Bletchley darts manager helps Rob Cross go from zero to PDC hero within 11 months of funding him to turn pro, after spotting him playing in MK.
A darts manager from Bletchley has hit the bullseye by helping Rob Cross rise from obscurity to PDC World Darts champion in less than a year.
Jacqui Moore, who runs Nevada Sports Management with her partner Jon Archer, handed Rob his first professional contract after spotting him playing as an amateur in a tournament at Arena MK.
And after an astronomic climb up the rankings, underdog Rob stunned the sporting world by beating Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor on his way to winning the PDC World Darts Championship live on Sky Sports in January.
Jacqui and Jon sat alongside Rob’s family at Alexandra Palace to cheer on the new world number three as he completed an emotional rise to stardom by thrashing the legendary Taylor – playing in his last match before retirement – 7-2 in the final.
Jacqui told Celebrate:MK: “Rob was working as an electrician when we met him, with a wife and three kids to look after in Hastings.
“They used to have envelopes that they put money in for their bills.
“But we enabled him to turn pro by sponsoring him and paying for all his tournament entries, his hotel bills and travel fees etc.
“Now he’s comfortable as he’s just won £400,000! His rise in just 11 months has been remarkable – we’re so proud of him.
“Before he goes out to play he has a routine where he comes over to give me a hug and I kiss him on the cheek and wish him good luck, but before his semi-final against van Gerwen he whispered in my ear, ‘I’m going to get him this time’. And he did – he was so focused.
“Then he blew away Taylor in the final. When the last dart went in I just jumped up, sobbed, grabbed his wife Georgia and the two of us stood there hugging and crying!
“It still doesn’t feel real. He’s world champ but he’s still Rob. His dad keeps calling him ‘champ’ but Rob keeps looking behind him!”
Rob treated Jacqui and Jon to a holiday to Disneyland Paris to thank them for everything they have done for him – and he has now set his sights on becoming number 1 in the world rankings.
Jacqui added: “The world is his oyster now he’s playing in the Premier League. It would be wonderful if he could become world number 1.”