This month the Grapevine Magazine catches up with Spanish based professional darts player Tab Hunter aka"The Jovial Geordie". Tab a former top BDO county player representing Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Northumberland, now lives in Torremolinos, Spain.
He has achieved a lot in the steel tip side of darts but in his first year of soft-tip darts he won
National and Open competitions and also qualified for the Las Vegas World Championships. Even after playing darts for so many years Tab still has not lost his love of the sport.
Since moving to Spain, Tab has enjoyed his darts and life in the sun, met a lot of dart players both in steel and electronic, and has made a lot of new friends.
Why did you move Spain?
After working all my life as a shepherd in different parts of the UK and in all weathers, it was a time for a change. No longer with any family or work commitments, my wife and I decided to travel for a while. We spent a few months in France then decided to move into Spain, we chose to settle here in Torremolinos.
Are you still playing darts professionally?
Hopefully this new season will see me getting to more of the PDC Tournaments in Europe and of course as many as I can in Spain. Having just agreed a new sponsorship deal with Benalmadena based Travel company Viva Choice, this should enable me compete in more competitions.
How big is Darts in Spain compared to the UK?
Steel tip darts are going through a bit of new interest, with Spanish players starting to enter the darts circuit. But the UK has a better grass roots system for dart players i.e.; super league and county level, but the Spanish Darts Organisation is starting to look to the future.
Have you been welcomed here into the Sport?
Darting people all over the world are welcoming and Spain is no exception. I was taken under the wing of a few Spanish players when I first started playing electronic competitions. I won the Spanish mens National pair's championship in my first competition with partner Antonio "Zorro"
Vargas and we retained the same title the year after. I couldn´t have been welcomed better anywhere.
What competitions have you played in here and how have you done?
I have won the Spanish Open singles title twice, Spanish Mixed pair's champions once, the Gibraltar Open, Seville Open Champion, Spanish National Electronic Singles Championship once
and pairs Champions twice. I have qualified to go to the Electronic World Championships in Las Vegas.
So, you have won many titles, some in Traditional darts game and others in Electronic darts game.
Yes I'm quite happy with the way things have gone since moving here. Hopefully things will get better. After having just had a long layoff with a hip replacement I am now back and fighting fit and keen to do well.
Which game do you prefer?
Steel tip darts is where my heart lies, but here in Spain there are far more competitions in the electronic game.
What competition can we see you playing in next?
My next major competition is at Gibraltar on 6-7th of February for the P.D.C players Championships. Then the Torremolinos Open in March, and the week after, the electronic National Championships also in Torremolinos.
What are your plans for the future? I want to get to as many tournaments as I can this year and just enjoy myself. I will carry on doing my exhibitions which I love doing as you meet so many interesting people.
I have just been to Denmark for an exhibition and a two day competition (reaching the Final and Semi Final stages in each respective competition) and had a great time. I must have gone down well with the Danes in the exhibition as bookings for later in the year have come in.
See tabs website : http://www.tabhunter.t83.net/