Shaun ‘9-Dart’ Greatbatch sadly died last month after a long battle with illness. Along with the many references to his darting skill, and success, came as many, if not more, comments and tributes to the manner in which he battled and bore the ill health that shortened his career and ultimately his life at the age of 52.
His son made the following announcement on social media:
It is with an extremely heavy heart that I have to bring you this news. My Dad, Shaun, passed away yesterday. He fought so hard for so long and we will be forever proud of him and everything he achieved. He was the best Dad, Husband and Grandfather you could wish for. RIP big man
Darting success was perhaps inevitable, for Shaun was the son of Welsh International Sandra Greatbatch, but around the turn of the century a step change was noted as Shaun began to reach the final stages of some major BDO opens and then the Last 32 on his Lakeside debut in 2001.
Shaun would go on to reach the Semi Final at the legendary venue, in 2006, but by then the event that gave him his nickname, and a darting legacy never to be forgotten, had taken place.
Suffolk native, although he played County darts for Cambridgeshire, Greatbatch achieved immortality in the final of the 2002 Dutch Open with his moment of perfection coming on the way to winning the tournament against Steve Coote. A 9-Dart Leg was captured on live television for the first time in our sport’s history and attached to Shaun’s name in perpetuity.
After his superb run in 2006, including multiple open wins and a later Grand Slam of Darts appearance, 9-dart’s form dipped and, in 2008, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
Bravely, as he lost weight rapidly, Shaun still appeared at the 2009 World Championship, exiting at the first round to John Walton, to a guard of honour from fellow contestants and officials alike.
Darts World remembers that Shaun was a lovely gentle person “who’s only malice was in his walk-on tune”
Note: This obituary/tribute originally appeared in Darts World 580, light editing for spelling and grammar has taken place.
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