Today I would like to take the opportunity to look back at the incredible triumph of Keith Deller in the 1983 BDO World Championship.
Deller was not ranked going into the World Championship and had to go through qualifiers to get into the first round.
In the first round he played the underrated Nicky Virachkul , won 2-1 and averaged 85.20. Now it should be noted that 90+ averages were not the norm back then with only Eric Bristow and John Lowe hitting them with regularity.
In the second round he beat Les Capewell and averaged 91.20 which was the second best average in that round behind Bristow (on 96)
In the Quarter final he faced former Champion (and darting legend) and number 2 seed John Lowe and won 4-3 with an 86.40 average. This was a major upset.
In The semi-final he faced the number 3 seed and defending champion Jocky Wilson (another legend) and won 5-3 with an average of 85.50.
Then to the final. Facing undoubtedly the greatest player at the time, the legend and the only 2x winner at that point Eric Bristow. In what is one of the greatest matches ever Deller beat Bristow with the infamous 138 finish , to win 6-5 and average 90.
Let’s put things into perspective.
Deller had to qualify and then in the last 3 matches play the top 3 players in the world. No one had ever done it before and no one has done so since (34 years later). It is an incredible feat and one that I do not think will ever be replicated.
There will be many that will argue that Deller was never the number 1 player in the world, however that week he was, and no one has ever had a tougher run to the final.
Other fun facts to remember are that Deller actually won using the lightest darts for a world championship winner at 18g (a record that would stand for over a decade), was one of the youngest to ever win it 23 and it was his first appearance on television.
Legend……………………….WITHOUT A DOUBT!!!!