Classic final could be relived at venue

Keith Dellar
Keith Dellar

TWO darts legends could replay one of the most historic sporting finals ever – in Wigan.

Eric Bristow and Keith Deller will be in town facing 14 hopefuls at the Riley’s Dart Zone on Powell Street on Wednesday.

The local qualifiers have all earned their place through competitions and will take on the former title winners in a straight knockout 16-man tournament.

And, if all goes according to plan for the legends, they could end up facing each other in a replay of one of the biggest sporting upsets of all time.

The pair came across each other almost 30 years ago, when they met in the 1983 BDO World Darts Championship final.

At the time, Deller was just a 24-year-old qualifier from Ipswich – a relative unknown.

And he was set to face Bristow, the Phil “The Power” Taylor of that era, who was winning championship after championship.

Remarkably though, Deller recorded an astounding 6-5 victory, in what was probably the biggest upset in the history of the championship.

He also beat world number three, John Lowe in the quarter finals and defending champion and world number two, Jocky Wilson in the semi-final to become the only player in history to defeat the world’s top three ranked players in the World Championship.

The champion’s prize money at the time was £8,000 and Deller will be going all out to win the £400 prize money available.

It is another major coup for the Wigan Riley’s, who have already had Premier League stars Adrian Lewis and Terry Jenkins perform there.

“We have had a really good four or five weeks,” said manager Andy Burke.

“We’ve hosted a lot of good competitions and the Darts Zone is getting even more popular.

“Eric and Terry are major players and we can’t wait to host them but our challengers are more than up for it. We have the likes of Steve Bunting who competes in the BDO and Steve Maish who competes in the PDC.”

But the former champions will have to come up against one other hot shot, Nathan Butcher.

Nathan, aged six, will also play both players, hot off his victory over “Jackpot” Lewis when the Darts Zone opened last year. Nathan is tipped to make a name for himself in darts.