Football stars James Maddison, Declan Rice, Charlie Austin and Paul Gallagher will go head-to-head in a special edition of ‘Darts At Home’ to raise money for the NHS.
Darts At Home: Footballers’ Special will be held from 2pm BST on Sunday May 10 as four top footballers swap their boots for arrows.
Broadcast live on YouTube, the event has been organised with the aim of raising vital funds for NHS Charities Together.
Sunday will see four of the PDC’s most high profile fans from the football world take a rest from training as they battle it out to be crowned English football’s top darts player.
England internationals Maddison and Rice, of Leicester City and West Ham United respectively, will go head-to-head in a highly-anticipated opening game of the tournament.
West Bromwich Albion striker Austin, a regular visitor to Ally Pally during the World Championship, and Preston North End midfielder Gallagher will then look to prove their prowess on the oche.
Gallagher was recently provided with a home darts setup and replica darts by world number five Michael Smith.
The tournament will be played in a league format, with all competitors playing each other once over a best-of-three format, and all players beginning each leg on 301 and ending on a double.
Sunday May 10
James Maddison v Declan Rice
Paul Gallagher v Charlie Austin
Declan Rice v Charlie Austin
James Maddison v Paul Gallagher
Paul Gallagher v Declan Rice
Charlie Austin v James Maddison
Week Two of Darts At Home sees four more Tour Card holders collide, and you can follow the latest results and fixtures here.
The event will feature four players competing in a round-robin format on Wednesday April 8, with the action commencing from 7.30pm BST.
All players will be playing from home and will be broadcasting their own boards simultaneously.
Week One saw South Africa’s Devon Petersen triumph in a mini-league which also included Chris Dobey, Luke Humphries, Matthew Edgar and Ted Evetts.
This week, the line-up is headed by Premier League star Nathan Aspinall and also includes a trio of former Lakeside Champions – Stephen Bunting, Jelle Klaasen and Steve Beaton.
The footage is being collated into one live stream by the PDC and will available to watch on YouTube and social media, with Dan Dawson providing match commentary.
All matches are to be contested over the best of nine legs.
Wednesday April 8
Nathan Aspinall (98.6) 5-3 Steve Beaton (91.7)
Stephen Bunting (87.6) 5-2 Jelle Klaasen (87.8)
Nathan Aspinall (85.5) 5-4 Stephen Bunting (81.8)
Steve Beaton (93.4) 4-5 Jelle Klaasen (93.8)
Nathan Aspinall (94.1) 4-5 Jelle Klaasen (94.8)
Steve Beaton (92.6) 5-2 Stephen Bunting (95.2)
Darts retailers are experiencing huge demand for products as newcomers take to the oche at home during the lock-down period.
Millions of people around the world are being told to stay at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, and while the majority of outdoor sports are put on hold, darts is bucking the trend.
Consumers are scrambling to buy darts equipment online to install a setup at home, with soft-tip and steel-tip dartboards, surrounds and stands among the most popular items.
Many online darts retailers are struggling to meet the demand for some the most sought-after products, including the Winmau Blade 5 dartboard, which is now widely sold-out.
Wayne Taylor, Managing Director of Darts Corner – the global leader in the industry – told Live Darts: “We have seen a considerable surge in the sales of dartboard sets, such as the Mission Home Dart Centres, which indicate many first time buyers wanting to take up darts.
“This type of set contains either a cabinet or surround, along with a starter board, two sets of darts and various accessories to get started.
“Other large products – dartboards and surrounds – demand has been unprecedented, along with portable dartboard stands, most of which are now out of stock as we struggle to get in new stocks.
“We often see first time customers upgrade to more professional equipment once they begin to play and want to improve their skills.
“We continue to have significant demand in Germany, France and Ireland for overseas sales and continued very strong sales within the UK.
“We have also seen some increased demand from some exciting emerging countries for us such as Hungary and Slovenia.”
The Target Nexus board, which retails at over £300 and allows players to compete online from remote locations, has seen a huge spike in users.
Former England international footballers Wayne Bridge and Jamie Redknapp faced off in a charity challenge match on the Nexus on Friday, while darts legends Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld are due to go head-to-head next week.
The PDC launched their first Darts At Home round-robin tournament earlier in the week, featuring five professional players battling it out from their practice boards on a live stream.
If you’re new to the game or are practicing at home and want to improve your skills, check out our Masterclass series with Paul Nicholson on YouTube below.