||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
|Full name||Edward Hankey|
20 February 1968 |
|Playing darts since||1977|
|Darts||14g Winmau Ted Hankey|
|Walk-on music||Be On Your Way by DJ Zany|
|Organisation (see split in darts)|
|Current world ranking||(BDO) 37|
|BDO majors - best performances|
|World Ch'ship||Winner: 2000, 2009|
|World Masters||Semi-finals: 1997, 2003, 2004|
|World Darts Trophy||Quarter-finals: 2004|
|Int. Darts League||Quarter-finals: 2003, 2004, 2006|
|Zuiderduin Masters||Runner-up: 2004|
|PDC premier events - best performances|
|Grand Slam||Quarter-finals: 2011, 2013|
|UK Open||Last 64: 2013|
|Other tournament wins|
Edward "Ted" Hankey (born 20 February 1968 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) is an English professional darts player who is a two-time World Professional Darts Champion. His nickname is The Count and his walk on music is Be On Your Way by DJ Zany. He plays for the British Darts Organisation.
In the 2000 BDO World Darts Championship, he whitewashed Ronnie Baxter 6–0 in the final, winning the match with a spectacular 170 checkout – the highest three-dart finish achievable. The final lasted only 46 minutes, the shortest in the tournament's history. In the semi-final v Chris Mason, he scored a championship record 22 x 180s in a match. (The next highest are 15 and 14, which he also holds, in matches v Tony O'Shea in the final and Martin Adams in the semi-finals respectively, both in 2009.) He also scored a record 48 x 180s during the 2000 tournament. Hankey reached the final again in 2001, but lost to John Walton 6–2. After this Hankey went through a fairly barren spell at the Lakeside and did not reach another major final or World Championship semi-final until his victory in the 2009 BDO World Championships.
In 2002, he was knocked out in the second round by Wayne Jones and suffered a first round exit in 2003 to 'Silverback' Tony O'Shea. Ranked number two for the 2004 tournament, he was defeated in the quarter-finals, again losing to O'Shea 5–1. This was a huge disappointment for a man who had won four Open events that year. Hankey again reached the quarter finals in 2005, this time falling to England captain Martin Adams 5–3, despite at one stage in the contest having led by 3–1 in sets. In the 2006 tournament, Hankey had an uncharacteristic "bad day at the office", crashing out at the first hurdle to Dutchman Albertino Essers.
Seeded eighth for the 2007 BDO World Darts Championship, he defeated Mario Robbe of the Netherlands by 3–0 in the opening round. He then hit another 170 checkout in his tight 4–3 victory over qualifier Davy Richardson, before losing to Adams, again by 5–3, although he had several darts to remain in the match. Despite this setback, Hankey remained positive and upbeat about his darts future after the game. He achieved the 9-Darter in the Scottish open 2011.
"Oche rage" problems
Hankey won his first round match of the 2008 BDO World Championship over Steve West 3–2. He twice found himself behind in the match, recovering from 1–0 and 2–1 down to win the final two sets in succession. Afterwards, Hankey attributed his erratic form to a minority of the crowd which had jeered him throughout the match. Despite this, his campaign for a second BDO world crown remained on course as he defeated Andy Boulton in the second round. He then lost in the quarter finals to Australian Simon Whitlock 0–5. Again, he expressed his disaffection with elements of the crowd for displaying poor order during the game. Midway through the contest, however, Hankey himself had received a warning from match referee Barry Gilbey, for punching the dartboard as this was deemed unsporting and contrary to the tournament promoter's code of conduct. After the match, an emotional Hankey informed the BBC's Ray Stubbs that he was considering quitting the game and needed to assess his future.
The following day, however, he clarified his future plans in a frank BBC interview with Stubbs and Bobby George. Although hugely disappointed with his performance against Whitlock, he indicated that his future still lay in darts and vowed to return after a month-long sabbatical, during which time he was to work on and refine a number of fundamentals to his game.
However, controversy continued to follow Hankey during the BDO International Open (formerly the England Open) on 15 June 2008. During a quarter-final match with former PDC player Robbie Green, Hankey complained about the air conditioning being turned on. However, Hankey requested the air conditioning be turned off, as his much lighter darts were affected mid-flight, causing them to drift. This caused yet another erratic reaction from Hankey who threw his darts onto the board without much thought. Commentator David Croft labelled Hankey's latest antics as 'ridiculous'. Hankey went on to lose the match 2–1 in sets in the deciding leg.
Second world title and final seasons
In the 2009 BDO World Championship, Hankey revealed close friends and fellow dart players, including O'Shea and Gary Anderson, had told him he needed to "get his act together" if he ever wanted to play top-class darts again. He revealed he had been consuming a large amount of alcohol before commencing play and generally not taking himself seriously as a darts player.
Hankey began the 2009 Lakeside Championships with a first round victory over close friend Brian Woods. The scoreline of 3–0 in sets was telling, as Woods had suggested before the match that Hankey would be "lucky to get nil!". He then went on to win the Championship, beating his problems with "oche rage" as well as opponents such as former World Champion Walton and England darts team captain Adams, winning the final 7–6 in sets against O'Shea. Hankey led 4–2 at the interval, but missed several darts to win the match at 6–5, but he finally closed out the match 3–1 in the final set.
As a result of his world title win, Hankey was invited to the 2009 Grand Slam of Darts, which is organised by the PDC. He accepted the invitation and was drawn in group E with Scott Waites, Wayne Mardle and Simon Whitlock. He lost his opening group game 3–5 to Waites, but once more the crowd got under Hankey's skin, calling out and booing while he was throwing which visibly upset Hankey. Hankey later stated in an interview on ITV4 that he wasn't very happy and said that "if that's the darts you want to play, then keep it" and also called for more crowd order in the PDC. Hankey went on to win against Wayne Mardle but was defeated by Simon Whitlock 5–4. Hankey did state afterwards that he would like to play at the Grand Slam of Darts in 2010.
After his outburst at the Grand Slam of Darts Hankey was fined £250 for his actions.
In the 2010 BDO World Darts Championship Hankey beat Gary Robson 3–0 and Willy van de Wiel 1–4 before being knocked out of the competition in the quarter final by Dave Chisnall with a scoreline of 5–4 on sets, despite at one point leading 4–1.
In the 2010 Grand Slam of Darts he defeated Phil Taylor 5–4 in the group stages giving him 2 wins out of 2 he went on to defeat Michael van Gerwen also 5–4 to proceed to the knockout stage of the competition. As the competition progressed the crowd began to get under the skin of Hankey once more, again booing as he threw his darts and ignoring requests from the referee to quieten down during the throws. Hankey was knocked out of the competition by Steve Beaton in the first knockout stage. During the match he won a potentially crucial leg and after pumping his fist and shouting "Get in there" he proceeded to a prolonged ourburst at the crowd. In the post-match interview he was particularly scathing of the crowd and the organisers for not controlling their behaviour, describing the crowd as "a bunch of muppets". Despite getting an initial warm response from the crowd (and Hankey was seen smiling and taking the pantomime booing in good spirit) Hankey indicated after last year's defeat, that he would not return for the 2011, event should he indeed qualify for it.
Hankey qualified for the 2011 Grand Slam of Darts. In October, Sky Sports put him as top billing for the tournament. He managed to win 2 of his 3 group matches to qualify for the last 16. He played Michael van Gerwen with this time the crowd on his side. He won the match by 10 legs to 9 before losing narrowly against Mark Walsh 14–16, after making a comeback from a 9–15 deficit.
In the 2012 BDO World Darts Championship, Hankey defeated newcomer Clive Barden 3–2 in sets, then the man who knocked him out of last year's tournament, Scott Waites 4–3 to qualify for the quarter final. In the quarter final, Hankey defeated Martin Atkins 5–1. In the semi-final, Hankey led against débutant and eventual champion Christian Kist 5–3 and had a dart at bullseye to win 6–4, but Kist recovered to win the match 6–5. After the match Hankey announced he did not plan on returning to Lakeside the following year and would instead join the BDO's rival organisation, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC). Hankey also controversially suggested that the air conditioning was deliberately turned on when he was throwing for the match in the tenth set so as to prevent him from leaving the BDO as World Champion.
The day after Hankey's announcement that he was leaving the BDO, the PDC announced on its website that it was offering two-year tour cards to the 2012 BDO World Darts Championship semi-finalists. This meant that Hankey automatically received a tour card to play in the PDC and its Pro Tour, rather than having to play through the qualifying school tournament (usually a requirement to all new PDC players). His first event on the tour was the opening Players Championship of 2012, The Spanish Darts Trophy, where he lost 4–6 to Matthew Edgar in the preliminary round. Hankey then won his first matches in the PDC by defeating Steve West 6–5 and Toon Greebe 6–1 in the first UK Open qualifier in Crawley, before losing 6–4 to Connie Finnan. In May, Hankey had his best finish on the tour to date, reaching the last 16 of the Players Championship Event 5, losing 1–6 to Raymond van Barneveld. In his first major event on the tour, the UK Open, Hankey beat qualifier Danny Dutson 4–0 and Andy Jenkins 4–1, but then lost to his old BDO rival Mervyn King 1–4 in the second round.
Hankey was drawn in Group B of the 2012 Grand Slam of Darts with Michael van Gerwen, Robert Thornton and Steve Beaton. He was whitewashed 0–5 by Thornton but defeated Beaton 5–3 to stay alive in the group. However, requiring a 5–0 or 5–1 victory over Van Gerwen in his last game to have a chance of progressing, Hankey visibly struggled with a three-dart average of 59, missing five successive shots at a single in the first leg (including two that missed the board completely) to set up a double. Hankey was then seen rubbing his left eye repeatedly and losing his balance, and Van Gerwen eventually won the match 5–0 with a 90 average. Afterwards, Hankey was accused by many of being inebriated on stage, but was initially diagnosed with a heavy chest infection which he claimed affected his synapses. However, after further tests, two days later it was revealed that Hankey had suffered a stroke, had very high cholesterol and diabetes and needed six to eight weeks rest, which ruled him out of the qualifier for the 2013 World Championship.
Return to the oche
Hankey returned to competitive darts for the first time in three months in February 2013, in an attempt to qualify for the first European Tour event of the year, the UK Darts Masters. He beat Wayne Atwood in the last 96, before losing 3–6 to Keith Rooney. He produced encouraging displays at the second Players Championship by beating John Henderson 6–3, world number 15 Paul Nicholson 6–5 and world number four James Wade 6–1 to reach the fourth round. Hankey faced Dennis Smith and lost 5–6, missing one dart for the match in the deciding leg to play in his first PDC quarter-final. Hankey qualified for the UK Open and beat Bernd Roith and Dave Weston before seeing a 3–1 lead turn into a 4–9 defeat in the third round to John Part. He qualified for his first European Tour event in July but was forced to withdraw from it in September due to whiplash injuries suffered in a minor car crash. He returned for the Grand Slam of Darts and lost 5–3 in his opening group game to Scott Waites. However, Hankey produced a superb performance in his next game against Dave Chisnall as from 3–3 he hit a 170 finish and then scored 177 in the next leg to set up 32 and a 5–3 win. He then defeated 2013 World Youth champion Michael Smith 5–1 in his final game to progress to the knock-out stages, where he faced Simon Whitlock. Hankey made an amazing fightback from 6–1 down to win 10–9 and reach the quarter-finals of the event for the second time in his career. He played Waites once again and his run came to an end with a 16–10 defeat.
Return to the BDO
Hankey's two-year tour card expired after the 2014 World Championship and with him being ranked world number 94, well outside the top 64 who retain their professional status, he lost his position in the PDC. He registered to Q School, but withdraw from the event before it begun. It was announced soon after that Hankey had decided to end his unsuccessful stay in the PDC and will now return to the BDO.
World Championship Results
- 1998: Quarter Final (lost to Colin Monk 2–5)
- 1999: 2nd Round (lost to Chris Mason 1–3)
- 2000: Winner (beat Ronnie Baxter 6–0)
- 2001: Runner Up (lost to John Walton 2–6)
- 2002: 2nd Round (lost to Wayne Jones 2–3)
- 2003: 1st Round (lost to Tony O'Shea 2–3)
- 2004: Quarter Final (lost to Tony O'Shea 1–5)
- 2005: Quarter Final (lost to Martin Adams 3–5)
- 2006: 1st Round (lost to Albertino Essers 1–3)
- 2007: Quarter Final (lost to Martin Adams 3–5)
- 2008: Quarter Final (lost to Simon Whitlock 0–5)
- 2009: Winner (beat Tony O'Shea 7–6)
- 2010: Quarter Final (lost to Dave Chisnall 4–5)
- 2011: 1st Round (lost to Scott Waites 0–3)
- 2012: Semi Final (lost to Christian Kist 5–6)
Hankey and his wife Sarah reside in Telford, Shropshire. They have a daughter (born November 2003) and a son Edward born on 1 June 2006. Sarah's son (born 1999) from a previous relationship also lives with them. In October 2012, Sarah gave birth to a son named Aaron.
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