It is my great honor and Privilege to bring you my interview with the Legend that is the 1983 Champion of the World, Mr Keith Deller:
Q1: I think that past Major winners should receive invites or wildcards to certain tournaments as there is still a massive audience for darting legends, do you agree?
KD: Not sure really. We have had our time and players should qualify on merit not getting picked because of selling a product.
Q2: Having met you at an event in Dorset in 2014 (with Bristow, Fordham, and Lowe) you came across as a terrific bloke and full of energy and still playing incredible darts. Free of the rigours of the tour’ do you feel that you could still compete today in certain events if given the opportunity?
KD: If I put 5 hours a day I think I could make top 40 but the standard now is great.
Q3: An obvious one, but how often do you practice these days and has age affected your physicality to practice for a long duration or is it purely other interests?
KD: Do not practice too much now but I still play at a decent standard.
Q4a: What was the first set of darts you owned and what weight were they?
KD: My first darts were 16 grams but not sure who made them.
Q4b: What is your darts current setup, as they look very small and small pointed?
KD: my darts are made by my sponsors Target and our 21 grams.
Q5: When and why did you start using chalk?
KD: I use chalk for grip and players moan sometimes. I started using chalk 25 years ago.
Q6: Darts for some reason doesn’t tend to honour its past greats in the manner as other sports and I’m surprised that the PDC hasn’t picked up the ‘League of legends’ television concept, since there is still a very clear demand to see the legends of darts. Is this something you’d still be interested in if the opportunity arose?
KD: would love to have legends on tv and I think it would be well supported. I think Pdc have enough televised events so don't really need us.
Q7: You had an amazing career, competing at the highest level for 25 years and were (and still are now) very young when you stepped away. What was the catalyst for stepping down whilst still very much being able to compete?
KD: when I had to wear glasses i never felt comfortable so I knew it was time to get out.
Q8: You had a consistently high average in the 80’s (including the first 100 average on television) where looking back the staples on the board obscured about a quarter of the treble segment, this is why I have no doubt that the likes of yourself, Bristow, Jocky, and Anderson etc could compete today. Obviously it was what you were used to back then, however I think it took more skill then to hit the treble, what do you think? and do you think players from the 80’s don’t get the credit vs current players (I myself use an old board with staples to practice as find it forces me to be more accurate, which is a benefit come match day and a ‘nice’ board)?
KD: I think our averages would have been higher if we played on the boards they use now. I don't think we get the credit we deserved but we all know we played a big part in the history of darts.
Q9: Other than your famous World title win, in which as a qualifier you beat the world number 3,2 and 1 (a feat I don’t think will ever be achieved again) what is your overall favourite win or most memorable performance (if you have one)
KD: To beat Eric Bristow to become World Champion could not get any better as he was World number1 at the time.
Q10: Your win in 83 generated so much interest, as you were completely different to the other players in that era and what’s more that whole run you had will never be topped. You were undoubtedly an inspiration to a lot of kids who are probably playing in the BDO and PDC now as a result. Does it still rankle that this was never acknowledged with an MBE?
KD: I think in 83 I should have been rewarded with an MBE. Out of 60 million people, nearly 10 million watched our final. Since then I have Managed Adrian Lewis to 2 world championships. John parrot got the MBE when he won his only world championship and his win was never as big as mine. Who knows one day the right people may look at it.
Q11: And lastly, what is a typical day in the life of Mr Keith Deller these days?
KD: still playing exhibitions and also a lot of time managing Adrian. Play charity golf days so that is always enjoyable.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Keith for this interview and to wish him and his family all the best for the future
To catch-up on whats going on with Keith or book him for a (great) exhibition please visit his website at: