DARTS ace Paul Hogan is hoping to give the people of his native Buckskin some much-needed cheer by going on a decent run at the Coral UK Open this weekend.
Hogan lives in Blackdown Close, just around the corner from the area hit by flooding in recent weeks. This weekend's event will be shown live on ITV4 and the 50-year-old wants to do well for his friends and neighbours affected by the problems.
“I cannot get in or out of my road by car at the moment but we are lucky when you look at what has happened to other people in the area,” he said. “It's really tough for people in Buckskin at the moment but hopefully I can do well and give them something to cheer.”
Hogan qualified for the UK Open by coming through a play-off event in Reading, winning several matches to secure his place at the finals.
It's one of the biggest events of the year, with many of the top names in the sport, such as Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld, travelling to Minehead, in Somerset to take part.
“I am really pleased to have got through,” Hogan added. “I seem to be doing okay at these qualifying play-offs at the moment and it's good to make it through to another big tournament. All of the big boys will be there and I'm excited about going down there.”
Hogan's tournament begins on Friday afternoon, with a first-round match against Cambridgeshire's Adam Cousins. A second-round tie on the main stage against three-time world champion John Part, a match almost certain to be shown live on television, would be his reward if he was able to get through.
“I don't really know much about the lad I'm playing in the first round but he must be a pretty decent player to make it through to this stage,” Hogan said. “It would be really good to play against John Part but I cannot afford to get ahead of myself and have to concentrate on the first round match.”