STEPHEN BUNTING is hoping for a double celebration of Liverpool winning the Premier League and then qualifying for the World Matchplay. The 2014 BDO World Champion admits he is buzzing that sport is back on the big stage with his beloved Reds on the verge of title success.
‘The Bullet’ will bid to grab his place in the Matchplay with five crucial Players Championships events in Milton Keynes from July 8. He said:
“I watched the football on Wednesday but it’s a bit weird without the fans and no atmosphere.
But obviously, when Liverpool are on I’ll be glued to the telly”.
“Watching the derby with Everton 7pm kick-off on Sunday is going to be strange in itself. I still think we’ll win the game then hopefully we can wrap up the title on Wednesday against Palace.
“Being at home has been so boring with no darts and also no football. It’s crazy. Me as a fan I look forward to games so much. You learn to appreciate sport so much.”
Bunting will need to hit the ground running for the Summer Series and reach the Matchplay on July 18.
The Bullet is currently World No.17 and will miss out on qualification unless he can outgun his nearest Order of Merit challengers in Milton Keynes. He also admits it will be a weird scenario at the Marshalls Arena, unlike any other ProTour event held before.
For diabetic players such as himself, Ian White, Andy Hamilton and Jamie Caven, the return to action poses extra problems.
He added: “The way it has worked out for me it makes it very difficult. Obviously I’ve just got to get to Milton Keynes and forget about everything and go and play.
“I’m 17 in the rankings. There’s also a possibility that not all the top 16 seeded players are going to come over for it, you just don’t know what’s going to happen. I can never count my chickens.
“Obviously I’ll be trying my hardest in Milton Keynes to earn that spot. I think I’m about £3,000 behind on the ProTour Order of Merit.
“If I can have a good five days in Milton Keynes then I can make it to Blackpool in my own right.
“It’s going to be a weird situation as well. We don’t know what’s happening or what the new protocols are.
“A big thing for me is travelling as well. Obviously I’ve got Type-2 diabetes so I’ve still got to be very careful. Getting to the venue is important and once you are there it’s OK.”
Bunting also reveals that he has made a huge decision to change his diet and lifestyle with so much information regarding Covid-19 affecting the vulnerable in society, which includes diabetes sufferers.
“My wife has bought me an exercise bike and I’ve been on that every day. I’ve changed my diet and I’m trying to do things away from the oche to make myself fitter”.
“A few family members have lost loads of weight in the past and are no longer diabetic so that’s something I can try and do. It’s going to benefit me in the long run with having more energy”.
“We’re on a healthy meal club and we get set 12 meals for a week sent to you. It’s perfect and I’m enjoying that and getting used to the exercise regime.
“I’m taking it slowly, not trying to be Superman right away.
Just building up the amounts I do so I don’t burn myself out!
“I’ve also tried to change my lifestyle by not staying up so late at night on the PlayStation. I’m going to bed earlier and waking up fresher with more energy.”.
Pix: Taylor Lanning