A pair of amateur darts players will take to the main stage at the Ladbrokes World Darts Championships in London later this month.

Paul Amos & Steve Rice

Paul Amos & Steve Rice

Paul Amos from Catford, south London and Steve Rice, from Bridlington, will compete in the final of the Redtooth Darts national pub competition during the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) Championships at Alexandra Palace on December 23.

The winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the World Cup of Darts in Hamburg, Germany in February 2013.

Paul, 37, plays darts at the Bellingham Ex-Serviceman’s and Social Club and finished in the top two of the Redtooth Darts national tournament, ahead of hundreds of players from more than 270 pubs across the UK.

Paul has been playing darts since the age of 14 and has won numerous regional competitions, including the Essex Open in 2007.

He said: “I can’t wait to get on stage at the PDC, but whatever happens, happens. We’ll be playing in front of a huge crowd and it will be a case of seeing who reacts to that the best on the day.

“I’d love to get on to the PDC tour full-time and to even compete professionally at Ally Pally one day in the future.”

Steve, 46, from The Albion pub on Hilderthorpe Road, Bridlington, has been playing darts for more than 30 years.

He is used to playing on the big stage after winning the John Smith’s People’s Challenge last year during the British Darts Organisation (BDO) Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships.

Steve said: “I’m looking forward to it. I think I will be one of the first amateur darts players to have played on the main stage at both the BDO and PDC World Championships.

“I was a nervous wreck at the BDO event last year, so hopefully I will be calmer this time around and see what happens. I only play a couple of nights a week and took part in the Redtooth Darts challenge for a bit of fun to see how far I could go.”

Steve and Paul, along with 14 others players from the Redtooth Darts competition, have also qualified for the PDC Qualifying School, which takes place between January 17-20 in Wigan.

All 16 players from around the UK have already received a brief mentorship from 15-time World Champion Phil “The Power” Taylor during the Redtooth Darts National Finals, which took place in Leeds earlier this month (December).

Steve added: “It was good to meet Phil and have a chat about darts. He’s a legend in the sport, a one-off and we’ll never see anyone like him again in darts. Phil will be at the World Championships so hopefully we’ll get chance to talk to him again then.”

Qualifying School will see players compete across four days in a bid to secure a full-time place on the PDC ProTour.

More than 120 tour cards are available for the PDC, with the majority taken by players from the PDC Order of Merit, existing card holders and through invitations. The remaining few go on offer to the Qualifying School’s winners.

Entry to Qualifying School usually costs around £200.

Redtooth Darts, powered by Protégé Events, remains open for pubs to enter throughout the year.

For more information visit www.redtoothdarts.com or call 01246 813713. Alternatively you can follower on Twitter @redtoothdarts and on Facebook www.facebook.com/redtoothdarts.

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