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Keith Deller
Personal information
Full name Keith Kelvin Deller
Nickname The Fella
Milky Bar Kid
The Delboy
Born 24 December 1959 (1959-12-24) (age 61)
Ipswich, England
Home town Icklingham, England
Darts information
Playing darts since 1972
Darts 25 Gram Target Keith Deller
Laterality Right-handed
Walk-on music "Things Can Only Get Better" by D Ream
Organisation (see split in darts)
BDO 1983–1993
PDC 1993–2007 (founding member)
BDO majors – best performances
World Ch'ship Winner (1) 1983
World Masters Runner Up: 1984
PDC premier events – best performances
World Ch'ship Semi Final: 1998
World Matchplay Semi Final: 1998
World Grand Prix Quarter Final: 1999
UK Open Last 32: 2006
Other tournament wins
Double Diamond Masters 1983
Unipart British Professional 1987
WDF World Cup – Team 1983
Nations Cup – Team 1984
PDC Eastbourne Open 2001
Eastbourne Pro 2001
Updated on 12 April 2019.

Keith Kelvin Deller (born 24 December 1959) is an English former professional darts player best known for winning the 1983 BDO World Darts Championship and Unipart British Professional Championship in 1987. He was the first qualifier ever to win the championship and remains one of the youngest champions in history. For his world championship win, Deller used 18-gram spring-loaded darts, later banned for tournament play but now legal again.

Career

BDO

Deller's victory over Eric Bristow in the tournament by 6 sets to 5 was probably the biggest upset in the history of the championship. He also beat world number 3 John Lowe in the quarter finals and defending champion and world number 2 Jocky Wilson in the semi-final to become the only player in history to defeat the world's top three ranked players in the World Championship. The champion's prize money in 1983 was £8,000.

His checkout of 138 to clinch the trophy is amongst the most memorable in darting history. Bristow had left himself 50 to stay in the match, but decided to throw for single 18 with his last dart to leave double 16 instead of a more difficult attempt at the bullseye. Deller then hit treble 20, treble 18, double 12 for the title, and even to this day commentators often refer to 138 as the "Deller checkout" if a player is left with that score.

Despite a meteoric rise to World Champion, his career results failed to maintain that level. On the defence of his world title, he lost in the first round to Nicky Virachkul, and he only won three further matches in the BDO World Championship in subsequent years. He did win the British Professional Championship in 1987, but generally his world ranking continued to fall, and he even failed to qualify for the World Championship between 1989 and 1993. One of his more notable achievements in the years following his world title win is his 100.30 average in his quarter-final match against John Lowe in the 1985 World Championship; this made him the first-ever player to record a three-figure average in a BDO world championship match.

PDC

Deller was one of the players who broke away from the British Darts Organisation in 1992 and joined the WDC, now the PDC. This saw him gain some more television exposure, and he did produce a few resurgent performances to reach the semi finals of the 1998 PDC World Championship and also the semi finals of the 1998 PDC World Matchplay. Deller dropped out of the top 32 of the PDC's World Rankings around 2005 and therefore had to attempt qualification for their major tournaments – which he failed to do for the 2006, 2007 and 2008 PDC World Championships. He now competes much less on the circuit, including around half-a-dozen UK Open Regional events during 2007; he has preferred to perform in more lucrative exhibition matches with fellow legend players such as Bristow and Lowe.

Records

Deller's name has been in the record books on a couple of occasions. He held the Guinness World Record for the fastest 3 legs of 301 in 97 seconds. On 13 October 1984 he was on the wrong end of a piece of darting history when Lowe hit the first-ever televised nine-dart finish against him in the quarter-finals of the MFI World Matchplay. He became the first player to achieve a match average of 100 in a BDO World Championship match; he did, however, lose the game to Lowe. Deller set another World Record in darts as recently as 7 August 2012; Deller smashed the World Records set by Dean Gould of hitting the quickest 301 at 36 seconds, which Dean beat at Olympia Great British Beer Festival on the same day by making it 33 seconds. Deller beat that record on the same event by becoming the World Record holder by taking out 301 in 25 seconds by taking out a 130 checkout by hitting the bullseye. So Deller now has the World Record of the quickest 301 in 25 seconds.

Spotter

Deller has for many years been part of the Sky Sports broadcasting team acting as a "spotter" for the cameras. His knowledge of the players and scoring shots helps the director and cameramen anticipate where the next dart will be thrown.

Personal life

Deller supports his local football club Ipswich Town F.C.

World Championship performances

BDO

  • 1983: Winner (beat Eric Bristow 6–5)
  • 1984: 1st round (lost to Nicky Virachkul 1–2)
  • 1985: Quarter-final (lost to John Lowe 2–4)
  • 1986: 2nd round (lost to Alan Glazier 1–3)
  • 1987: 1st round (lost to Brian Cairns 0–3)
  • 1988: 1st round (lost to John Lowe 1–3)

PDC

  • 1994: Group Stage (lost to Steve Brown 1–3 and Kevin Spiolek 1–3)
  • 1995: Group Stage (lost to Larry Butler 2–3 and Kevin Spiolek 1–3)
  • 1996: Quarter-final (lost to Phil Taylor 0–4)
  • 1997: Quarter-final (lost to Phil Taylor 1–5)
  • 1998: Semi-final (lost to Dennis Priestley 1–5 and lost the third place match to Rod Harrington 1–4)
  • 1999: 1st round (lost to Bob Anderson 2–3)
  • 2000: 2nd round (lost to John Lowe 1–3)
  • 2001: Quarter-final (lost to Phil Taylor 0–4)
  • 2002: 1st round (lost to Rod Harrington 3–4)
  • 2003: 2nd round (lost to Richie Burnett 3–4)
  • 2004: 3rd round (lost to Peter Manley 2–4)
  • 2005: 2nd round (lost to Wayne Jones 1–3)

Performance timeline

Tournament 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
BDO World Championship W 1R QF 2R 1R 1R Did not qualify No longer a BDO Member
Winmau World Masters 4R F 3R 3R 3R 2R Did not qualify No longer a BDO Member
British Professional 1R 2R 2R SF W QF Not held
MFI World Matchplay NH QF 1R 1R SF 1R Not held
PDC World Championship Not yet founded RR RR QF QF SF 1R 2R QF 1R 2R 4R 2R DNQ
World Matchplay Not held 2R QF 1R 1R SF 1R 1R 1R QF 2R 1R 1R DNQ
World Grand Prix Not held 1R QF 2R 2R 1R 2R Did not qualify
UK Open Not held 3R 2R 3R 4R 3R
Performance Table Legend
DNP Did not play at the event DNQ Did not qualify for the event NYF Not yet founded #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
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