Beau Greaves has backup plan if darts career ends as she sends message to haters

Riff diamond Beau Greaves will walk on stage to Status Quo classic Rockin' All Over The World on Friday night – and Ally Pally will jump to her beat.

The 18-year-old sensation loves to get in the mood for girl power on the oche with a blast of the headbangers' national anthem.

And if Greaves is on-song in the Cazoo PDC Darts World Championship first round, Ireland's William O'Connor may need the plink-plink-fizz.

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O'Connor, ranked No.37 in the world, landed the most thankless booby prize in darts when he came out of the hat with the Doncaster teenager on a 52-match winning streak in PDC competitions.

He insists it's not a hospital pass, and that he won't go the same way as Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic – then ranked in the top 10 – when Fallon Sherrock became the first woman to win on the Alexandra Palace stage three years ago.

But for Greaves, who left school at 15 and did a year of BTEC in painting and decorating at college, this is a golden ticket to put some serious gloss on a career of rich promise.

Anyone who dares to scoff at her opportunity to become the first lady of the oche is met by a soundbite straight from comic genius Catherine Tate's sketchbook: “Am I bovvered?”

Greaves said: “I wanted to go back to the painting and decorating, but I've been so busy with the darts that I just couldn’t do it. It was a shame really, but at least I do have a small back-up. Teachers were always really good with me. They always wondered what I was doing and where I was going to play darts next.

“When I went to secondary school, all the kids knew that I was playing darts from my time in primary school and I didn’t care, anyway – people can take the mick if they want. Look at me, I have a brilliant life ahead of me. I am not bothered. It's cool.”

Greaves was a 15-year-old, playing Fortnite on her PlayStation console with the darts on in the background, when Sherrock rocked the Palace. Now it's Beau's turn.

“When I was at Lakeside (winning the WDF women's world title), I walked on stage to Staus Quo and the crowd loved it,” she said. “When the music stopped, everyone was still going before I started playing. I like the song, it gets me going.”

O'Connor, 36, ominously chooses Tom Petty's 'I Won't Back Down' as his walk-on theme, and the 'Magpie' from Limerick won't be taking any backward steps – even with 3,200 fans backing Greaves.

He said: “I'm not fearful, I'm not worried – Beau is obviously playing super darts, and for her to be playing at the world championship is an achievement in itself.

“But there's no trepidation, I regard it as a challenge. When the draw was made, my mindset was to accept it for what it is – I need to play well, otherwise I'll be going home.

“I don't know that much about her, but I know she is the ladies' world champion and she's been on a great run, but for me, it's straightforward: If I bring my A game, I'll win, and that's not me being disrespectful.I've played against the top players in the world, in front of big crowds, and I know I can handle that side of it.

“I know the crowd may not be on my side, and I've got to get my head around that, but I repeat: I'm not worried, I'm not concerned about what she is going to do. I wouldn't call it pressure, but I know what to expect from the occasion itself.”

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