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2020 Ladbrokes UK Open: We chat to history maker Fallon Sherrock

| 06.03.2020

If you watched the PDC World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace last December, chances are you’d have heard the crowd start singing ‘Walking in a Sherrock Wonderland’.

They’ll sing near-enough anything at Ally Pally, but that one song highlighted a seismic change in the game, all brought about by a determined, talented 25-year-old from Milton Keynes.

Fallon Sherrock made history last year, defeating Ted Evetts 3-2 to become the first woman to beat a man in the competition. Sherrock then beat 11th seed Mensur Suljovic in the second round and her life hasn’t been the same since.

She’s competing in the Ladbrokes UK Open at Minehead for the first time this weekend, and ahead of this year’s tournament, we spoke to the history maker about just what an impact she’s had on darts…

Ladbrokes News: Hi Fallon, the last few months have been a whirlwind adventure for you. Can you tell us what it’s been like?

Fallon Sherrock: Oh, wow, the last few months have been absolutely mental! It’s been so busy since I played at the Worlds. All the media interest and interviews, and now I’ve got lots of exhibitions and competitions coming up too.

And with all the travelling involved now my schedule is full-up! It’s crazy, really.

I’m getting recognised in the street now too. It’s amazing, and they go ‘Are you that darts player?’ but sometimes I’ll go out with no make-up on so people don’t recognise who I am!

LN: You’re a bit of a celebrity now! You’ve got a young family too, how have you found juggling that work-life balance?

FS: Yeah it’s not easy, but I think I’ve taken it all in quite well. I’ve got a really good close family base which is really important to me. They’re hugely supportive of me and my little boy and they help us a lot.  

They’ve been great. They’re helping me to go out, focus on what I need to do with my darts, then I get to come home and be a mum and they still give me time to practice my game in the evening.

LN: You had an amazing number of well-wishers over Christmas. Have you had any more comments from the likes of Billie Jean King?

FS: I have! Each time I’ve been in TV events such as the Premier League and things like that, she’s still getting in touch and wishing me well, which is amazing.

She’s wanting to meet up when I’m over in New York too for the World Series! I’m so excited to meet someone like that, she’s a legend – and she knows me. That’s incredible.

I’ve never been to New York before either, and I can’t wait, it’s going to be really fun.

LN: Has what you’ve achieved so far actually sunk in yet?

FS: I’d say it has a little bit, but not a lot. I think mainly that’s because I’ve been so busy and on the go now. Every week I’ve got a new tournament or competition to play inor there’s something I’ve got to do.

So I haven’t really had five minutes to take it all in, but I’m quite happy about that. I’m not sure I want to take it all in just yet and possibly get overwhelmed by it all. I’m keeping my head down and look towards my next event.

LN: With yourself and several others like Mikuru Suzuki and Lisa Ashton making an impact now, is this a landmark period for women in darts?

FS: Yeah I do hope so. I’m hoping this is going to progress and grow and not just for women in darts, but for women in sport in general. I really hope that what we’ve all achieved so far can help break the barriers down.

I hope we’ve proven that we can compete against men, and I think in general it will help the sport hugely.

So many more people around the world know about darts now. There’s a new wave of people getting into darts and watching darts. It’s amazing how it’s all blown up and I’m so proud to be a part of that.

LN: Part of your journey has seen you play in the Premier League where you claimed a brilliant 6-6 draw with Glen Durrant in Nottingham. Can you talk us through that experience?

FS: I loved playing in the Premier League! The atmosphere was amazing, the crowd were brilliant and to be a part of all those big names on the same night was incredible.

I’m proud of myself for getting a draw with Glen too. He’s a three-time world champion, and I was determined when I went up there that I wouldn’t lose. And I didn’t lose. OK I didn’t win, but I went up there to prove myself and I’m so happy I did that.

LN: It’s your first time at the UK Open in Minehead. It’s a fairly unique event, are you excited?

FS: Yeah I can’t wait! I’m up on the main stage which should be fun in front of the Minehead crowd, from what I’ve seen before they really make a great atmosphere!

LN: And how is your game ahead of Minehead, are you happy with your game?

FS: I’m really happy with how I’m playing, yeah, but I’ll keep practicing as much as I can. With the UK Open I’ll need to be on my game on the day as I’ll need to win a few games to get through to the next day.

So hopefully I can go out and win my first one, and take it from there. Game by game.

LN: The UK Open often throws up some surprises. Is there anyone you fancy to go far in Minehead?

FS: Anyone who’s in it can have a good run! We’ve seen so many surprises in the big events in the last few years, the strength in depth of darts is growing all the time. Everyone’s capable of putting a run together.

So who’s to say we won’t get more shocks this weekend. Everyone who is up there is good enough to achieve a good result!

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.