World Darts Championship: Firefighter Alan Soutar lighting up Alexandra Palace on debut | Darts News

Josh Gorton

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Soutar beat Diogo Portela and Mensur Suljovic to reach round three on his debut; the fireman takes on Jose De Sousa, seventh-seeded for a place in the round of 16, live on Sky Sport Darts on Wednesday 29 December

Last updated: 28/12/21 1:07

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Alan Soutar reflects on getting a two-year “life-changing” PDC Tour Card earlier this year and juggling his daily job as a firefighter and playing darts.

Alan Soutar reflects on getting a two-year “life-changing” PDC Tour Card earlier this year and juggling his daily job as a firefighter and playing darts.

Most of the players left standing at the World Darts Championship enjoyed a relaxing Christmas break, perfecting their preparations for the later stages of the tournament. However, Alan Soutar is no ordinary darts player.

A few hours after reaching round three on his debut at Alexandra Palace, the 43-year-old was embarking on two marathon rounds in his role as a firefighter over the festive period: 14 hours on Christmas Eve, followed by a 16-hour period. in Christmas Day.

“I’ve done it my whole life. I’ve been a firefighter for 17 years, so I’ve learned to deal with the adversities of my job but also to try to balance it and spend enough hours on the dart board,” Soutar said. Sky Sports News.

“The longer I stay in the tournament, it’s just about balancing the work and if I need more free time, there are a lot of guys at the station who will swap with me.”

Live Darts World Championship

December 29, 2021, 12:30 pm

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Soutar is expected to return to work at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Dundee on December 30th, although he hopes to continue his fairytale run by extinguishing Jose De Sousa’s title hopes in the third round on December 29th.

Soutar beat Diogo Portela on his Alexandra Palace bow, before producing a violent comeback to stun Mensur Suljovic in the second round, surviving eight darts in the process.

‘Soots’ lost 2-0 in sets and legs at one point, but, undeterred, capped a remarkable comeback with a majestic 144 finish to send Suljovic away.

Soutar completed a sensational comeback against Mensur Suljovic with a magnificent 144 checkout

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Soutar completed a sensational comeback against Mensur Suljovic with a magnificent 144 checkout

Soutar completed a sensational comeback against Mensur Suljovic with a magnificent 144 checkout

The Scotsman coped beautifully with the cauldron atmosphere in the capital, but was buoyed by the support of his beloved Arbroath, who is currently flying high in the Scottish championship.

“I love being from Arbroath. I love being Scottish, I’m very patriotic,” said Soutar, who wore the Scottish pants during his fight against Portela.

“It’s amazing that they are behind me and a couple of days ago they tweeted a picture of my dart shirt in the Gayfield Park locker room, with the stars of the team [Michael] McKenna, [Thomas] O’Brien and [Colin] Hamilton. It is quite immense. “

Soutar may be a newcomer to the PDC circuit, but he does not lack experience, having amassed 50 international appearances and also participating in two BDO World Championships.

The 43-year-old took the plunge at PDC Qualifying School earlier this year, and the rest is history.

He marked his PDC television debut with victory over five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld at the UK Open in March, and also recorded wins over Peter Wright, Nathan Aspinall, Dave Chisnall, Stephen Bunting and Adrian Lewis in 2021.

Soutar’s exploits at this year’s World Championship catapulted him to 54th place on the PDC Order of Merit, and no player who secured a Tour Card in February has racked up more cash prizes than the Arbroath Blacksmith.

“The Tour Card is seen as the golden ticket in the PDC. It changed my life immensely, but I still have a job obviously, so I’m not a full-time professional darts player,” he said.

“It’s just about juggling my job and darts, but now I’ve done round three to Ally Pally in the world championship, which can potentially change my life forever.”

“I think if I can still participate in that tournament in the next few days leading up to the new year, then it will be the start of something really special for me.”

Soutar: The World Cup could change your life

However, Soutar’s life doesn’t just revolve around darts and his work.

For over four years, Soutar and his partner Amanda have been training guide dogs from their home in Arbroath in an effort to help those most in need.

He is also heavily involved in amateur darts, running darts academies in Scotland for most of a decade, and this selfless nature is a huge factor in his popularity with fans and players alike.

However, the Scotsman is now aiming for a blockbuster showdown against seventh-seeded and former Grand Slam champion Jose De Sousa.

De Sousa aims to reach the round of 16 at the World Cup for the first time in his career

De Sousa aims to reach the round of 16 at the World Cup for the first time in his career

‘The Special One’ also reacted from two sets in his second round to defeat Jason Lowe, and Soutar is relishing the chance to test his wits against the Premier League finalist, for a place in the round of 16.

“I feel good. I have won two games now on the Ally Pally stage,” he added.

“Jose is obviously number 7 in the world, so it’s a huge task for me, but now I have reached number 54 in the world and there is nothing stopping me from causing another upset. Nothing at all.

“I’ve never played with Jose, so I’ll be prepared and a few days of training before I go back – let’s get him, let’s go.”

“I’m just doing round after round. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but I think if I can still participate in that tournament in the next few days leading up to the new year, then this will be the start of something really special. for me.”

Join us for the conclusion of the Darts World Championship at Alexandra Palace. Check out daily darts news at skysports.com/darts, our mobile app and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts

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