CHARLES GRAHAM - Silverback’s still great

Tony O'Shea
Tony O'Shea
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THERE is a new name to add to those sporting heroes who suffer from White-Henman-Montgomerie syndrome.

I give you Tony “Silverback” O’Shea: a superb darts player, one of the biggest draws on the circuit and a poor chap who just can’t secure a major.

Anyone watching Sunday’s World BDO final must have felt for the Stockport veteran as he took on unknown Dutch qualifier Christian Kist.

O’Shea had the experience of being in four previous major finals. The problem was that he had lost them all. Another problem was that Kist, who is so cool he doesn’t even sweat, had been pulling off surprises all week and seemed oblivious to the occasion’s momentousness.

The commentators agreed that while it might not be the 50-year-old O’Shea’s last chance of international glory, it was certainly his best.

But Kist roared into a big lead and, despite a gritty O’Shea comeback, the newcomer prevailed.

O’Shea is a great sport and was full of praise for the new champ, but my heart went out to him as his latest assault on a darting summit fell short again.

As in life, there aren’t always fairytale endings in sport. And it might well depend on the character of an individual as to whether the likes of Jimmy White, Tim Henman, Colin Montgomerie and Tony O’Shea can eventually positively reflect on hugely successful careers even if they were just lacking that last crowning glory.