Justin Pipe: Headley Court darts exhibition invitation 'an honour'
Darts ace Justin Pipe has described his involvement in an event aimed to boost the morale of injured soldiers as a chance to “give something back to the real men and women”.
The new Professional Darts Corporation world number nine was back at the oche less than 24 hours after reaching the semi-finals of the Cash Converters Players Championship.
The Force of North Curry near Langport joined reigning world champion Adrian Lewis, former global number one Colin Lloyd, Mark Walsh and Steve Beaton at Headley Court in Surrey.
Organised by Target Darts, Wigley Commercial Services and PDC master of ceremonies John McDonald, the evening also saw Helen Chamberlain lead a Sky Sports Soccer AM team and former boxing star Johnny Nelson in charge of a Ringside outfit.
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Former paratrooper McDonald annually organises the evening at the Ministry of Defence medical rehabilitation centre that is supported by charity Help for Heroes and deals with patients with physical disabilities and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Pipe admitted trepidation about the exhibition, but added it allowed him to appreciate how lucky he was to be a professional sportsman.
“It is lovely to be invited and to be thought that much of by John,” he said. “It was an opportunity to give something back to the real men and women. I have done exhibitions before but this was considerably bigger.
“There are a lot of seriously injured people there. It was a mixed bag of emotions as it was nice to be able to do it but quite scary at the same time because you realise what these people have to go through. It was quite frightening, really.
“It makes you appreciate how lucky we are. We are lucky to be able to do what we do. It is an honour to give our time to such a worthy cause.”
Pipe was in the SoccerAM team that finished as runners-up in the exhibition contest, which gained television coverage from Sky Sports News, Ringside and SoccerAM.