Wikinews interviews UK pro darts player Kirk Shepherd
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Kirk Shepherd is a professional darts player from the United Kingdom. Kirk began playing competitively at 13 for his local pub, and was soon crowned Boys Champion at the Winmau World Masters in 2003. Shepherd was voted Young Player of the Year by the British Darts Organisation in 2005 and 2006.
Shepherd is perhaps best known for his performance at the 2008 PDC World Darts Championship. Forced to qualify for the televised tournament, he then proceeded to knock out a number of well-known players live on television, including Terry Jenkins, Wayne Mardle and former finalist Peter Manley. He ultimately went on to come second in the tournament, becoming the youngest ever finalist, and losing out to John Part in the final.
He has also previously managed to defeat the then world number one, Gary Anderson. Due to his performance at the world championship he will play in this year's Grand Slam of Darts next month. Ahead of that appearance Wikinews was able to conduct an interview with Kirk, which is now available below:
The Grand Slam's coming up soon. Do you feel confident you can do well in another major tournament?
- Yes, I believe in my own ability and know I've got the game to beat anyone on my day.
((WN)) How's this year been going so far?
- Not as well as I would have hoped, but I wont let that rock my confidence.
((WN)) When you were at the world championships, did you find playing top-level darts players daunting?
- No, I was more exited about it more than anything. I had previously played top players before and won so I knew I could cut it out with the best.
((WN)) How do you approach a match as an underdog without giving up immediately?
- I just believe in my self and confidence is a key factor.
((WN)) Your website says that in playing darts live on TV and defeating the world number one at the time—Gary Anderson—you have achieved two of your aims. What are your other aims, and when do you hope to achieve them?
- My aims are to break in the top 16 which I hope to do by next year and to be a world champion; my aim for this is in the next 5 years.
((WN)) Who are your darting heroes?
((WN)) What first got you interested in darts?
- My dad was a keen player so I followed in his footsteps, I guess.
((WN)) What were your your ambitions before you entered darts professionally, or was that what you had always wanted to do?
- Darts has always been my life, I always wanted to be a pro darts player.
((WN)) Do you see yourself joining the premier league in a few years?
- That would be a great achievement. If I could make this another good run in this years world championship [that] would see me there. I think i can do it.
((WN)) What do you think you would be doing now if it wasn't for darts?
- I would probably go in to the plumbing trade.