DARTS wonderkid Billy Holmes is hoping to take on the sport’s best ever player after proving he is more than a match for some of the country’s best adults at the weekend.
The 13-year-old achieved a top 16 finish in the inaugural Protege Team Taylor competition, and now wants to learn from The Power Phil Taylor himself.
The prize for the top four players in the final – held in Wolverhampton on Sunday – was a place in the PDC Qualifying School, tuition from Taylor, and potential free ticket onto the pro tour.
But despite not winning, it was Billy who stole the show by beating players more than twice his age to amaze the crowds – having reached the final by finishing 44th in the UK in the earlier qualifying round.
Now dad Mark is hoping that Billy, who goes to Hazeley Academy, made a big enough impression on the day to earn his own date with Taylor.
He said: “It was called the ‘Protege’ competition so it makes sense that a good young player like Billy gets the chance to learn from the best player ever.
“I don’t think the four players who won through will learn much from him Taylor now – they are already adults who have their own games.
“For Billy to get the chance to play against him, even for just a little while, would be incredible. He would learn so much. And he wouldn’t want Taylor to go easy on him!”
Sunday’s competition marked the start of an exciting new chapter in the fantastic story of Billy, The Kid. Given his first chance to show off his talents on the big national stage, high scoring and ton plus checkouts were the order of the day for the boy who first picked up a set of arrows when he was eight.
Proving himself as one of the best throwers from the 60 final qualifiers, Billy Holmes is quickly becoming a recognised name in the darts world, and he’s already on first name terms with some of the game’s big players.
However, it was back to basics on Monday as Billy returned to school, with his teachers and classmates blissfully unaware of his incredible exploits less than 24 hours earlier.
And so buoyed by his performance was he that Billy wanted to get back playing as soon as possible, and took part in a pub league match for the Red House in Newport Pagnell that night.
“He won 3-0,” said Mark. “I wasn’t going to let him play in a local league, but I just can’t stop him playing at the moment.
“He’s so confident right now. If he played like he did on Monday the day before then he might have qualified to meet Phil Taylor outright.”