Fanfare for the common man

Few sporting events are more sheerly likeable than the World Darts Championship. Perhaps no other major professional competition possesses the same unmediated and authentic connection between players and spectators.

s this year’s final ended on Monday night, Michael Smith turned away from the crowd and faced the back of the Alexandra Palace stage. His shoulders shaking, his agony obscured but obvious, the runner-up was a shattered man.

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