||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2012)|
24 December 1959 |
|Playing darts since||1972|
|Darts||21g Target Keith Deller|
|Walk-on music||Things Can Only Get Better by D:Ream|
|Organisation (see split in darts)|
|BDO majors - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Winner 1983|
|World Masters||Runner Up: 1984|
|PDC premier events - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Semi Final: 1998|
|World Matchplay||Semi Final: 1998|
|World Grand Prix||Quarter Final: 1999|
|UK Open||Last 32: 2006|
|Other tournament wins|
|Double Diamond Masters
Unipart British Professional
|Updated on 11 February 2008.|
Keith Deller (born 24 December 1959 in Ipswich) is an English darts player who won the Embassy World Professional Darts Championship in 1983. He was the first qualifier ever to win the championship and remains one of the youngest champions in history. For his world championship win Deller used 18 gram spring loaded darts, later banned for tournament play but now legal again. He no longer uses these darts. Deller currently works for Sky Sports as a "spotter" along with Eric Bristow; they use their knowledge and experience to work out for the camera crew where players will be aiming with their next dart.
Deller was the manager of two time PDC World Champion Adrian Lewis.
Deller's victory over Eric Bristow in the tournament by 6 sets to 5 was probably the biggest upset in the history of the championship. He also beat world number 3 John Lowe in the quarter finals and defending champion and world number 2 Jocky Wilson in the semi-final to become the only player in history to defeat the world's top three ranked players in the World Championship. The champion's prize money in 1983 was £8,000.
His checkout of 138 to clinch the trophy is amongst the most memorable in darting history. Bristow had left himself 50 to stay in the match, but decided to throw for single 18 to leave double 16 instead of a more difficult attempt at the bullseye. Deller then hit treble 20, treble 18, double 12 for the title and even to this day commentators often refer to 138 as the "Deller checkout" if a player is left with that score.
Despite a meteoric rise to World Champion, his career results failed to maintain that level. On the defence of his world title he lost in the first round to Nicky Virachkul and he only won three further matches in the Embassy World Championship in subsequent years. He did win the British Professional Championship in 1987, but generally his world ranking continued to fall and he even failed to qualify for the World Championship between 1989 and 1993.
Deller was one of the players who broke away from the British Darts Organisation in 1992 and joined the WDC, now the PDC. This saw him gain some more television exposure and he did produce a few resurgent performances to reach the semi finals of the 1998 PDC World Championship and also the semi finals of the 1998 PDC World Matchplay. Deller dropped out of the top 32 of the PDC's World Rankings around 2005 and therefore has to attempt to qualify for their major tournaments - which he failed to do for the 2006, 2007 and 2008 PDC World Championships. He now competes much less on the circuit including around half-a-dozen UK Open Regional events during 2007, preferring to perform in more lucrative exhibition matches with fellow legend players such as Bristow and Lowe.
Deller's name has been in the record books on a couple of occasions. He held the Guinness World Record for the fastest 3 legs of 301 in 97 seconds. On 13 October 1984 he was on the wrong end of a piece of darting history when Lowe hit the first-ever televised nine-dart finish against him in the quarter-finals of the MFI World Matchplay. He became the first player in history to achieve a match average of 100 in the 1985 World Championship quarter-finals; he did, however, lose the game to Lowe. Deller set another World Record in darts as recently as 7 August 2012; Deller smashed the World Records set by Dean Gould of hitting the quickest 301 at 36 seconds which Dean beat at Olympia Great British Beer Festival on the same day by making it 33 seconds. Deller beat that record on the same event by becoming the World Record holder by taking out 301 in 25 seconds by taking out a 130 checkout by hitting the bullseye. So Deller now has the World Record of the quickest 301 in 25 seconds.
Deller has for many years been part of the Sky Sports broadcasting team acting as a "spotter" for the cameras. His knowledge of the players and scoring shots helps the director and cameramen anticipate where the next dart will be thrown.
World Championship Performances
- 1983: Winner (beat Eric Bristow 6-5)
- 1984: 1st round (lost to Nicky Virachkul 1-2)
- 1985: Quarter Final (lost to John Lowe 2-4)
- 1986: 2nd round (lost to Alan Glazier 1-3)
- 1987: 1st round (lost to Brian Cairns 0-3)
- 1988: 1st round (lost to John Lowe 1-3)
- 1994 Last 24 Group lost to Steve Brown 1-3 & Kevin Spiolek 1-3
- 1995 Last 24 Group lost to Larry Butler 2-3 & Kevin Spiolek 1-3
- 1996 Quarter Final lost to Phil Taylor 0-4
- 1997 Quarter Final lost to Phil Taylor 1-5
- 1998 Semi Final lost to Dennis Priestley 1-5 (lost 3rd place match to Rod Harrington 1-4)
- 1999 Last 32 lost to Bob Anderson 2-3
- 2000 Last 16 lost to John Lowe 1-3
- 2001 Quarter Final lost to Phil Taylor 0-4
- 2002 Last 32 lost to Rod Harrington 3-4
- 2003 Last 32 lost to Richie Burnett 3-4
- 2004 Last 16 lost to Peter Manley 2-4
- 2005 Last 40 lost to Wayne Jones 1-3
Deller is married to Kim and they have two children, daughter Lauren (born 1991) and son Matt (born 1992)