Keegan Brown will swap his white lab coat for his trademark pink darts shirt as he returns to PDC action by competing in the Unibet Home Tour on Tuesday night.
Brown has been part of the NHS workforce over the past month during the global Coronavirus pandemic, expanding his part-time role in a testing laboratory on the Isle of Wight for full-time shifts at the hospital.
The former World Youth Champion will be using one of his days off to compete alongside Max Hopp, Conan Whitehead and Mike De Decker in Group 12 of the Home Tour.
“We stopped playing tournaments in mid-March, so it’s probably the longest break I’ve had from playing since I was 13,” admitted Brown.
“I’ve tried to do some practice in my spare time at home to keep my arm in, but it’s not been that much. The last week or so I’ve tried to make two or three hours a day to make sure that I’m not playing from memory.
“We’ve planned me being on the Home Tour on the second of two days off so that I’ve been able to do some more practice to prepare.”
Brown has previously juggled part-time midweek hours in the blood sciences department with his playing career, but has put his skills to good use as a key worker in recent weeks.
“It’s more or less the same role, but the shifts are longer and different hours,” he said. “As we’re support workers, it’s a 24/7 rota so I’m still on call – even on Tuesday when I’m playing in the Home Tour!
“There are procedures in place for us to stay safe and we’re following the guidelines that are there to keep us safe and well.
“I’ve had a lot of supportive messages from other players and it’s been overwhelming. It’s a nice feeling and it shows that people appreciate what people are doing in these tough times.
“I take my hats off to all of the key workers who are working at the moment – it’s not just me. My life has not changed as much as others.
“I’ve found out about another PDC player, Aaron Beeney, who is working full-time still as a prison officer, and so many people are doing such amazing things.”
Brown is one of two former World Youth Champions in action on Tuesday, alongside Germany’s Hopp – the 2015 winner who succeeded the Isle of Wight ace in lifting the trophy – while Belgian youngster De Decker is a four-time winner on the PDC Unicorn Development Tour.
Whitehead, meanwhile, is a five-time UK Open Qualifier who is in his second stint as a Tour Card Holder on the PDC circuit.