Keith Deller backs Justin Pipe to win major PDC darts title
Justin Pipe can continue his impressive progress by winning a major darts title according to a former world champion.
The Force of North Curry near Langport, ranked 11th globally by the Professional Darts Corporation, has been backed to win a television tournament by Keith Deller.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Legends of Darts event at Somerset County Cricket Club, the 1983 world champion said there was no reason why Pipe cannot lift one of the sport’s biggest trophies. Pipe is on the brink of entering the PDC’s top ten and reached the quarter-finals of both July’s World Matchplay in Blackpool and last month’s World Grand Prix in Dublin.
Deller, who will appear at the County Ground with fellow greats Eric Bristow MBE, John Lowe and Bobby George, said: “Firstly I think Justin’s a cracking bloke and out of all of them he is one of the nicest guys on the circuit by a million miles. I have never heard him swear about anybody or have a bad word about anybody.
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“He’s very good at what he does and, alright, they all have a moan about his speed of throwing but so what? He’s not breaking any rules. It’s working for Justin, he’s on the brink of the top ten in the world and if it was me I’d go slower and wind people up more. If they start moaning, use it to your advantage.
“He’s doing well and I think he can win a major because he is so good on the floor. But it is a big difference. I always remember years ago there was a guy called Paul Reynolds who played for England and was brilliant on the floor. He would win open after open but couldn’t do it on the television enough.
“Justin is obviously getting better and better. He is still not looking comfortable enough for me but that comes with experience and the boys don’t want to play him.
“Last year he played Adrian Lewis, who I now manage, and had a 117 average and when you do that you have always got to be careful. I think I have got the best player in the business and, alright, Phil Taylor’s number one but I think Adrian will be number one.
“But the West Country should be getting behind Justin because he is the real deal and there is no reason why he can’t win a major.”
Pipe bowed out of last weekend’s latest European Tour event at the first stage, losing to Andy Jenkins in Holland. The 40-year-old returns to the oche this week for the Championship League play-off in Essex.
Sunday’s exhibition in Taunton will see Deller renew rivalries with Crafty Cockney Bristow, three-time world champion Lowe and the flamboyant George after the quartet play members of the audience. Deller promised quality darts and four players keen to get one over on each other, even if there was no big prize resting on the night that starts at 7pm.
He said: “There are some great memories with Eric Bristow, especially with me winning the world title. John Lowe had the first televised nine-darter against me and I have known Bobby since I was 16. He still calls me ‘the boy’ now. It’s a good four because you have got Bobby as Mr Entertainer and three world champions that have been in some great finals over the years.
“There will be some good darts and we can still throw decent averages. We are going to milk the walk-ons and Bobby will of course have the candelabra, which sometimes takes longer than his games.
“When they see the top boys in the world they see robots, really, hitting 180s and 140s for fun but they might not be as good as us at working the crowd. I think people realise they are not going to see the best darts in the world but they will see decent darts and hopefully have a good night.”
FOR tickets and more information visit www.legendsofdarts.co.uk or call 0843 289 0442.