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  Monday, 14 January, 2002, 13:54 GMT
David the Goliath
Tony David lines up a dart during the final
David quickly became a crowd favourite at Frimley
New Embassy World Darts champion Tony David overcame more than his opponents to win the title.

The 34-year-old Australian is a haemophiliac and as a child his doctors feared he would not live to see 20.

But David made light of his ill-health to become only the second non-European to win the title when he beat Mervyn King at Frimley Green on Sunday.

David gets acquainted with the world darts trophy
David had dreamt that he would win the title
David's blood disorder means he walks with a limp, cannot run, cannot straighten his throwing arm and everyday bumps bring him out in large bruises.

And David, who receives a disability pension, was also fighting a virus during the week at Frimley.

"I was probably firing on about 75% of my capacity this week," he said.

"I've had a lot of bad times with my blood disorder and it's caused me a lot of pain throughout my life.

"I have a bit of a joint problem in my right arm where I can't straighten it out.

"But where it locks is where I need to release the dart, so you could say I've got a built-in mechanism due to my blood disorder."

His strength in adversity made him an instant crowd favourite as he progressed towards the title, which he had dreamt that he would win.

Dreamland

It completed a hat-trick of times that he had gone on to claim a title after dreaming about the outcome.


My parents have supported me since the day I was born and will do so until the day I die
World champion
Tony David
"Four days before I won my first important tournament, the 1993 Townsville Open, I dreamed I would do it," David said.

"Then the same thing happened before my Australian Masters success in 1996, and I had another dream that I would win the Embassy.

"Now that's also come true, and the reality is even better than the dream.

"I've always believed it wasn't a matter of if, but how and when you get there."

David's father followed the final at home in Queensland on the internet, and he praised his parents for the dedication and support they had given him during his life.

Support

"With the 48,000 I've won this week, I hope to purchase my own house," said David, whose only regular income is a disability pension worth around 150 per fortnight.

"But I'd also like to pay my parents back," he said. "They have supported me since the day I was born and will do so until the day I die.

"They funded me through schooling and university.

"And they have given me an awful lot of money, which has enabled me to travel so I can play darts."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
World Darts champion Tony David
"I've dreamed of this moment "
Embassy World Darts Championship

David wins final

Earlier rounds

Picture galleries

Special coverage

Darts politics

SPORTS TALK

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OFFICIAL SITES
Links to more World Darts Championship 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.


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