Deller Pipped By Burton in New Open Event

Former World champion Keith Deller and famed referee Russ Bray brought their celebrity skills to staging this inaugural tournament for players of all ages.  Stephen Burton – also from Ipswich – eventually pipped Keith Deller to the post to win the tournament.

Stonham Barns Park – one of Suffolk’s premier leisure, retail, and holiday destinations – has hosted a brand-new darts tournament which attracted over 50 players from the area with Burton picking up the £750 prize pot and a MegaDarts Tournament cup! On Saturday 1 October in the company of darts legend Keith Deller and MC and darts referee Russ Bray who was there to provide his unique style of calling.

The Ipswich-born darts star Keith Deller has been hosting various events at the new Legends Sports Bar – named in honour of a variety of sporting legends – to meet and greet families and people from the Suffolk community and to share some stories from his past and his thoughts on the highs and lows of today’s major sporting events.  

Pro darts player Stephen Burton – who is ranked 131 in the Professional Darts Corporation list of players – played a highly competitive match with 140s and 180s in the mix. He went into the semi-finals with three top players only then to find himself up against the legendary Keith Deller for the final and Keith admitted he had been putting the practice in for the event!  Stephen went three games up in the final, but Keith pulled off some great shots to secure two games before Stephen came out with the winning throw. Stephen (34) won a PDC Tour and qualified for a PDC European Tour in 2017 and won the second and eighth Challenge Tour events in 2019. He has beaten top names like Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis.

Keith Deller, winner Stephen Burton and Russ Bray at SBP
Keith Deller, winner Stephen Burton and Russ Bray at Stonham Barns Park. 

The tournament staged at the Legends Sports Bar attracted a crowd and with Russ Bray calling the atmosphere started to build. A ‘Round Robin’ event started the tournament off which was enjoyed by the entrants. All games up to and including the semi-finals were 501 over 7 legs – and the Final 501 over 9 legs. The semi-finals and finals were played on a newly installed Loxley competition darts stage.  There was a fully licensed Lacons bar available on the evening which was sponsored by hand-produced CBD supplier Heavens Hemp

A former professional darts player, Keith Deller is best known for winning the 1983 BDO World Darts Championship – beating the mighty Eric Bristow in the final watched by a TV audience of 10 million – and the British Professional Championship in 1987.  

Said Keith, ‘We are looking to encourage some darts teams to play here so people can spectate some top-level darts, but we do also want people just to join in to create a culture of community darts which is why we launched this first tournament.’

‘We attracted a good crowd of players even though our event clashed with a couple of others.  We will be looking to do something again hopefully attracting players like Stephen Burton and Kevin Edwards.  The Loxley stage made it a great event.  It was a seriously great competition.’

Organisers Daniel Naylor, Janice Rowles, Keith Deller, ALan Forward and Russ Bray
Organisers Daniel Naylor, Janice Rowles, Keith Deller, Alan Forward and Russ Bray.

Winner of the tournament Stephen Burton added, ‘It was a top event played in an amazing venue.  And it’s always nice to beat a World Champion! Just getting in there ahead of Keith Deller has given my confidence a real boost.  Although he’s presenting more matches than he’s playing, he can still pull out some great moves.’

‘I went to school in Debenham – which is very near to Stonham Barns Park – and I spent a lot of my time after I left school playing golf there so I do know the venue, but it has all changed since my last visit. To be able to play darts on the new Loxley stage at the impressive Legends Sports Bar was very cool indeed.’

Director Keith Forward added, ‘Legends Sports Bar will be a focus for all things entertainment at Stonham Barns Park.  We are delighted to have Keith Deller and Russ Bray here flying the flag for British darts.’

——ENDS——

For more information about Stonham Barns Park please contact 01449 711901 or visit www.stonhambarns.co.uk

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