I’ve turned people into darts fans – Sherrock bows out but legacy will live on

Fallon Sherrock believes she has shown that women can compete with the best male darts players on the planet as her fairytale run at the PDC World Championship came to an end in the third round.

The 25-year-old fell to a 4-2 defeat to Chris Dobey in front of a raucous crowd at Alexandra Palace, with the 22nd seed having to use earplugs in an attempt to drown out the fans roaring their support for his opponent.

Sherrock became the first woman to win a match at the tournament on December 18 when beating Ted Evetts and followed it up with a shock victory over world number 11 Mensur Suljovic.

But Dobey proved too strong, fighting back from 2-1 down to silence the partisan crowd.

“I have helped darts in general,” the trailblazer said when asked about her lasting legacy at the tournament.

“I think there’s people now who didn’t watch darts but want to watch it. Especially with the ladies game, I have proved we can compete with all these men, we need more opportunities.”

The former mobile hairdresser, who has a five-year-old autistic son, has certainly been the breakout star of the championships, regardless of what happens in the rest of the tournament.

Her achievements have transcended the sport. In demand from TV and radio stations, she has also drawn praise from the likes of Billie Jean King, who said on Twitter she had “inspired millions”.

The tennis great also hailed her “talent and grace under pressure” and Sherrock revealed she had relished her time in the spotlight.

“I feel so confident up there, I feel so comfortable, the most comfortable I have ever played on a stage,” she said. “I loved every minute of it.”

Sherrock is known as ‘The Queen’ by fans and there were plenty of supporters dressed as her, decked out in blonde wigs.

“I did see some when in the practice room. (I thought), ‘Ok, I have fans now!” she said.

“I didn’t know how many people were actually dressed up, but it was cool. Nobody dresses up like me, I mean, come on, me!”.

Helped by some superb finishing and relentless support as chants of ‘There’s only one Fallon Sherrock’ rang around the venue, she got off to a flying start.

Sherrock twice led by a set, going 1-0 and then 2-1 up in the early stages.

Indeed, she hit 50 per cent of her doubles in the match overall, compared to Dobey’s 36 per cent.

Dobey made his heavy scoring count, however, averaging 101.09 to Sherrock’s 90.45, while he also hit 11 180s compared to her eight maximums, sealing victory with a 94 checkout.

Dobey revealed afterwards he was forced to resort to wearing earplugs in an attempt to block out the crowd’s support for Sherrock, but admitted they could not shut out the din.

“I knew I was in for a tough battle, with the crowd against us all match,” he said. “It’s not nice to be booed, but who will shut 3,000 fans up? I didn’t mind playing that.

“I had earplugs in and I could still hear it, but it’s great to play in a match like that.”