Posted on January 22nd, 2013
The 37-year-old married father of two, who is a self-employed carpet fitter, secured his place on the professional circuit after finishing fifth on the Order of Merit at the PDC Qualifying School in Wigan.
Only 25 players from more than 300 hopefuls secured a tour-card, Paul’s Q School entry was included as part of his prize for winning the inaugural Redtooth Darts challenge, beating off competition from thousands of players from hundreds of pubs across the country.
Paul’s journey through Redtooth Darts began when he topped his pub league at the Bellingham Ex-Serviceman’s and Social Club. He then won the South East regional final at London Victoria Rileys and was crowned national winner at the Alexandra Palace during the Ladbrokes World Darts Championships in December.
He said: “Being called a professional darts player still sounds strange, I don’t think it has sunk in yet. When I started the Redtooth Darts competition in September I never dreamt to get this far, it’s been an amazing experience.
“Playing professionally is what I’ve wanted to do ever since I started darts at 14. Anyone who takes it seriously wants to do as well as they can and play at the highest standard. I’ve now got an opportunity to do that.
“When you are playing on the professional stage, you find out how good a player you are. I always think the better players you play against the better a player you become.
“The support from Redtooth has been fantastic. Their financial assistance and backing has really helped. They have provided me with an amazing opportunity.”
Paul’s wife Lyndsey, daughter Brooke (11) and son Harvey (8) have supported him during his journey, but his feet remain firmly on the ground and will continue working as a carpet fitter.
He added: “The kids love it. They keep asking if I’m going to be famous now!”
“I still have bills to pay, so I’ll continue working as a carpet fitter. I’m self-employed and my dad manages the carpet store where I work, so I’m quite lucky and can manage my working days around training and competitions. If things take-off hopefully I can afford to spend more time on darts, we’ll have to see what happens.”
Paul even has a celebrity following with Eastenders actor Jamie Borthwick, who plays Jay Mitchell in the BBC soap, cheering him on during the qualifying school.
Paul will be sponsored by Redtooth Darts once the professional season kicks-off with the UK Open qualifying rounds in February, helping to fund his entry fees into all major tournaments across the country and worldwide.
Chris Clegg is managing director of Protégé Events, the company partnering Redtooth Darts in running the competition.
He said: “I’m overjoyed for Paul. He’s a very exciting prospect and I have no doubt that he will cause a few upsets on the professional stage. He is averaging some very high scores at the moment and playing fantastically.
“Paul is a prime example that the Redtooth Darts challenge does give pub players who have a special talent the chance to reach the professional stage. He has won every challenge we put to him and he deserves every success which comes his way.”
Redtooth Darts remains open for pubs to enter throughout the year. For more information visit www.redtoothdarts.com or call 01246 813713.
Alternatively you can follow on Twitter @redtoothdarts and on Facebook www.facebook.com/redtoothdarts.
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