In this column, we regularly go back in time with a particular darter from yesteryear. Today we do so with Englishman Steve Coote.
Steve Coote was born Sept. 19, 1970, in Bolton. In 1999 he made his first international appearance by winning the German Open. Thanks in part to that strong performance, he made his debut at the BDO World Championship in 2000, where he pulled off a huge shock by beating sixth-seeded Martin Adams 3-2 in the opening round. Coote could not follow up that victory, however, because in the second round Co Stompé proved too strong, 3-1.
A year later, Coote was at it again at Lakeside Country Club, but this time with less success. He lost in the first round 3-2 to Wayne Mardle. A year later, the second round was again his finish at the BDO World Championship.
History at Dutch Open
Later that month, he did reach the final at the Dutch Open Darts. In that final, he eventually lost to Shaun Greatbatch. Still, that match will always remain in the memory of many darts fans as Greatbatch threw the very first nine-darter to be shown live on television.
2002 was a particularly strong year for "Magic" anyway. At the Winmau World Masters he reached the semi-finals after victories against Darryl Fitton, Alan Reynolds, Ted Hankey and Mike Veitch. Tony West was too strong.
Coote was also active at the BDO World Championships in 2003 and 2004, but was eliminated in the opening round each time. Immediately after the latter World Championship, he switched to the rival PDC association. And there he got off to an excellent start with a quarter-final place at the Las Vegas Desert Classic, where he lost to eventual winner Phil Taylor.
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Swapping between BDO and PDC
Yet that did not prove to be the breakthrough for Coote, on the contrary, he performed very little and in 2007 he became one of the few players who returned to the BDO. Even there he had little success and in 2013 he decided to take his chance at the PDC Q-School. Somewhat surprisingly, he obtained a Tour Card there, but after two years he lost it again. Coote, who worked as a firefighter in addition to darts, returned to the BDO once again, without much success, however.
Since then, we have barely seen Coote in action at international tournaments and, at age 53, his darts career appears to be quietly behind him.