Bournemouth’s Scott Mitchell was crowned British Darts Organisation world champion this month –after beating the three-time world champion, Martin ‘Wolfy’ Adams.
Mitchell triumphed 7-6 over Adams in a thrilling final at the Lakeside Country Club, with neither player able to gain more than a one set advantage throughout the match.
Mitchell, known to darts fans as ‘Scotty Dog’, was born in Bournemouth, lives in Bransgore and has always had an affinity for Dorset.
In an exclusive interview with The Rock, the 44-year old landscape gardener said: “I am very proud of being a Dorset lad and there’s a real feel-good factor about sport around the town at the moment with the football club doing so well.
“I’m also a huge speedway fan; Poole Pirates just keep giving and giving to the fans. If I can be part of that and they can inspire me then they can inspire us all.“
Mitchell’s victory may have surprised some as he had never exceeded the second round at the Lakeside, with the world championships consistently proving to be difficult for him.
Despite previous difficulties, Mitchell felt he had a chance in this year’s tournament.
He said: “I watched Stephen Bunting win it last year, but on the circuit this year I played Stephen six times and beat him in four of them so I thought ‘if Stephen can do it, why not me’?”
Despite the match not consisting of the finest darts, the battling between the two men set up an entertaining fixture.
Mitchell missed a double 8 for the world title allowing Adams to level the match at 6-6, but a brilliant 158 checkout in the first leg of the deciding set swung the momentum back his way.
He recalled: “It was so nip and tuck. I know the averages weren’t great, we both made mistakes, but I think that’s what gripped people.
“All I know is I’ve got the trophy, I’ve got the title and that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
“That’s mind-blowing for a guy that’s just a fan who watched it with my mates as a 10-year old kid, it’s surreal.”
Mitchell has now settled the scores with Adams, after Scott was knocked out in the first round of the 2012 competition by Wolfy.
“I really wanted to play Wolfy because he is the man. To be the world champion and to be recognised, you need to beat someone like him.”
Scott is now relishing his title, and aiming make the most of every match in his career.
“You never know how many games you’re going to get at this. It’s never going to be a regular occurrence that you’ll be in a final, now matter how long you play, so it’s a case of not worrying too much about what’s going on.”
Mitchell now has the option to consider a switch from the BDO to the lucrative PDC (Professional Darts Corporation). Many big stars have made the move since its formation, such as Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld.
A PDC world champion would see a cheque for £250,000, with BDO champions seeing less than half for their prize.
Despite the financial insentives, Scott was reluctant to make an immediate move.
“At the moment it’s not a priority. You never say never, and the people that have gone over have gone over for a reason, usually financial reasons, because of the offers they’ve been made.“
Previous world champion, Stephen Bunting made the move across to
the rival body, but Scott feels this devalues the BDO competition.
“We had a year last year where Stephen wasn’t around with the trophy and I think we missed out a bit on our side by not having a world champion. So I’m reluctant to head in that direction currently.”
“My plan would probably be to stay at the BDO this year, and try to be a bit of an ambassador for the trophy, for the world championship and for myself and have a year to enjoy it.”
Mitchell said that the support he has been shown since returning home has been overwhelming.
“I headed on over to my sports club, and everybody just stopped in there and applauded me in the place and it was quite surreal.
“It’s been a media frenzy really for the last couple of days. I never expected everybody to be interested in a farmer’s kid from Dorset but they have been and it’s been really great.”
However, Scott’s world championship final came at a cost, as he has now been dropped from his local Wimborne league due to not making their weekly fixture.
“I became world champion on Sunday and we had a game on Monday which I was unable to get to.
“They said they would’ve played me if I got there on time, but they unfortunately had to drop me for a lack of commitment!”