Former World Champion Keith Deller believes there is both space and demand for a Seniors Tour to be implemented in…
Ipswich ace Deller in action (credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)
Former World Champion Keith Deller believes there is both space and demand for a Seniors Tour to be implemented in the near future.
Deller, who claimed World Championship glory in 1983, retired from professional darts 12 years ago but continues to feature regularly on the exhibition circuit.
Deller, who celebrates his 60th birthday in December, won two League of Legends events a decade ago and admits the demand to see the sport’s legendary players compete remains as strong as ever amid calls for a Seniors Tour to be launched.
“I think we could do one [a seniors Tour],” Deller told Live Darts. “I see on Twitter all the time ‘why don’t we?’
“When we had the Legends on Setanta Sport we had venues full up, alright, not as big as the arenas but we were getting eight hundred to a thousand people.
“Even all the players were coming along to watch us.
“I understand in golf because when they’re 50 they’re still coming off the tour and that works really well.
“I’ve seen in snooker, without disrespecting too many guys, some of the names there, I don’t even know who they were.
“Darts, you could put 16 in and everyone would know all the players.
“If there was one, I would start putting in three or four hours a day of practice and get into a routine because you don’t want to let yourself down on TV.
“I think it could be on TV, I don’t understand why not.
“If you look at the players we could have: Phil Taylor, Raymond [Van Barneveld], Dennis Priestley, myself, Bob Anderson, Peter Manley, there’s loads of players you could put in that would sell tickets.
“It would be a good standard, no doubt about it, these boys would practice hard for it because at the end of the day it’s pride.”
A regular ‘spotter’ for Sky Sports, Deller continues to follow the PDC circuit closely, having been one of its founder members during the split in 1993.
Deller spent the first ten years of his career as a BDO player, making three appearances at Lakeside, and after the BDO recently announced it was to leave the famous Frimley Green venue, Deller admits the Circus Tavern would be made for a more suitable replacement than the O2 Indigo.
“I think they should have gone to the Circus Tavern,” he added.
“If you get 500 at the Circus Tavern, the crowd will look really good.
“I know they’re going there for the World Masters but for me, the World Championship should have been at the Circus Tavern and that would have been a better venue for them.
“I only played at Lakeside a few times so it didn’t have the same feeling for as other players but it was a really good venue.
“I used to go every year for a day to watch it and I really enjoyed it.
“The owner of Lakeside [Bob Potter] was always putting his own money in to sponsor the event and it just seemed like it was struggling.
“The BDO will still struggle while they’ve got no one watching.
“The trouble is, people want to see the best players in the world, you come to the PDC, you see them at the Sky and ITV events, that’s where you’re going to see the best players.”