Fallon Sherrock hopes to inspire a new generation of darting talent after being awarded an MBE for her services to darts in the King’s Birthday Honours List earlier this month.
Sherrock has made a huge global impact on women's darts in recent years, starting with her history-making wins at the PDC World Darts Championship in December 2019.
The 28-year-old became the first female player to win a match in the sport’s showpiece event, celebrating wins over Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic at Alexandra Palace to generate worldwide headlines.
Sherrock also reached the Nordic Darts Masters final on her World Series of Darts debut in September 2021, before continuing her progress in reaching the Grand Slam of Darts quarter-finals later that year.
“I am so proud of myself,” added Sherrock, who has also won 11 PDC Women's Series titles.
“If you had told me five years ago that I would be getting an MBE for helping the sport of darts, I would never have believed you.
“I’m really thankful for the MBE and hopefully it encourages more women to take up the sport, because look at what this Women’s Series has done.
“It has made so many other women play better, there are goals they want to set. They want to get to the Women’s World Matchplay, they want to get to the World Championship.
“We all want more women to play in these events, because it makes it better for us.”
Sherrock continued her history-making exploits with victory in last year’s inaugural Women’s World Matchplay, defeating Aileen de Graaf to celebrate her first televised success in the PDC.
The Milton Keynes ace also broke new ground earlier this year, becoming the first woman to hit a nine-dart finish in a PDC event on the Winmau Challenge Tour.
Sherrock joins former World Champions Eric Bristow and John Lowe and fellow female star Trina Gulliver as darts stars to be awarded the MBE, and she celebrated the news with victory on the PDC Women’s Series last weekend.
She defeated emerging Irish star Robyn Byrne in Saturday’s Event Ten decider to secure her first Women’s Series title of 2023 – and her first for almost 12 months.
“It felt amazing,” admitted Sherrock, who also reached Sunday’s Event 11 final, where she lost out to Beau Greaves in a thrilling last-leg shoot-out.
“I feel like there’s a weight off my shoulders now, and that title meant a lot.
“Even going into Milton Keynes last month, I didn’t play badly, I just could not get that win.
“My form coming into the weekend was really good, but it’s a totally different environment when you come here, so I just thought let’s get back to basics, which I am trying to do.
“I just wanted the form that I had over the last few weeks to come into this weekend, and there were glimpses of it, so hopefully going forward there is more to come.”
Sherrock will make her big stage return at next month’s Betfred Women’s World Matchplay, as she begins her defence of the title as the number three seed at the Winter Gardens.
The reigning champion will play Lisa Ashton in a blockbuster quarter-final tie, with qualification for the Grand Slam of Darts and the 2023/24 World Darts Championship on offer to the winner.
However, ahead of next month's event, Sherrock believes the success enjoyed by the likes of Greaves and Mikuru Suzuki over the last 12 months has alleviated the pressure that used to be on her shoulders.
“I don’t think anybody is expecting me to win these titles anymore,” insisted Sherrock, who defeated Aileen de Graaf to scoop the £10,000 winner’s prize at the 2022 Women’s World Matchplay.
“All the eyes are on Mikuru [Suzuki] and Beau [Greaves], who is literally on fire at the moment.
“I remember speaking to Robyn [Byrne] in Milton Keynes and I said to her: ‘You’re playing really well, just keep going because something has got to give.
“As soon as I said that she went and won the next title! Rhian O’Sullivan is playing really well, and you can’t forget Aileen [de Graaf] and Lisa [Ashton] who are fighting to keep up there.
“I think the standard of the women’s game is only increasing, and in a couple of years’ time we’re going to see more women come through, which is what we all want.”
2023 Betfred Women's World Matchplay
Sunday July 23
(1) Beau Greaves v (8) Noa-Lynn van Leuven
(4) Robyn Byrne v (5) Rhian O'Sullivan
(2) Mikuru Suzuki v (7) Aileen de Graaf
(3) Fallon Sherrock v (6) Lisa Ashton
Quarter-Finals - Best of seven legs
Semi-Finals - Best of nine legs
Final - Best of 11 legs