Fallon Sherrock wins army of fans as history-making run ends

Fallon Sherrock delighted in bringing a legion of new fans to darts as her fairytale run at the PDC World Championship came to an end in the third round.

The 25-year-old, who fell to a 4-2 defeat to 22nd seed Chris Dobey in front of a raucous crowd at Alexandra Palace, was hailed as an inspiration and a trailblazer by the likes of tennis great Billie Jean King and Hollywood star Sarah Jessica Parker after bowing out.

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, who had to use earplugs in a bid to drown out the fans roaring their support for his opponent, proved too strong, fighting back from 2-1 down to win.

“I have helped darts in general,” Sherrock 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.

King said on Twitter she had “inspired millions” and also praised her “talent and grace under pressure”, while Parker said on Instagram she had “watched in astonishment and awe” and Sherrock had won “a household of fans and admirers”.

Sherrock is known as ‘The Queen’ by fans and there were plenty of supporters on Friday night 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.

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.

On Sherrock, he said: “She was fantastic, she deserves all the credit she gets, and I just enjoyed every minute of that up there.”

Sherrock will be back in action at the BDO Women’s World Championship, for which she is the fourth seed, on January 4.

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