Darts champ honoured

BALLYCLARE darts champ Neil Duff looks set to be recognised by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

At a full meeting of council this week, fan Jim Montgomery of the UUP has proposed a notice of motion, seconded by his party colleague Robert Foster, moving that: “This council congratulates Neil Duff on winning the WDF World Darts Championship and will recognise the success of one of our local sports people.”

Neil Duff became Northern Ireland’s first ever World darts champion earlier this month.

The Ballyclare man said that the win was the perfect 18th birthday present for daughter Hayley.

An ecstatic Duff collected £50,000 after defeating Frenchman Thibault Tricole 6-5 in sets in Sunday’s dramatic World Darts Federation final at the famous Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, Surrey.

Neil, known as ‘The Duffman’, finished 2021 year as the top ranked regional player for UK and Ireland.

He was the only Northern Ireland competitor to take part and recently signed a sponsorship deal with top darts brand Red Dragon.

Neil also reached the BDO World Masters Quarter Finals in 2019, before losing to eventual winner John O’Shea.

Earlier in 2021, Neil lifted both the British Pentathlon title and England National Singles title, as well as reaching the Semi-Final stage in the Welsh Open and Danish Masters.

Neil came to darts late in life, picking them up at the age of 30 as a way of bonding with his dad.

Almost 20 years later, he has played in Turkey, Japan and most of Europe.

He is the current Northern Ireland team captain, plays for Area 2 and for the Coach Bar in Ballymena and Whitehouse Working Mens’ Club.

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