Rising Shropshire darting talent Darren Whittingham is preparing for his biggest ever night on the oche – going head-to-head with legend Phil Taylor in front of a 2,000-plus crowd.
The Market Drayton thrower will meet the 15-time world champion at finals night in the inaugural Staffordshire Classic.
Whittingham was one of four qualifiers to emerge from an 80-plus field at Fenton Manor in Stoke to do battle with the four seeds – Taylor, Andy Hamilton, Dave Chisnall and Telford’s two-time world champion Ted Hankey – at the same venue on September 28.
And the subsequent draw has pitted the Shropshire thrower, who plays for The Coach in the Market Drayton League, against the sport’s greatest player.
“Phil has always been my hero so it will be brilliant to play him on a stage and in front of a big crowd,” said 21-year-old Whittingham, who works as a machine setter for Market Drayton company Depiction.
“I will just give it my best shot and see what happens.”
Whittingham, an ex-pupil of the Grove School, joined the PDC two years ago and hopes to make this year’s World Championships.