A few short years ago Richard North was being roundly derided in his home town of Swindon. In his excitement at winning a local event he had proclaimed himself as “Swindon’s No.1”. In a town that featured former PDC world No.4 Dennis Smith, and many other great players, this was taken as arrogance and Rich did not get an easy time from the locals. To make matters worse he was defeated in the final of a “Find-A-Pro” Event by Dennis.

Fast forward to today and after years trying to find his path, toward the elite level, North has been transformed since the start of 2017. After claiming his tour card, in January, the Swindon thrower has earned in excess of £28,000, mainly from the Pro Tour floor events, and is well placed to qualify for the World Grand Prix. With Rob Cross’s higher profile, North has flown slightly under the radar until he reached the final of Players Championship 18.

Having qualified for the next two European Tour events Richard has an excellent opportunity to impress further over the next few weeks. Good performances here will see him certain to qualify for the years’ remaining major events, including the World Championships, and be certain of reaching the automatic tour card level of top 64 or better.

Many may have to accept that North is indeed “Swindon’s No.1” and a whole lot more besides.

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Author: Callum Harris