Almost 40 years have passed since Keith Deller’s fairytale rise to becoming world champion. The title-winning 138 checkout to defeat Eric Bristow in the 1983 final remains one of the most famous finishes in darts history.
Still a popular face on the exhibition circuit, Deller would often be asked when will he share his story in a book. The insight into that memorable final, which boasted a TV audience of 10 million – the most ever for a World Championship final – is here.
138: Game, Shot and the Match tells the story of Deller’s rise to fame, as a 23-year-old from Suffolk, to becoming one of the most unlikely sporting world champions of modern times.
From entering as a qualifier to his final triumph over the biggest name in the sport, Deller charts his run to the 1983 BDO World Championship title, as well as stories from travelling the world on the darts circuit, and recollections about some of the sport’s all-time greats including Bristow, Phil Taylor and Jocky Wilson.
The book also includes an inside look at how the PDC came into existence in the early 1990s, with Deller part of the group of players who broke away from the BDO to form the organisation which now oversees the professional circuit.
“Over the last 10 or 15 years, people kept saying to me ‘why haven’t you done a book?’” Deller said. “Eric Bristow, John Lowe, Bobby George and Wayne Mardle have all done books.
“They kept asking me and said it would be great to get an insight into mine and Eric’s final. It’s still the biggest viewing figures for a world final.
“I’ve gave a good insight into what it was like, because I still remember everything nearly 40 years on.
“There’s some funny stories in there with Eric and Jocky. Stephen Fry has written the foreword, which I’m very pleased and thankful for, and Phil Taylor has written some lovely words. I hope everyone enjoys it.”
138: Game, Shot and the Match is now available to buy at pitchpublishing.co.uk/shop/138