Billy ‘The Kid’ set for first shot at the professionals

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DARTS wonderkid Billy Holmes will showcase his talents against one of the sport’s top professionals for the first time on Sunday when he takes on Wayne ‘Hawaii 5.0.1‘ Mardle at an exhibition tournament.

The 13-year-old Hazeley Academy pupil has just enjoyed the best week of his exceptional young career, reaching four finals on the local darts scene and winning three of them.

One of those victories came at the first Stewartby Club Darts Exhibition play-off where Billy ‘The Kid’ cruised past the competition to earn a one-off match against either Bobby George or Wayne Mardle.

He has decided to take on Mardle this Sunday and is now practicing for up to nine hours a day in preparation for his big night.

Dad Mark said: “Billy wants to play Mardle because he thinks he’s a better player, and he wants to face the best.

“He isn’t scared of anyone. He just takes everything in his stride and he’s really looking forward to it.

“I just hope that Mardle doesn’t try to show off or anything because Billy wouldn’t like that. He wants Mardle to take it as seriously as he is, and show him the same respect that he will get from him.

“It’s been an incredible eight days for Billy. He might never have another eight days like it. It’s a week that he’ll look back on when he’s older.”

Billy’s memorable week of success began with victory at a competition in Northampton before teaming up with Terry Davis to take the Milton Keynes Singles League Pairs title.

He then had to settle for finishing as runner-up of another competition in the city, but quickly returned to his best form by winning the tournament at Stewartby – easing through four rounds to book a date with Mardle.

His winning exploits have earned Billy more than £100 in prize money, but it’s the glory that motivates the teenager most.

“He doesn’t want the money. He just told me to put it towards petrol,” said Mark. “That’s Billy all over. He’s got a great attitude and wants to win to be known as the champion rather than taking home a few quid.

“He has a fantastic mentality and wants to be the world champion. We will have to wait and see about that, but he always watches the pros play on the TV and says ‘I could take him, dad’.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if he actually beat Mardle. It really wouldn’t.”