Unsung Heroes – You Know FullWell!

Nick Fullwell, 50, is a familiar name on the darts circuit, but 2019 saw the man known as ‘Hero’ become known to many more darts fans and he is not finished yet! 

Nick has previous. Having played many PDC majors, his experience should stand him in good stead.
PIC: PDC L Lustig

Nick Fullwell has been playing professional darts for almost fifteen years, but his results in 2019 across both codes were the best of his career. A televised appearance appearance at the World Masters against Scott Waites was followed by immediate qualification for the BDO World Championships where Fullwell became the latest addition to the band of dual-code World Championship contestants after playing in the PDC version in 2009. Fullwell lost a tight game 3-2 to David Evans in the last 32 at the O2, but he can be very proud of his recent progression.

It is, perhaps, at the level just below that Fullwell, the former Pro Tour finalist and West Midlands County player, has demonstrated the most improvement. He claimed a PDC Challenge Tour title at Peterborough, but was not quite consistent enough to challenge in the Order of Merit. Yet, having begun to enter more and more BDO events, he started to pick up other titles and record consistently strong results. 

Winning is beginning to come easier to the Black country player!
Pic: PDC

Fullwell claimed the Toremelinos Classic and reached a clutch of other finals last year, including the very competitive Lincolnshire Open. In what was to prove a common trend, he also reached the semi-finals of the English Nationals in June as his run of success kicked in. 

Fullwell achieved all of this despite finding himself in a tough spot back in 2015. In April of that year, Nick had simply had enough. An extended poor run of form had resulted in very few earnings or ranking points on the PDC Challenge Tour, with things seemingly going from bad to worse. Not a man to give up easily, as his kickboxing belt would indicate, Fullwell sought out some assistance on the oche. For the next twelve months, he dramatically increased his practice time and worked with a coach/mentor to see if he could change the tide.

With a change of darts and a stronger mindset, Fullwell’s hard work began to pay off. Just over twelve months on from his worst performances, he claimed his first PDC title when winning a Challenge Tour event in May 2016. He was also showing superb form in open events and, together with his ‘partner in crime’ Ian ‘Whippet’ Jones, was reaching the latter stages of almost every tournament he entered. 

Tragedy, however, was imminent. At the same time that this superb turnaround in Fullwell’s form was taking place, his wife, and childhood sweetheart, Sharon, was diagnosed with cancer. Showing remarkable courage, the couple managed Sharon’s illness as best as they could whilst raising money for various cancer charities and trying to ensure that their two children were spared as much trauma as possible. Tragically, after a courageous and lengthy fight, Sharon passed away. 

Fullwell’s focus and energies were then almost entirely devoted to ensuring that his children were comforted and helped through school, college and many other of life’s journeys. His form on the oche was put in to perspective. When time allowed, he did pick up his darts and played for the sheer enjoyment of playing, mainly in local events, county matches and a memorial event in honour of his wife.

Slowly over the next couple of years, Fullwell built up the next stage of his life and began to place more time and effort into the game he loves. He now plays for Lincolnshire and has been playing BDO events frequently, as well as the PDC Challenge Tour. The rewards unquestionably arrived in 2019. 

A few years back Fullwell was encouraged to be aggressive and almost angry when he played as it was thought that this might get the best out of him. However, he has resisted this and instead tries to be as relaxed as possible and enjoy the game. In short, he refused to be who he was not and remained true to himself. 

So, when you next see Nick Fullwell stride on to a darts stage, spare a thought and perhaps a cheer, for one of the nicest people in the game of darts. Few have worked as hard, suffered such misfortune or deserve success more than he. 

He really should keep a closer eye on those darts though!
Pic – PDC

JEGL