South Croydon’s Pilgrim progresses to the ‘FA Cup of darts’

MATTHEW “One-hundred-and-eighty” KIERNAN, Inside Croydon’s darts correspondent, reports on a breakthrough performance by a local arrers specialist

Croydon darter Pilgrim takes on the game's biggest names at the UK OOPen next week. Photograph: Lamo the Lion Photography

Croydon darter Darryl Pilgrim takes on the game’s biggest names at the UK Open next week. Photograph: Lamo the Lion Photography

Darryl Pilgrim, from South Croydon, has a chance to “do a Lincoln City” in his chosen sport, darts, next week, after he qualified to take on the professionals at the UK Open.

The 29-year-old came through a field of 132 players to book his place at Butlins Minehead for the televised event.

The UK Open is run by the Professional Darts Corporation, but gives amateurs the chance to mix it with the pros and is known as “the FA Cup of Darts”.

Pilgrim works for Tesco at Factory Lane and usually plays in local darts leagues for St Peter’s Social Club in Carshalton. In the high-tension qualifiers, he won six matches to qualify for the finals where he will join the 127 other players that complete field, including former world champions Raymond van Barneveld and Gary Anderson and reigning world champ Michael van Gerwen.

The UK Open will be broadcast on ITV4 from March 3.

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