A mother of three Blackburn young darts players has praised their club director for his generosity, after the girls had their signed shirts stolen at the Ladies Final at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool las month.

Avid darts fans Edie, 13, Violette, 8, and Hylda, 5, took part in a darts challenge hosted by the PDC where their impressive darts skills, honed by Blackburn Darts Academy, won them a darts top each.

Unfortunately, their tops were stolen from their seats by someone whilst they were on the front stage getting autographs from the players on Sunday, July 24.

Keith Brunt runs the Academy and without his help, their mum Shellie Phillips said they’re wouldn’t have been a positive outcome from the incident.

She added: “They were really upset, especially my youngest one but Keith really stepped in for us and contacted his darts colleagues.

“The PDC contacted me and said they’d heard about our story and were going to replace the shirts with new signed shirts, a signed dart board and some booklets as well.”



In addition to the PDC’s gifts, Australian professional darts player Damon Heta sent the girls a signed card and one of his own darts shirts.

Shellie added: “It just goes to show the darting community are really supportive as well because everyone was disgusted.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Keith Brunt and Gerwyn Price Keith Brunt and Gerwyn Price

Sharing the extent of Keith’s kindness, Shellie said: “He’s such a genuine, kind guy. He’s helped with Hylda’s confidence because she’s obviously very young and quite shy.

“He charges minimal price to join so he’s not doing this for money, he’s doing it because he genuinely loves darts.

“With community centres closing down and the parks in Blackburn are just disarray, Keith is doing this to get kids off the street because they’ve got nothing to do.”

“Keith very rarely takes a day off,” Shellie said. “He never has his phone off and if there’s a kid that can’t make it to one of the sessions, he rallies round asking ‘can anyone give this lad a lift so he can get to the session.’ He’s just a generous kind-hearted guy.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Keith Brunt and members of the Blackburn Youth Darts Academy with Gerwyn PriceKeith Brunt and members of the Blackburn Youth Darts Academy with Gerwyn Price

Speaking on the incident at the Winter Gardens, Keith said: “It was a shock because you wouldn't think even in this day and age that someone would steal from three children.

“The three of them went to the women's match play to be advocates for our Academy and advocate our passion to grow the amount of girl students we have and try to get more girls playing the sport.

“We currently have seven girls but want to double this number by the end of the year if we can.”

All the money that Keith earns goes straight back into the academy to support the kids and provide them with unforgettable opportunities like meeting top players and learning from professional mentors.

Last month, Keith organised a night with Daryl Gurney where the members were able to play head to head against the player and all the funds raised went towards getting the club new shirts.

Carine Jessamine, marketing director at Selco Builders Warehouse, which provided the prize shirts, said: “We were really disappointed to hear that these three young darts fans had their Selco shirts stolen at the Women's World Matchplay.

“We were delighted to replace them and pleased that the darts community also came forward with some additional special gifts.

“The Selco darts game at Blackpool proved very popular with fans and dozens of people were successful in hitting the target and clinching one of our sought-after shirts.

“We look forward to taking the challenge to other darts events in the months to come.”