Fallon Sherrock was hailed as a hero when she became the first woman to win a match at the PDC World Darts Championship in December 2019, but her rise had to come at the expense of another.
Ted Evetts was the unfortunate victim in that historic result—unfortunate in the sense that regardless of any success, some will remember him solely as the first man to lose to the fairer sex in darts’ biggest competition.
And the 24-year-old has detailed the level of abuse he faced following his first-round exit to the ‘Queen of the Palace’ as he approaches the two-year anniversary of his most infamous result.
“I must have had well over 1,000 messages of just pure hate. There was one message that came through and I lost it for a little bit,” Evetts told Silver Screen Beat.
“I’m very cool and calm, and don’t really lose it over anything. But one message was aimed towards my mum.
“Say anything you want to me but as soon as it goes to my family, that is when I start losing it.
“I can remember about two, maybe three months after I lost that game, it was a case of: ‘Are you the guy that lost to Fallon?’
“I even went across to Canada for two weeks. I walked into a darts event, a local thing, and someone said: ‘You’re the guy that lost to Fallon’.”
It’s a legacy that may never leave the darts prospect, but he’s reached a greater level of understanding and ‘has that fight back’ as he attempts to establish a new reason for recognition in the sport.
Sherrock, 27, was competing in a World Darts Championship for the first time when she beat Evetts 3-2 to knock him out at the first hurdle, going on to best Mensur Suljovic 3-1 before she was ousted by Chris Dobey (2-4) in the third round.
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The former British Darts Organisation (BDO) star is rewriting the rule book on what women can achieve in the sport, and Evetts looks back on that fateful night with a humble view.
“When I got drawn against Fallon I knew I’d be the evil person on the stage. Fallon played exceptionally that night,” he added.
“It was brilliant. We had a great game together. After four of the five sets we were just over the 100 average.
“I thought: ‘What have I got to do to break her?’ Her doubles were fantastic. She got the result, I was over the moon for her.”
Sherrock failed to qualify for the last edition of the World Darts Championship after losing to Deta Hedman on legs difference, but there are other results to reject the notion she’s a flash-in-the-pan talent.
She beat world No. 5 Dimitri van der Bergh en route to reaching the final of the 2021 Nordic Darts Masters, making her the only woman to feature in a televised PDC final (where she lost 11-7 to Michael van Gerwen).
And Evetts has had triumphs of his own, most recently defeating Nathan Rafferty 6-4 in the final of the PDC World Youth Championship last month.
As for his relationship with Sherrock, ‘Super Ted’ holds no resentment towards the woman who gave him a less enviable spot in darts’ history books.
“I’ve known Fallon since I was 17 or 18 in our northern youth days. I’m happy for her,” he said.
“It was one of the first times where I had been booed on stage properly. But that game, it was an hour of just pure everything against me.
“I would walk up to the oche and straightaway the tone in the room changed.
“It was one of those nights I’ll never ever forget. It’s going to be a pub quiz question for the rest of my life really!
“Nothing I did that night was going to change what happened. She played that great.”
After exiting last month’s Grand Slam of Darts as a quarter-finalist in November, Sherrock will be back at the 2022 World Darts Championship this month and takes on Steve Beaton in the first round on Sunday.
Evetts, meanwhile, will begin his campaign in a best-of-five clash against Welshman Jim Williams on Saturday evening.
The pair find themselves in different sections of the draw but could clash in the semi-finals should they both make it to that point.