Herefordshire star Jim Williams pursues his British Darts Organisation dream and aims for Lakeside (From Hereford Times)
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Herefordshire star Jim Williams pursues his British Darts Organisation dream and aims for Lakeside
DARTS player Jim Williams is just three tournaments away from standing on the biggest sporting stage of his life.
The 29-year-old wants to follow in the arrows of Dennis Priestley and Eric Bristow at the British Darts Organisation Lakeside World Professional Championships.
Williams, who works as a joiner, is 16th in the BDO Invitation Open rankings and needs to maintain his spot to qualify for January’s showpiece.
Ironically, Ledbury’s Terry ‘The Bull’ Jenkins, who competes on the rival Professional Darts Corporation circuit, is 16th in the PDC Order of Merit.
He played Jenkins once in an exhibition event in Kington - and would love to rise to prominence like the Ledbury ace.
Williams, who hails from Shobdon, is competing at the England Classic in Dorset this weekend before travelling to the England Open in Bridlington.
The Hereford-born thrower is heading to Bucharest for the Romanian Open at the end of this month.
He has already qualified for the World Masters in Hull, which gets under way on October 9.
“I started at the bottom of the BDO points table 12 months ago and I have picked up some good points,” said Williams, a former Wigmore School pupil.
“Another good run in one of the final three qualifying tournaments and I could climb to eighth in the rankings.”
Williams shot to prominence 12 months ago when he reached the last eight of the World Masters.
He defeated former world champion Christian Kist and Scottish captain Ross Montgomery before losing to Stephen Bunting.
“I got to the last eight of the World Masters and played on televsion and that made me realise I could compete against the top players,” said Williams. “Getting cheered on by a crowd of 3,000 people was fantastic.”
The sport has already taken Williams - whose walk-on music is Kings of Leon’s ‘Sex on Fire’ anthem - to Poland, Hungary, Belgium, Germany and France.
Last month, Williams reached the quarter-finals of the Antwerp Open and was pipped 5-4 by Martin ‘Woolfie’ Adams.
“I have kept a low profile but I have won a lot of events locally - I have won the Cotterell Arms tournament about six or seven times,” said Williams.
“I have also won the Wye Valley Brewery Darts at Luctonians for the past two years but this is my first year of doing the BDO tournaments.”
He plays county darts for Montgomery and Radnor in the same team as his dad, Dave Williams, who lives in Shobdon.
The rising star is a keen sportsman - he used to play football for Shobdon, Presteigne and Leominster Town and is a former downhill mountain-bike racer.
He is indebted to the support from Herefordshire businessman Mark Blandford, who runs YouWin, and Don Jaques, from Jaques International.
“I would not be able to compete on the circuit without their support - I could not afford to do it,” Williams admitted.
“Mark Blandford came to Poland with me and I played a few good games and he came on board.”
Williams, who lives in Presteigne, is top of a Premier League which is played on Friday nights in Newtown.
He added: “Terry Jenkins is the best darts player in this area but I think there are strong players in this region. I have a chance and I will see what I can do.”
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