AS DEBUTS go on the world stage, Dean Winstanley's was spectacular. The Swinton-born thrower came agonisingly close to scooping the BDO World Championship crown on Sunday, losing 7-5 in an epic Lakeside contest with Martin Adams.
Winstanley led 5-4 at one stage before Adams, the defending champion, capped a memorable season by roaring back to seal the third world crown of his career.
"The better man won on the night, he deserves it; but it was nice to see the man with the beard shake," said Winstanley, who now lives in Conisbrough.
Incredibly, Winstanley quit playing darts at the age of 12. Nine years later, he decided to pick it up again and his performances in the Doncaster and District Darts League saw him selected for the Yorkshire county side.
Seeded three for the tournament in Frimley Green, Winstanley beat Martin Atkins, Robbie Green, Stephen Bunting and Jan Dekker en route to the final.
The 29-year-old has vowed to return to the Lakeside stage, saying: "I hope to be coming back for the next 20 years."
Winstanley took the 30,000 cheque for finishing runner-up in the event while Adams took the 100,000 prize. Adams became the first player in 11 years to successfully defend the world title.
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