WORLD-RANKING Arbroath darts player Alan Soutar (32) is to take part in the Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships 2011 on the first day of the year.
Making his debut at Lakeside he will face world number nine Willy Van De Wiel, from the Netherlands, in the first round on Saturday, January 1, at 1.50 p.m. The match is live on BBC Sport.
Alan, whose nickname is ‘Soots’, is a native Red Lichtie and was educated at Inverbrothock Primary School and Arbroath High School. In those days his sports were more outdoor oriented and at the High School he won numerous cross-country running events. He was Angus Schools’ Cross-Country Champion and represented Scotland in the British Schools’ Cross-Country Championships in 1992 and 1994.
However, in 1995 aged 17, Alan joined the army and served around the world with 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo. He also served at Condor as part of 45 Commando Group. He is now a firefighter with Tayside Fire and Rescue.
During his time in the armed services he continued to run and in 1996 Alan represented the Army in the Combined Forces Cross-Country Championships.
Alan started playing darts at a very early age in the Skate Inn which was owned by his grandparents, John and Jane Air, for over 40 years. At only 14 he played in the Men’s Leagues in Arbroath and Forfar. A year later, he became the youngest ever winner of the Arbroath Champion of Champions competition, when he beat Ian Jolly in the final at the Cairnie.
Alan is from a strong darting family and his parents Kenny and Jane Soutar both played in the Arbroath leagues.
His brother Garry also played in World Youth events for Scotland and sister Kerry is a former Arbroath Ladies’ Champion.
As a teenager Alan played in the British Teenage and World Youth events on several occasions and was improving in the sport all the time.
While posted at Condor as part of 45 Commando Group, Alan again played darts in Arbroath at the West Port Bar. He now plays for the Fishermans, Arbroath and the Strathmore Bar, Forfar.
He has been Arbroath Singles Champion five times. He has also won the Arbroath, Forfar, Brechin and Montrose Opens and been ranked the number one player in Angus for the last four years. In 2008 he was darts singles gold medalist in the World Fire Fighter Games and with fellow Arbroath firefighter Ally Forsyth he was World Fire Fighter Games Darts Doubles Gold Medallist.
Other hobbies include golf, football and triathlon. Away from the oche, Alan this year achieved a hole in one on the fifth hole at Carnoustie’s Buddon Course.
Alan travelled to Hull in October to represent Angus at the World Championship Qualifiers with some trepidation having played in the event two years before only to run into in-form Dave Chisnall from St Helens in the third round.
Over 500 players were in the draw which had been narrowed down from tens of thousands of players from over 30 countries worldwide. Only four places at Lakeside were available on the day.
Alan played some fantastic darts, beating Welsh, English and Scottish international squad players along the way. His first match of the day was at 10 a.m. and the final match to qualify was at 9 p.m. The international qualifiers are renowned as the toughest way to qualify for the World’s Premier Darts Tournament.
Alan will travel south to Frimley Green next Thursday. He extended thanks to his sponsors Clive Jones of Peggy’s Fast Food and Roly Smith of Colin M Smith.
Arbroath and District Men’s Darts League
Sponsored by Colin M Smith
Results: Burns Bar (2) 7, Rams Heid 6; Fishermans (2) 8, Abbey (1) 5; Portcullis (1) 11, Bowlers 2.
Results: Tutties 5, Fishermans (1) 8; Station Bar 6, Commercial (L) 7.
180 scorers: M. Christie (x2), D. Cooper, B. Beattie, M. Elder, G. Finnie, S. Barber,
Low legs, 14 darts - B. Beattie; 15 darts – A. Forsyth, R. Torrie.
High checkouts, 101 - R. Torrie; 113 - M. Thomson; 114 - S. May.
The draw for the Peem Pearson qualifiers is now available to view online. All the latest results, fixtures and league tables can be found at www.arbroathdarts.co.uk
The league will now break for Christmas and league matches will not recommence until Monday January 10.
The league matches scheduled for Monday, January 3, are postponed due to Lakeside 2011 and will be played on Wednesday, February 9.