Policeman battling breast cancer takes to Alexandra Palace stage to realise darts dream
A POLICEMAN battling breast cancer has realised his dream after competing in a national darts tournament with the March team he has played with for 27 years.
Mark Cross, who had his left breast removed last October, took to the Alexandra Palace stage on Sunday alongside his GER Souls team-mates, and lifelong friends, Tony Barnes, Andy Youles and Paul Wright.
All the members of the team threw nine darts on the famous oche, as they were knocked out of the inaugural Ladbrokes Lads Cup in the first round by the eventual winners.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and a complete honour,” said Mr Cross, who has had two operations and months of chemotherapy after being one of only 300 men diagnosed with breast cancer last year.
“It hit home when the announcer said that there were only 72 players in the world that would play on the stage this year. It was then that we realised that we were among the very few who have done it.
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“For us, as a team that have been playing together for so long, it was just very special to actually throw some darts on that stage. It was wonderful.”
The GER Souls side had their photograph taken alongside darts legends Eric Bristow and Keith Deller and were treated to new team shirts.
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Mr Cross, who works for the Metropolitan police and lives in March with his wife and two children, has been playing in darts leagues across Fenland since he was 15.
“It will certainly be a crash back down to earth when we go back to playing at the GER,” he said. “But we will be wearing our shirts.”