On the Oche! Wisbech arrows ace Ian Withers aims for the big time after bagging Qualifying School place

Darts star Ian Withers

Darts star Ian Withers - Credit: Archant

A Wisbech darts player is aiming for the big time after bagging himself a place in the Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC) Qualifying School.

Ian Withers has been playing darts since the age of 13, and the player nicknamed ‘The Ace’ is preparing to travel to Wigan next month to compete in the qualifiers.

It could see him take a place on the PDC’s Pro tour next year – and the 29-year-old is raring to step up to the oche.

He said: “I’m very excited to be playing in the qualifying school. It’s my first time at the school and I’m looking forward to it. This is my chance to really step up onto the national stage.”

Ian, who plays darts for Cambridgeshire, fell in love with the sport when he bought his first set of darts 17 years ago, which he still uses to this day.

He said: “I hadn’t started playing darts at that time but I was in the pub when I heard a man I knew who played a lot of darts had passed away.

“He had loads of sets of darts and his wife brought some in, so I paid £4 for a set and I’ve been using them ever since.”

Most Read

Ian is set to take part in the four-day qualifying tournament next month, which gives any darts player the chance to win a Tour Card to join the PDC’s £7 million-plus circuit.

Play is held across four successive days in Wigan, with the last four players on each day winning an automatic Tour Card.

A place on the tour for Withers could eventually see him come up against some of his darts idols, such as the legendary Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.

“I’ve always looked up to players like Taylor, but I’ve always been a fan of some of the younger players like James Wade and Peter Wright,” Withers said.

“My big aim is to obviously win a Tour Card but eventually I’d like to progress through the ranks and play in the World Championships.”

Ian and his coach, Jonny Pearce, have travelled the length and breadth of the country playing in tournaments this year.

Tournaments included November’s Vauxhall Darts Weekender in Great Yarmouth, where Withers reached the last 16 where before eventually being knocked out by Northern Irishman Daryl Gurney.

Pearce, despite only coaching Withers for a year, believes he can go above and beyond in the sport.

He said: “I’m extremely proud of Ian. It’s been a long year but I’m really pleased for him.

“It’s going to be very different from what we’re used to at the qualifying school and it’s going to be a big test for him but I’ve always believed he’s got the game.”

‘The Ace’ is also looking for a sponsor for 2016. For more information, please call 07715 444769.

Ian Withers has been playing darts since the age of 13, and the player nicknamed ‘The Ace’ is preparing to travel to Wigan next month to compete in the qualifiers.

It could see him take a place on the PDC’s Pro tour next year – and the 29-year-old is raring to step up to the oche.

He said: “I’m very excited to be playing in the qualifying school. It’s my first time at the school and I’m looking forward to it. This is my chance to really step up onto the national stage.”

Ian, who plays darts for Cambridgeshire, fell in love with the sport when he bought his first set of darts 17 years ago, which he still uses to this day.

He said: “I hadn’t started playing darts at that time but I was in the pub when I heard a man I knew who played a lot of darts had passed away.

“He had loads of sets of darts and his wife brought some in, so I paid £4 for a set and I’ve been using them ever since.”

Ian is set to take part in the four-day qualifying tournament next month, which gives any darts player the chance to win a Tour Card to join the PDC’s £7 million-plus circuit.

Play is held across four successive days in Wigan, with the last four players on each day winning an automatic Tour Card.

A place on the tour for Withers could eventually see him come up against some of his darts idols, such as the legendary Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor.

“I’ve always looked up to players like Taylor, but I’ve always been a fan of some of the younger players like James Wade and Peter Wright,” Withers said.

“My big aim is to obviously win a Tour Card but eventually I’d like to progress through the ranks and play in the World Championships.”

Ian and his coach, Jonny Pearce, have travelled the length and breadth of the country playing in tournaments this year.

Tournaments included November’s Vauxhall Darts Weekender in Great Yarmouth, where Withers reached the last 16 where before eventually being knocked out by Northern Irishman Daryl Gurney.

Pearce, despite only coaching Withers for a year, believes he can go above and beyond in the sport.

He said: “I’m extremely proud of Ian. It’s been a long year but I’m really pleased for him.

“It’s going to be very different from what we’re used to at the qualifying school and it’s going to be a big test for him but I’ve always believed he’s got the game.”

‘The Ace’ is also looking for a sponsor for 2016. For more information, please call 07715 444769.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter