Fallon Sherrock – the trailblazer taking the darts world by storm
Fallon Sherrock has taken the darting world by storm with her record-breaking run in the PDC World Championship at Alexandra Palace.
The 25-year-old became the first woman to win a game in the tournament when beating Ted Evetts before following it up by stunning world number 11 Mensur Suljovic.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at Sherrock’s career.
The former mobile hairdresser has previously spoken of the challenge of balancing looking after her five-year-old autistic son and her darts career. Sherrock continues to raise awareness of the condition and has auctioned off the dartboard from her first-round match with all proceeds going to the National Autistic Society. She had to battle a kidney disease six months after giving birth, while darts runs in her family as her twin sister also plays.
How did she qualify for the World Championship?
The Professional Darts Corporation expanded the tournament to 96 players last year with two women securing an automatic spot. Lisa Ashton and Anastasia Dobromyslova both made their debuts in 2018, losing in the first round, but failed to qualify this time. Sherrock earned her place by winning the UK & Ireland women’s qualifier last month, beating Ashton in the semis before seeing off Natalie Gilbert in the showpiece, and joined BDO women’s world champion Mikuru Suzuki in the draw.
Publicity after making history
Sherrock became a household name overnight with her victory over PDC Unicorn development tour order of merit winner Evetts putting women’s darts on the map. She spent the majority of the next day moving from different television studios and radio booths to conduct a series of high-profile interviews, before fully focusing on her second-round clash with Suljovic. Her heroics on the oche captured the hearts of the public, earning her the nickname of “Queen of the Palace”, and attracted praise from the likes of 16-time world champion Phil Taylor and former tennis great Billie Jean King on social media. Her number of followers on Twitter surged and she spoke of her shock at receiving a verified blue tick on her account. Sherrock has also received new sponsorship deals and has been rewarded with a place in the US Darts Masters at Madison Square Garden in New York in June, with PDC chairman Barry Hearn saying her achievements were the “dawn of a new era” for the sport.
Who does she play next?
Sherrock takes on Chris Dobey, the number 22 seed, in the third round on Friday afternoon aiming to create more history. Dobey suffered an agonising fourth-round defeat to Gary Anderson last year and had to survive a late comeback from Ron Meulenkamp in the last phase after relinquishing a commanding two-set lead. The 29-year-old will go into the match as favourite, but Sherrock has taken the underdog tag by storm so far.
How much will she earn from this tournament?
According to Darts Database, Sherrock has earned £75,258 during her career, £25,000 of which has arrived in the last week. A win over Dobey will take her to £35,000 for the tournament.
Sherrock has never won the BDO Women’s World Championship, but came close in 2015 to securing the £12,000 prize. She lost 3-1 in the final to four-time world champion Ashton, earning £5,000, the furthest she has progressed in the tournament. She failed to back that up the following year, losing in the first round, and has experienced four quarter-final exits. Sherrock has won two women’s majors in the BDO, winning the 2015 Masters and the World Trophy three years later.
Life after Ally Pally
Once her Ally Pally campaign comes to an end, which could be January 1 if she reaches the final, Sherrock turns her attention to the BDO World Championship at the O2 Arena in London. That competition starts on January 4 and Sherrock, seeded fourth, plays Corrine Hammond from Australia first up. After that, she has confirmed she will compete again at qualifying school next month in an attempt to secure a tour card to challenge full-time on the PDC’s £14million circuit. Then, who knows, maybe a Premier League spot will come her way too.