Julie Gore was one of the leading lights of the ladies darts tour for a number of years, winning the Winmau World Masters twice and also making a number of appearances at the BDO World Championship. I caught up with the Welsh thrower recently to discuss her career, how she took up the arraz and why she has stepped back from the game.
‘Ice Cube’ was a steely player on the oche throughout her career and took an interesting route to the tour. “The first time I ever threw darts was when I was a kid, as my dad had a dartboard on the shed door. I didn’t understand the game at that time and then, later on, when I was in the army when I was 17, we used to have some games of darts in the NAFFI. Then years later when I was an army wife, I used to play in a team when I was at Catterick Garrison. From there, when we were posted to Berlin I played and we used to play against the other regiments that were out there. I had my first trophy, the best female player in Berlin (between the other camps), in my 20s.”
Julie’s career progressed from there. “After winning the Gold Cup for the first time, I thought to myself, I’m not too bad at this game after all, and when I got picked for Wales for the first time, I was so proud to represent my country. Then I thought of trying a few tournaments to see how I got on and didn’t do too badly.”
Gore’s greatest success of her career came at the Winmau World Masters, an event she scooped up the title in twice, both times when the tournament was held in Hull. She reflects fondly on those victories, “Winning the Winmau the first time was an achievement in itself, and to beat one of my idols was awesome again as I had beaten Francis [Hoenselaar] in the final in Ireland and it was my first time at that tournament, and then the second time against Deta [Hedman] was brilliant, as we had met a few times in tournaments and I enjoyed the challenge against another idol.”
The Welsh star also played at the prestigious BDO World Championship seven times in her time on the tour, an achievement and record she ranks highly, “I always enjoyed the Lakeside World Championships as I had always watched it on TV for years, and I was so proud of Marshall James playing at Lakeside too as he’s a friend and we played local darts in Llanelli. I can always remember saying to Marshall, ‘I’m gonna get there one day’, and although I didn’t know how I was going to get there at the time I knew I was going to find a way and that was long time before I started going on tour.”
Julie was of course one of a number of the sport’s leading arrowsmiths as women’s darts began to gain more notoriety in the 2000s and 2010s, and she said it was ‘brilliant’ to see both Lisa Ashton and Fallon Sherrock achieving success over on the PDC tour. But we haven’t seen as much of Julie in recent years, and she explained why, “I would have loved to carry on with the tour, but when my partner left me after 19 years it knocked me for six. My darts went out the window for a while and it knocked my confidence. The other reason is that I can’t afford it as I never really had any sponsors to help me out, only occasionally. I just play local darts and county darts when I can.”
Thanks to Julie Gore
Image Credits: Alchetron and Sport On The Box