FALLON SHERROCK became the latest victim of social media abuse after a fan called her a “s***” and “slag” following an online defeat.
The Milton Keynes star, who became the first woman to beat a man in the World Championships, got the stick on Twitter yesterday.
In a direct message the yob messaged Sherrock “Your so s*** you slag” and also “I’d love to stamp on your ugly head”.
Sherrock responded on Twitter:
“All I did was not win a game of darts, this is so wrong.”
Fellow online playing star David Evans leapt to her defence and stated: “I completely feel your pain, Fallon”.
“I get them too and it is so wrong just because they have lost 50p on a bet. Just do what I do and block them and ignore it I know it’s hard to do but I’m doing this it lets them know that they haven’t got to you.”
Sky Sports commentator Stuart Pyke also added:
“Absolutely disgusting. Report is straight away and stay strong Fallon.”
It’s not the first time Sherrock, who also drew with Glen Durrant in the Premier League earlier this year, has been given abuse. World No.1 Michael Van Gerwen is in the same Modus Sports stable as Sherrock and has helped her deal with the pressures of instant fame.
And several of the game’s superstars have reached previously out to her with guidance after nasty trolls subjected her to social media abuse.
ARROWS queen Fallon Sherrock admits it would be easier to tackle eating bugs and face huge spiders on I’m A Celebrity than beat a man at the Ally Pally.
The Milton Keynes mum-of-one is still basking in the limelight after becoming the first woman to beat a man in the PDC World Championships and grab a draw with Glen Durrant in the Premier League.While her World Series debut has been put on ice until 2021, Sherrock admits she could be set for even bigger things off the oche.
She admits: “I think in the long run I might get some opportunities to push myself a bit further. I’m not really what just yet, I’m taking each day as it comes. I’ve had a couple of things come up, I’m not going to say anything because they’re not confirmed yet. Fingers crossed.“Obviously any opportunity like that if it came my way, I’d take it. I think everyone would take it if they got the opportunity. I’ve never been afraid to challenge myself, so anything different I will go for it. I’m so excited to see what happens in the future. “I can dance, a little bit. Can I eat bugs? Yes no problem. Spider and heights are much easier than beating a man at the Ally Pally, any day of the week!”
Sherrock has been flooded with messages from celebs since her wins over Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic at the Ally Pally including Billie Jean King and Sex In The City star Sarah Jessica Parker. She even played in a celeb event with Italian football legend Luca Toni.
Sherrock added: “It has started to sink in the amount of messages I had from people. It’s disbelief to get messages from these massive people and they know who I am. They are talking about me. I’m just a normal person. It’s just incredible. I’m so proud and happy with everything. “I’ve had a lot from Jacqui Oatley, she was messaging me support throughout the Worlds. I’ve met some more celebs, I played darts with Luca Toni in Germany, he was awesome. He congratulated me. I’ve had so much, I’ve lost count.”
Sherrock, who has certainly backed up her stage performances with impressive lockdown online displays, admits she’s suddenly got a big target on her back.
But she dismisses any suggestion that the pressure is too much on her shoulders, adding: “It’s not really been that difficult. I have got a target on my back now, I never had that before. Instead of people saying ‘I’ve got to play her, it’s fine’, now everyone wants to beat Fallon Sherrock, she is the one we want to beat.“I’m so happy about that in one way because it means I’ve got a game on my hands and I always like to be pushed as much as I can. In that respect I’m really happy.
“I don’t take any notice of stuff said on social media. If I see anything negative I just don’t read it. If anything it just spurs me on a bit more. I want to prove everyone wrong and makes me even more determined. I know what I can do, I’ve just never had the opportunity to prove it before.“I’ve possibly got a bit more pressure on me but I don’t put pressure on myself. I just try and ignore everything going on around me and play my own darts.“
I’m really happy that Lisa Ashton got the tour card it proves again that us women can compete with the men. Now there’s two women that are going to beat the men.“Getting through Q School is such a hard thing to do so that was an achievement in itself for Lisa. I feel so proud and positive that she will go week-in, week-out and so us proud. It’s only going to push the ladies’ game even further. It’s all positives.”
World No.1 Michael Van Gerwen is in the same Modus Sports stable as Sherrock and has helped her deal with the pressures of instant fame.And several of the game’s superstars have reached out to her with guidance after nasty trolls subjected her to social media abuse. But criticism from keyboard warriors is nothing compared to the battle mum-of-one Sherrock faces in looking after autistic son Rory. Not that the five-year-old has any moans about his mum’s new hectic lifestyle.
She added: “I’ve explained to him what I’m doing when I’m going away and he loves it. Now he just wants to try and play darts and always try and hit the bullseye!“All through the week though it’s mummy’s rules for him and then he’s away at my mum’s and he’s got no rules, he sees it as a little holiday. So he’s loving life at the moment.“I feel like I’m doing this all for him. It was hard for me being away from him. But I call him on FaceTime three times every day I’m away. So I still feel like I’m there. It’s working well at the moment.
“I’m doing all this work for him. I want to do this for the long run, for his future.
It just makes me want to carry on and do my best.”
Our columnist, and contributor, JR Lott added this tiny piece to a World Championship e-guide produced before the Ally Pally event this year. He seems he had an inkling of what was to come!
For the 2019 World Championship, the PDC innovated once more. A direct route for female players to play in the championships was introduced for the first time. Lisa Ashton and Anastasia were the qualifiers, from very high-quality field, and both played strongly in the main event. This year the route has been extended to include a UK and a Rest of the World style qualifying event.
Mikuru Suzuki,37, will debut at Ally Pally after capturing the Lakeside title in 2019. She is familiar with the PDC set up, and atmosphere, after being selected by the BDO for this year’s Grand Slam of Darts. The Japanese star made things deciding decidedly uncomfortable for Gerwyn Price in her opening match. Despite not qualifying for the knockout stage she will have gained valuable experience, and having little to lose, and could be very dangerous indeed.
Fallon Sherrock has been somewhat overshadowed in recent years. The former World Championship finalist, and twice major title winner, has been outmatched by Lisa Ashton and now Suzuki. The twenty-five-year-old hairdresser has, however, had a superb 2019, winning several titles all around Europe. She then played superbly in the ladies’ qualifying event averaging close to 100.
Her debut at Alexandra Palace will introduce her to a whole new audience and may prove another boost to her career.
The form and ability of the female representatives keeps getting stronger and stronger. It may not be long until darts becomes a fully integrated sport.
A little while ago our lead reporter caught up with the remarkable Mikuru Suzuki. As well as revealing her discomfort at having to wear shoes in her own house, against Japanese tradition, to play Phil Taylor, she enjoyed a full Q & A session ‘our man in Japan’:
Darts World: What was your childhood like, where did you grow up in Japan?
Mikuru Suzuki: I grew up in Osaka in a city called Katano. It’s a bit in the countryside with lots of nature. I think I was a quite active child.
DW: How many in your family? Brothers and sisters?
MS: We are a family of three. My husband and son. I also have an older brother who is two years older.
DW: What did you first want to be when you grew up for a job?
MS: I had no specific career in mind but I wanted a job that allows me to talk with other people.
DW: When did you first play darts, how old and where?
MS: I was 26 when I threw my first darts. My friend took me to a dart bar and we played there.
DW: What was your first big win which meant you knew you could go professional?
MS: There is a soft (electronic) darts pro tour (for which, a player has to get a pro license) in Japan. I think it was the first win of one of those tour stop in Nagoya.
DW: What did the people close to you think of you playing darts for a career?
MS: I became a professional dart player after getting married and I can continue to be so thanks to the understanding and support of my husband. I think I am lucky with the support of my close ones.
DW: What has been your favourite darts match so far?
MS: I think it was my first at Lakeside against Lisa, that January. I remember that the enjoyment of the game took over the nervousness and I manage to get the win.
DW: Do you believe that women can compete with men and beat them on a regular basis?
MS: Currently it is still hard but definitely want to get closer to that.
DW: What is your ambition in darts?
MS: To be the number one on the planet.
DW: What do you think of the standard of the Ladies game? Who are your biggest rivals?
MS: I think the standard will still rise a lot.
DW: Do you think Beau Greaves is going to be the future of the Ladies game?
MS: I think she has a huge potential still inside her.
DW: How do you think your game can improve?
MS: I think it will take time but I can improve it by trying to reach the level of the men.
DW: What’s been the most exciting thing about coming to the UK? London?
MS: Maybe the shopping part? I also love to go to the grocery stores!
DW: Are there more talented younger players coming through from Japan?
MS: I think there will be more and more indeed. The road is built, so why wouldn’t they?
OM: Do you think we will one day see a Japanese mens World Champion?
MS: I strongly believe so. The dart level in Japan, in Asia is currently going through a big growing period.
DW: What is your favourite food and drink?
MS: I like spicy food and black tea.
DW: What is your favourite food and drink in the UK?
MS: It’s not a meal food but I really like the Salt and Vinegar crisps! I like things like the HP sauce and malt vinegar that is not common in Japan.
DW: Who is your sporting idol?
MS: I think it might be Saori Yoshida who was called the strongest human on earth. I also am trying to be the best dart player.
DW: Are you proud of what Japan achieves in other sports. Like how they did in the Rugby World Cup?
MS: Yes, especially the Rugby World Cup was a fantastic event and people were quite excited!
DW: Do you have any hobbies or other interests.
I like singing Karaoke and golf. But I am not good at either.
MIKURU SUZUKI had to break the Japanese tradition of wearing shoes indoors to play The God of Darts. The current Ladies World Champion lost narrowly to the greatest player of all-time in a virtual match on Sky Sports.
But Suzuki revealed it was a weird experience. She admitted:
“I have never worn shoes in my house. So I feel weird. I will feel something strange.
I mean I feel weird myself wearing shoes in my room for the first time to play darts during the game.”
“I always wear shoes to play in. It makes a difference when you play. When I train I wear shoes. Of course, I will wear it during this game. I am a bit worried I will be too loud and make too much noise with my shoes in this quiet Japanese house. Maybe I will bother my family. I am a bit worried and concerned about that during the game”.
“It’s a Japanese tradition, I would even say that 100 percent of Japanese people take off their shoes before entering a house. We have space to put all the shoes from everyone. It’s a huge tradition to take off your shoes before entering the house.” Suzuki, 38, narrowly missed out on becoming the first woman to beat a man at the Ally Pally World Championships before Fallon Sherrock achieved that feat.
“He is super famous here. Here in Japan, he’s known literally as the God of Darts. I don’t think there is someone here in Japan who plays darts and doesn’t know Phil Taylor. Also being able to play a charity game against him is something if anybody Japanese hears about, he will be super happy, really impressed.”
Suzuki also admits she may need to move to the UK permanently to pursue her dream of getting a PDC Tour Card as she follows the surge in women’s darts spearheaded by Sherrock and Lisa Ashton.She added: “This year my plans were to move around several countries, play worldwide, but unfortunately due to this current situation I have not been able to leave my country. Once things are back to normal, I’d like to start moving again. I want to follow Lisa and get a Tour Card. I’d like to challenge myself around the world.
“Women haven’t proven ourselves enough yet. For example it’s a win or lose thing, of course, we can always win. But honestly to keep winning at that level, to get consistent wins, it’s something we have not been able to do that yet. Basically there is a wall. We have to keep winning consistently.
“Of course, I’d really love to go to UK and to experience life there and live there. At the same time getting my visa sorted would be quite a tough thing. If I am able to get the PDC Tour Card, I’d decide to live in the UK for one or two years. That’s my decision.”
Now the dust has settled on this years PDC Q School, one of the big talking points has to be “Were the PDC too quick in their decision to include Fallon Sherrock in every single World Series Event”.
Yes we all witnessed history at The Ally Pally’ Fallon winning two matches there to progress to the 3rd Round, an incredible achievement and rightly on the back of that she was named as a Challenger for one of the Premier League nights. However given the recent situations with the BDO it was common knowledge that quite a few other female players were going to be attending Q School along with Fallon.
After Fallon was named as a Premier League Challenger she was then included to play in every single World Series event. There was always going to be the prospect that she may not have gained a Tour Card whilst another female player could have and today we have seen this happen with 4 time BDO Ladies Champion Lisa Ashton creating her own history by winning a place on the main PDC Tour. Surely this achievement should gain her an invitation to at least one World Series event?
Maybe the PDC will have two ladies playing every World Series event or maybe they could have announced Fallon to play two or three to begin with and then the opening was there to include another female namely Lisa Ashton to play a few of the events. Hopefully Lisa gets a place in a few of them.
Perhaps Barry Hearn will create other opportunities for Ashton, and other female players, from within the Pro Tour structure. Could there be a gender specific qualifier for the UK Open in the same as there was for the World Championship?
One thing is for sure it’s good for World Darts and for Ladies darts in general and this is only the beginning.
Chatting with our resident coach the other day, I was struck by a view he ventured as to the development and improvement of players. ‘The Coach‘ has noted that many players who can play within more than one code, or division of darts, do not seem to benefit from playing multiple formats. This may well be a problem for the current generation of female stars.
Could Lisa Ashton, and some of the other women players, be at the point where dividing their time (or commitment), together with mixing the standard of opposition, is acting more as a hurdle than a benefit? If so, is it time to decide on their ambitions and focus on them in a more single-minded way?
Ashton, for example, has performed extremely well, within the PDC structure, since dipping a toe in the water in 2018/19. However, she does seem to have hit a plateau which may have affected her dominance of the women’s game. Might ‘The Lancashire Rose’, who is 49, be better off maximising her potential and earning power over shorter formats and familiar opposition in the women’s game? On the other hand she has shown tremendous ability and may well be capable of improving to another level if she were able to give 100% of her time and effort to the longer formats and tougher days of the PDC tours.
For players of the a younger generation, such as Fallon Sherrock, it may be that the decision is taken out of their hands. The opportunities already given to Fallon, mean that she will be playing PDC events for part of next year regardless. Sherrock’s decision to opt out of a devalued BDO Women’s World Championship may be the start of things to come.
Beau Greaves may carry an entirely different batton, at sixteen years old she is capable of achieving almost anything in darts. If allowed to develop at her own pace, and across codes and divides, she may well be part of the first generation to play a truly mixed sport on a level playing field.
Ashton, along with players like Deta Hedman and Anastasia, has carved out a new path for female players.
It could be that in choosing to dedicate herself to ‘Open darts’, and forsake the Womens’ Game, she may take another giant step along it. But is it s step too far?
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