Simon will take on the pros at event

Simon Tate will play in the main UK Open darts tournament in Somerset next month.
Simon Tate will play in the main UK Open darts tournament in Somerset next month.

A Blyth resident has qualified for an event known as the FA Cup of Darts that will feature the world’s top players.

The Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC’s) UK Open tournament has qualifiers for amateurs across the country and Simon Tate won the one at Rileys Greenock in Scotland earlier this month.

He won seven games to progress to the main event, which will take place between March 2 and 4 at the Butlins Minehead Resort in Somerset. ITV 4 will have live coverage of the main stage.

Simon took up the sport about seven years ago and started playing in local leagues.

He has progressed to play for Northumberland and he has taken part in a few of the PDC’s second tier Challenge Tour events.

The 40-year-old fits in his practice around his job as a delivery driver for a pharmaceutical company.

He said: “My plan for this year was to build up experience playing in bigger events, but I didn’t expect things to escalate so quickly.

“I was playing well going into the qualifier and I was quietly confident, but as there were so many good players there, it felt amazing to win the event.

“The amount of messages I’ve had since then has been humbling.

“I’m really looking forward to the UK Open and as I’m up against the top professionals, I’ve got nothing to lose. Hopefully, I’ll get drawn against one of the big names on the main stage.

“My wife Lisa is my biggest fan and she has supported me brilliantly as I’ve progressed.”