With his 1980s-style mullet, Danny Jansen is fast becoming a cult figure in darts.
He is also an accomplished young player, having risen to 77th in the world ranking and regularly competing in European Tour events, having earned a PDC Tour card earlier this year. But had it not been for a horrifying accident during his childhood, Jansen, nicknamed The Mullet, could have become a professional footballer. The 20-year-old had caught the attention of Dutch Eredivisie side FC Twente and was regarded as a bright prospect.
But then, in his own words, “it all went wrong” when, aged nine, he suffered appalling leg injuries after being run over by a tractor and consigned to a wheelchair for more than a year.
“At the Easter bonfire in the village, I was playing with other children,” he told AD.nl, via DartsNews. “Because it was dark, I didn't see that there was a tractor there. I jumped over a ditch and got stuck in the scissors of the tractor with my leg and fell over with my body. My lower leg was shattered.”
He had to undergo 11 operations, wrecking his dream of becoming a footballer, but, as it turned out, his hopes of becoming a professional sportsman remained alive.
Jansen took up darts, a sport played by his father, in 2016 and, fortunately, the injury did not occur to his supporting leg. “There is hardly any strain on it,” he said.
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2022 is proving to be a breakthrough year for The Mullet, who won Players Championship Nine in April after defeating Andrew Gilding in the final in Barnsley.
“I'm feeling so good, this is unbelievable," said Jansen after that triumph. “It's crazy, I thought I would be able to win games on the tour but to win a title so early is more than I expected.
“I love to play here in the PDC with the big names in darts, and now I feel I belong among them. My target this year is to qualify for the World Championship.”
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