Bunting ready to make a splash at the Grand Slam of Darts

St Helens ace Bunting celebrates (credit:Kelly Deckers/PDC)

Stephen Bunting is ready to make a splash at the Grand Slam again after drenching fans when he threw a teddy bear into the crowd.

Bunting has fought back from the brink of quitting the sport 18 months ago and is now one of the form players on the circuit.

He faces a tough opener in Wolverhampton in the opening session against World Youth finalist Martin Schindler - but won't be pulling off any funny showmanship stunts again.

Bunting, 33, revealed: "A couple of years ago I was given a Peter Griffin teddy from Family Guy which is obviously what my walk-on theme is.

"I forgot to take it to the Slam as a lucky charm. So it ended up someone going back home to pick it up for my opening game.

"When I got on stage I threw the teddy into the fans and the minute it left my hands I knew I’d thrown it too low. It clattered into a table full of drinks and drenched all the fans on the table. I felt so bad.

"I didn’t know what to do, I just had to apologise and get on with the game. But every time I walked back from the oche I could see the table and felt terrible. I went onto win the game I think, so it was a lucky charm, but I won’t be doing that again!"

Bunting, BDO World Champion four years ago, lost so much confidence two years ago he almost gave up his career.

But now he is buzzing again after a return to form as he adds aggression to his game. He added: "I've had a really tough time. My self-belief was at an all-time low but now I feel unstoppable again.

"Only 18 months ago I was looking at getting a normal job. But I saw a sports psychologist and now I'm playing the best form of my life.

"It's such a good feeling to be back and enjoying the game. I’ve got good memories of Wolverhampton, this is my third year and I think I’ve always made it through the group stages. I just want to get back there and show what I can do again.

"I think the hard times have made me stronger as a player, maybe the best I’ve ever been now. I think I need to be more aggressive now, and that’s showing on stage.

"I don’t think it’s a case of no more Mr Nice Guy, but I hope that other players are beginning to dread drawing me because they know I’m a tough opponent."


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Bunting ready to make a splash at the Grand Slam of Darts

Stephen Bunting is ready to make a splash at the Grand Slam again after drenching fans when he threw a teddy bear into the crowd.

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