Deta Hedman created history at the weekend as she secured her 100th ranking title by winning the England National Championship, and quickly followed it up with her 101st victory in the England Open on the same day.
The Dark Destroyer has become one of the most popular players on the BDO circuit over her distinguished career and the achievement reaffirms her position as one of the greatest women players to ever play the sport.
Yet when you consider the difficulties she has faced over the years, it becomes even more impressive.
In 1997, Hedman actually gave up the game after she ran into financial difficulties as a result of a redundancy.
She returned to play on the PDC circuit in 2002, but again walked away from the sport in 2007 due to a lack of sponsorship.
Yet 2010 saw her return to the BDO full time after numerous Open wins in 2009.
A lack of sponsorship is a problem a lot of amateur and semi-professional darts players face and it often extremely stunts their development.
It is phenomenal to think one of the best women players in the world has spent an accumulative eight years away from competitive darts, and it is even more frightening to think how many more titles she could have won during that time.
The 56-year-old has already won 10 ranking titles within the first six months of this year, and while it is mere speculation, if you appliedthat ratio to her time spent away from the circuit she could have been comfortably sat with over 200 ranking titles.
Hedman combines competing in tournaments every weekend with her job at the Royal Mail, where she often works into the early hours of the morning. But even that hasn’t stopped her ascent to the top of the rankings.
In the last six years, Hedman has proved to be the most consistent performer on the ladies circuit and added a second World Masters title to her collection in 2013.
‘There arguably wouldn’t be a more popular winner at Lakeside next year’
Yet the one trophy that still alludes her is the big one. The World Championship.
Three times Hedman has reached the final and twice she has led 2-1 in sets before falling to a 3-2 defeat, most recently in this year’s final against Trina Gulliver. There arguably wouldn’t be a more popular winner.
The image of Hedman strutting to the stage as the crowd jive to The Merrymen’s ‘Hot Hot Hot’ has become synonymous with Lakeside.
But unfortunately the image of Hedman alongside the famous trophy has yet to be seen.
Many feel that January’s final against Gulliver was her biggest chance and with Lisa Ashton breaking records with her performances, it would take something special to beat her on the TV stage.
Yet as her 2016 form has suggested, Hedman is far from finished, and on her day she is more than capable of beating any player in the world.
Let’s just hope the remarkable story of Deta Hedman concludes with that elusive World Championship win.