
Their first obstacle was to score enough points with 15 darts to qualify for a one off leg of 501 against another successful amateur.
They then held their nerves in the all-or-nothing games to seal winning doubles and progress into the FA Cup of Darts, where they will share the same stage as some of the world’s finest players.
Speedy enlisted the help of 2004 World Champion Andy Fordham to offer expert advice and he was again overwhelmed with the quality.
He said: “Our visit to Glasgow was the final stop on our four date tour of the UK, and we saved the best for last.
“Hundreds of players came along to chance their arm, and the quality was right up there with the best we have seen.
“To be able to throw a few arrows in their garage, and now stand on stage against some of the world’s finest players in June is a wonderful story.
“I think we will be seeing a lot more of them at the Speedy Hire UK Open, where they might just spring a surprise or two.”
Speedy’s group marketing director Steve McIntyre said: “There is no other story like this in sport as far as we know.
“Players can literally turn up, throw some darts and end up playing Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor and company.
“The prize certainly appealed to the Glasgow darting fraternity and we want to thank everyone for taking part.”
For more information about the Speedy Hire UK Open click on www.speedyhiredarts.com