I HAVE a lot of admiration for sportsmen who can sustain their career over a long period and still perform to a very high level.
One player on the PDC circuit whose career has now stretched to over 25 years is Steve Beaton.
His first major success came in 1993 when he won the World Masters and just three years later was BDO World champion and is still a major player on the PDC circuit today.
Beaton has made a flawless start to the 2019 PDC European Tour qualifiers and is the only player to have successfully come through all four qualifiers.
The 1996 world champion secured qualification for the German Darts Grand Prix and German Darts Open last Friday, following on from confirming his place for the European Darts Open and German Darts Championship in February.
Five months after winning the BDO World title in January 1996, Beaton was guest of honour at the finals and presentation evening of the John Smiths Darts League, which was formerly the Plymouth Courage League.
What the attendees didn’t know was that after Beaton had presented all the trophies, he would play, over one leg of 701, the singles and doubles finalists.
Beaton opened up with a 26-dart win over Chris Ruth and then notched his only maximum when defeating Paul Ruth in 25.
His best leg came in 21 darts (33.38) against Bob Staniforth when finishing with a kill of 156 which was well received by the appreciative audience.
His next challenge against Tony Delviso was clinched in 25 but then his unbeaten run came to an end when John Goves (pictured right) put on a brilliant display, despite his earlier disappointment of losing in the final of the individual championship.
They traded high scores continuously and despite Beaton notching four tons, Goves hit three of his own plus a top score of 140 before checking out in 23 (30.48).
Beaten then rounded off an entertaining exhibition when he defeated the new individual champion Malcolm Thomas in 24 darts.
Were you there ?