Duzza’s views on BDO Worlds, Grand Slam, his early years, PDC and more
We are delighted to be joined by reigning BDO world champion Glen Durrant, who shares his exclusive thoughts to Sam Barnard for Darts World ahead of his Lakeside defence, in Part 2 of our 2018 BDO World Championship profile/interview series.
Duzza is quite simply the current star and dominant force of the BDO, becoming a five-time Major champion after completing his dreams by claiming his maiden Worlds title last January, and he’s hungry for more.
Although he admits he’s not been happy with his 2017 form overall, Durrant well and truly made an impression at the cross-organisation Grand Slam event in November, sparking much debate about his future once more. Nothing is certain as of yet, however, and his mind for now is set on just one thing – retaining his Lakeside trophy.
Glen discusses with us all of the above and more, including taking a trip down memory lane to how he first got into darts as well as thoughts on his beloved Middlesbrough FC – whose colours he dons while playing.
So, read on for our exclusive Glen Durrant interview and profile, the second in our series, ahead of the 2018 BDO World Championship from January 6-14…
Glen Durrant profile
Date of birth: 24/11/1970 (age 47)
Place of birth: Middlesbrough
County represented: Yorkshire – previously 100 Caps for Cleveland
Walk-on song: Reach Up by Perfecto AllStarz
Darts used: Duzza Harrows 24g
Management company: The Sportsman Management Company with Mac Elkin
Sponsors: Manjaros Restaurant, Harlequin Teamwear, Harrows, Sheila May Carpets, Vertec Scaffolding
Twitter handle: @Duzza180
Favourite double: 16
Favourite checkout: 64, 125, 132
Favourite tournament: Lakeside
Favourite country/city played in: Canada, St John’s
Toughest player faced: Scott Mitchell
Sports/darts heroes growing up: Seb Coe, Eric Bristow, Steve Davis
Best mates in darts: Jim Williams, Jamie Hughes, James Hurrell
Favourite food: Teesside Parmo
Favourite films/TV shows: Shawshank Redemption, Only Fools & Horses, Auf Wiedersehen Pet
Favourite bands/musicians: Michael Jackson, Steve Wonder
Hobbies outside of darts: Middlesbrough FC
Current/previous day job: Estate Housing Manager for Coast & Country Housing
Ultimate darting ambition: Already achieved it – Lakeside Champion
Glen Durrant interview
Firstly, how excited are you ahead of your BDO Worlds title defence? Only 13 names (8 in the BDO) in the history of darts can claim to be multiple world champions, are you confident of joining that elite list?
I am coming good at the right time of the year. I’ve got new darts and a renewed focus.
It will take someone to play very well to beat me and take this trophy from me for sure.
How would you sum up your year to date in the BDO?
Below average. I made a decision to play the exhibition circuit and it has had an effect on my match play for sure.
I feel like I have addressed that problem now after the World Masters and at this moment I’m in a very good place.
You of course made a huge impression at the 2017 Grand Slam. Can you sum up your experience of the tournament this year?
The experience was as good as the previous year. I was determined to play as the Lakeside champion and felt I had a responsibility to succeed.
Looking back I see the week now as a success. The 9-darter [just missed against Peter Wright] would of course have been the ultimate in front of a spectacular crowd.
You looked totally at ease against some of the PDC’s top players, achieving 100+ averages, but was it the best you’ve ever played?
On stage over a sustained period of time, then statistically it was my best performance.
But in floor events I have played so much better. The quality of the opponent for sure was the best I have played.
You battled out some cracking matches with Peter Wright and Corey Cadby in particular. You’ve since said some very praising words about both. What makes them so special to you? And are they different off stage to their exuberant displays on the oche?
Peter Wright made me feel very welcome at the Grand Slam in 2016 and I will never forget that.
He’s a good guy and appears to have time for darts players, but his professionalism stands out to me.
Corey needs to pump his fists when he plays and I ask people not to judge him on that.
He is actually very quietly spoken – for an Aussie – and not the persona he demonstrates on stage.
I was looking for that special moment to give someone my Lakeside winning darts, and he was that person (Glen recently presented those darts to Corey at an exhibition).
I’m sure you’re sick of answering about switching over to the PDC. So, instead I’ll ask, whether you join them or not, do you believe you are currently at the level of their best players? And would you be able to consistently challenge for and win Major titles?
I honestly don’t know, but I have monitored the progress of many of the BDO boys that joined the PDC.
Must admit to play at Blackpool for the Matchplay and Ally Pally does excite me.
But yeah, sick of the PDC questions now.
You’ve said if you defend the BDO Worlds title, you’d most likely stay, but would you have any regrets if moving to the PDC never happens before you retire?
I would have regrets if I never played in the PDC for sure.
The BDO have had their critics over the last year or so, but what is your take on the situation? And being their best player is there anything you can suggest to ensure they get back to making things work for everyone again?
I just don’t get involved in the politics. I am still working 40 hours per week in a challenging role.
I am disappointed with lots of aspects of the BDO, in particular the TV coverage.
But the BDO have been very good to me, and without the organisation I would never have had ‘that’ moment when you win the Lakeside title.
Moving on to how you first got into darts. And, being a late bloomer, at what point did you start believing that you could be a leading player in the BDO?
I was a very good billiards player, and in Teesside in the 1980s most teenagers played. I was soon in that culture of working men’s clubs and enjoyed a game of darts. I played in a Cleveland team in 1986 that ended runners-up at the British Teenagers in Leicester.
I met my wife and started a family and never threw a dart for a decade. A chance meeting with my darts captain brought me back into the game and I played Super League and County from 1999 onwards.
2008 was a turning point when I started the Teesside Ranking Events, creating a competition each month that attracted the best players in the northeast of England – a real hotbed.
In 2010, I was really dominating the northeast scene and started the BDO circuit in 2011. I took in an awful lot the first few years before the tournament wins kicked in [and the following achievements]… England place, World Cup with England, BDO number 1, World Master, Lakeside champion.
You are a passionate Middlesbrough FC fan too, what do you make of their season so far under new boss Garry Monk?
Middlesbrough FC have been very good to me and taking the Lakeside trophy onto the pitch was the best moment of 2017.
[It’s been] a very inconsistent season so far and calls for Monk’s head have already been heard.
But the chairman does believe in giving managers time to get their thoughts and shape into their teams.
I think we are play-offs material at best.
And finally, are there any World Championships that stood out for you as a spectator in the past, that perhaps inspired you?
[The final in] 1989, Jocky v Eric… no question.
Many thanks to Glen for speaking to us this week, and best of luck for your world title defence! Join us next time for part 3 of our BDO Worlds interview series.