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Hampton hopes to star on the Lakeside world stage; darts.

Byline: Adam Steel Sports writer adam.steel@trinitymirror.com

MIDDLESBROUGH'S Paul Hampton wants to become the first World Disabled Darts Association player to qualify for the Lakeside World Championship.

The Hemlington 50-year-old was born with spina bifida, which means he has no feeling in his legs and finds it hard to stay still when he is throwing darts.

But that has not stopped him from putting some good results together and having ambitions to grace the biggest stage in the BDO.

The full-time carer reached the last 64 of the recent 2,000-entry Scottish Open in Renfrew where fellow Teessider and BDO star Glen Durrant narrowly missed out on a hat-trick of titles.

In the past he has made the last 64 of the Welsh Open and been to the last 32 of the Teesside Ranking Events, and he regularly tests himself in Bradford and Leeds against the best players in Yorkshire such as James Wilson, Dean Winstanley, Garry Thompson and former Lakeside world champion Scott Waites.

Hampton also plays local league darts three times a week and is heading over to the Isle of Man to compete in a WDDA event, as well as in the main BDO Isle of Man Open and Classic.

"Darts has given me a lot of confidence and it helps me forget about my condition when I'm on the oche," he said.

"I had a lot of operations as a kid and was in a wheelchair, which meant I missed a lot of school, and I now walk with a limp.

"My maths isn't that good but I can just be myself when I'm playing darts and I think I've had some decent results.

"Garry Thompson beat me 3-0 at the Scottish Open, but I wired double top, missed two darts at double 10 and was waiting on 64 when he checked out on 121. I'd like to do half of the BDO circuit and become the first player from the WDDA to qualify for Lakeside.

"I've had a lot support and encouragement from the big BDO players like Glen Durrant.

"It would be a dream come true if I could get there and I think the WDDA will go far as an organisation "They had an invitation-only event at the World Masters last year, but are having more events this year."

Hampton is looking for a sponsor so he can pursue his Lakeside goal.

"I would put my sponsor's name on my stems or flights, as well as on my shirt," he said.

Potential sponsors can contact him on 07906 255909.

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World Disabled Darts player Paul Hampton from Hemlington is aiming to play in the Lakeside World Championship 100315HAMPTON_04 IAN McINTYRE

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 19, 2015
Words:451
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