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Keith Deller

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Keith Deller
Deller in 2011
Personal information
Full nameKeith Noel Deller
Nickname"The Fella"
"Milky Bar Kid"
"The Delboy"
Born (1959-12-24) 24 December 1959 (age 64)
Ipswich, England
Home townIcklingham, England
Darts information
Playing darts since1972
Darts23 Gram Loxley Keith Deller
Walk-on music"Things Can Only Get Better" by D Ream
Organisation (see split in darts)
PDC1993–2007 (founding member)
WDF major events – best performances
World Ch'shipWinner (1) 1983
World MastersRunner-up: 1984
PDC premier events – best performances
World Ch'shipSemi-final: 1998
World MatchplaySemi-final: 1998
World Grand PrixQuarter-final: 1999
UK OpenLast 32: 2006
WSDT major events – best performances
World Ch'shipLast 16: 2022, 2023
World MatchplayLast 20: 2022
World MastersQuarter-final: 2022
Other tournament wins
Double Diamond Masters1983
Unipart British Professional1987
WDF World Cup – Team1983
Nations Cup – Team1984
PDC Eastbourne Open2001
Eastbourne Pro2001
Updated on 12 April 2019.

Keith Deller MBE (born 24 December 1959)[1] is an English former professional darts player best known for winning the 1983 BDO World Darts Championship. He also won the Unipart British Professional Championship in 1987.

He was the first qualifier to win the World Darts 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.



Deller's victory over Eric Bristow in the 1983 BDO World Darts Championship by six sets to five was probably the biggest upset in the history of the championship. He had also beaten world number three John Lowe in the quarter-finals and defending champion and world number two Jocky Wilson in the semi-final,[2] to become the only player in history to defeat the world's top three ranked players in the World Championship. The tabloid headlines the following day were "Killed Three", an anagram of his name. The champion's prize money in 1983 was £8,000.[2]

His checkout of 138 to clinch the trophy is amongst the most memorable in darting history.[3] Bristow had left himself 50 to stay in the match, but decided to throw for single 18 with his last dart 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.[2]

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 BDO World Championship in subsequent years. He did win the British Professional Championship in 1987, but generally his world ranking continued to fall, and he failed to qualify for the World Championship between 1989 and 1993. One of his more notable achievements in the years following his world title win is his 100.30 average in his quarter-final match against John Lowe in the 1985 World Championship; this made him the first-ever player to record a three-figure average in a BDO world championship match.[4]


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 had to attempt qualification for their major tournaments – which he failed to do for the 2006, 2007 and 2008 PDC World Championships. He now[when?] competes much less on the circuit, including around half a dozen UK Open Regional events during 2007. He also performs in exhibition matches with fellow players such as John Lowe.[2]


Deller's name has been in the record books on a couple of occasions. He held the Guinness World Record for the fastest three legs of 301 in 97 seconds.[4] 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.[4] He became the first player to achieve a match average of 100 in a BDO World Championship match.[4]

On 7 August 2012, Deller recorded a 25 second 301, checking out 130 on the bullseye for a new world record time. This beat the record of 33 seconds by Dean Gould, recorded earlier on the same day at the same venue, the Olympia Great British Beer Festival.[5]


Deller has for many years been part of the Sky Sports broadcasting team acting as a "spotter" for the cameras.[6] His knowledge of the players and scoring shots helps the director and camera operators to anticipate where the next dart will be thrown.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Deller supports his local football club, Ipswich Town.[7] He lives with his wife Kim and has two children.[citation needed]

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2024 New Year Honours, having raised large sums of money for various charities, including over £500,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.[8]

World Championship performances[edit]




Performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
BDO World Championship W 1R QF 2R 1R 1R Did not qualify No longer a BDO Member
Winmau World Masters 4R F 3R 3R 3R 2R Did not qualify No longer a BDO Member
British Professional 1R 2R 2R SF W QF Not held
MFI World Matchplay NH QF 1R 1R SF 1R Not held
PDC World Championship Not yet founded RR RR QF QF SF 1R 2R QF 1R 2R 4R 2R DNQ
World Matchplay Not held 2R QF 1R 1R SF 1R 1R 1R QF 2R 1R 1R DNQ
World Grand Prix Not held 1R QF 2R 2R 1R 2R Did not qualify
UK Open Not held 3R 2R 3R 4R 3R
Performance Table Legend
DNP Did not play at the event DNQ Did not qualify for the event NYF Not yet founded #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament


  1. ^ "Keith Deller". sport.de (in German). Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Keith Deller a Legacy in 138". dartsworld50.com. 7 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Other Sports | Specials | World Darts Championship 2002 | Did you know...?". BBC Sport. 20 July 2002. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Darts World Records". darts501.com. 5 January 2024.
  5. ^ Ellison, Roland (8 August 2012). "Watch darts World Record attempt as Eric Bristow and Keith Deller go for fastest 301 at the GBBF at London Olympia". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b Liew, Jonathan (13 December 2021). "Zoom call: how the camera became the action in TV darts". The Guardian.
  7. ^ @KDeller138 (24 June 2018). "@Official_ITFC @IpswichTownFans on..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  8. ^ "Keith Deller awarded MBE in King's New Year's Honours list". PDC. 30 December 2023.

External links[edit]