If popularity, natural talent and persistence earned World titles Steve Beaton would have had surely claimed his earlier than 1996 and have had a hatful by now.
As the World No.1, for a number of years previous, Steve was in possession of all the above, as well as a winning record in many other events including the Winmau World Masters, and yet he had suffered first-round defeats at the biggest event of them all.
Steve Beaton is the ideal person to link the variety of World Championships within this publication. As the WDF Lakeside Champion in 1996, he has competed in more than 30 World Championships for the two main codes over four decades. Without being indelicate it’s fair to say that Steve now qualifies for World Senior Darts and may well make it a hat-trick of World Championship codes when he chooses to step off the PDC treadmill.
Our colleagues at Darts Database had a look over the years of Steve’s career:
1984 – Steve makes his TV Debut in Double Diamond Masters
1993 – 1st Major Trophies – British Pentathlon, World Cup (Team) and World Masters!
1996 – World Champion!
2002 – Steve joins the PDC and hits 9 Darter
2009 – Final of the European Championships and wins 1st Pro Tour title.
2010 – Defeats Phil Taylor in thriller to reach Grand Slam Semi-Final
2013 – Wins German Darts Masters to claim his 1st European Tour title.
2017 – Celebrates 15 years in the PDC with a broadcast 9 Darter and a Pro Tour win.
It’s for this reason he claims his toughest match to have been the first round in ‘96. Co Stompe was yet to really make his name but was no pushover, Steve added:
“ After the disappointment of the previous years, it was after winning that game that I really believed I could go on and win it”
The Adonis is renowned for having the fluidity of quicksilver, as well as the looks of the Greek gods, yet by the time he lifted the famous BDO Trophy it is relief that he recalls:
“My best memory was defeating Ritchie Burnett and finally winning the title, after three or four years of being number one and heavily favoured to win it, that was a major relief to me”
The ever-bronzed figure jests that he “celebrated in a jacuzzi with 8 women”, certain YouTube clips might lend support to this, but, in reality, Steve enjoyed the after-event dinner at the Lakeside with friends and family.
“ It was great fun, with all the toasts and the champagne, you begin to realise exactly what you’ve won…”
“Being the World Champion was an absolute pleasure, I enjoyed every minute up until Marshall James got the best of a decider in the 1997 semifinal”
Steve will hope to bid for another World title tilt this December, now well into his fourth decade of appearances he recalls his other favourite champion, Eric Bristow:
“I recall watching him as a youngster. He was just so confident, he would say things like: “I just going to polish the trophy for when I get it home and sit it on my mantelpiece”
“That kind of confidence just blew me away”
It would be no surprise if a player of the future paid Steve a similarly warm and generous compliment.
Interview: JR Lott with thanks to Winmau.
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