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Dartford darts slinger Kevin "Beep Beep" Stringer aiming for England glory

If your name's Stringer and you're from Dartford, perhaps a life throwing arrows was inevitable.

But for darts slinger Kevin Stringer, recently selected to represent England in the upcoming World Trophy, it might not have always been this way.

Darts player Kevin Stringer has been selected for England again
Darts player Kevin Stringer has been selected for England again

Although a fan of the game from a young age, Kevin had given up playing due to pain caused by from Bilateral Congenital Talipes - better known as club feet - which meant he could no longer stand up.

But after being introduced to disability darts in 2014, his career took an arrow-like trajectory, culminating in World Cup victory for England in Ostend, Belgium, in November 2019.

Since then the pandemic has of course changed the shape of the darts world, with competitions being held online, which means the return to Belgium for the World Trophy in November will be an extra special occasion.

And like the Stringers of old - the name originates from those who made longbow strings in medieval England - Kevin is hoping his arrows will make a big impact in Europe.

"The team spirit is quite high", said Kevin, 46. "It's all looking good to be honest. We've got the Welsh Open coming up before the World Trophy, and it will mean the world just to get back out meeting people and meeting the players we've known over the years.

"I'm over the moon to be selected for England."

Darts player Kevin Stringer in action
Darts player Kevin Stringer in action

He admitted he'd struggled to compete at his best standard outside of the usual competition environment.

"It's been weird because we've been having to do online darts and online darts isn't for everyone," he said. "You've got a streaming platform and two players with their own camera.

"It's not for me, I can't get my head around it. Playing face to face is a lot better - it gets you in the right mind-set if you can see the player there. They're friends but it's different when you're on the oche."

Kevin clearly enjoys the heat of battle, and interesting his nickname "Beep Beep" comes from a bit of controversy on the oche in Belgium.

"I throw from a mobility scooter," he explained. "A few years ago at a competition in Belgium a top lady darts player - I could name and shame but I won't - complained about my scooter making a beep-beep noise when I reversed."

And Kevin wasn't about to go into reverse gear over that argument. "She has since apologised," he added.

Kevin Stringer helped England to victory in the first disability darts World Cup
Kevin Stringer helped England to victory in the first disability darts World Cup

Of course when he returns to Ostend, Kevin will be hoping to keep the battle on the dartboard, and competitors can expect him to be sharper than ever.

While lockdown might have been boring, one moment of excitement saw Kevin win £3,500 on an online fruit machine - which has in turn helped transform his practice routine.

"We decided to get a big shed built in the back garden so I could practice, " he added. "I'm doing two-three hours a day at the moment but that will go up nearer the time."

In other words, this vehicle is not reversing - it's onwards and upwards for Beep Beep.

Read more: all the latest news from Dartford.

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