Nigel ‘The Undertaker’ Heydon has finally killed off The Butcher – with a little help from Barry Hearn.
Heydon, who is enjoying an encouraging debut season in the pro ranks, has until now been using the nickname, The Butcher.
But, with the backing of Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) chairman Hearn, Heydon has decided to ditch his old moniker and embrace The Undertaker.
“After speaking to Barry Hearn it was decided we could do more with being The Undertaker,” said Heydon, who juggles a pro career with his job at John Taylor Funeral Service in Leamington. “It didn’t seem right being called The Butcher when I’m now an undertaker.
“It will be a good walk-on for me and we could have some fun with it, coming on with a hat and a cape and a frock coat.
“We were going to do it next January but it looks like I’ve got a good chance of being in the World Championships (which start in December] so we thought it best to do it now.”
Five months into his fledgling pro career, the Lillington thrower has already risen to 68th in the world and 30th in the Players’ Championship order of merit which forms the basis for qualification for major tournaments.
However, three defeats to world number one Phil Taylor at the New Tropicana World Series of Darts Festival put paid to his chances of making the televised StanJames.com World Matchplay, with Heydon missing out on qualification by just one place.
“It’s going OK. People said I was capable of beating other professionals and I’ve proved it, it’s just that man Phil Taylor who I’ve got to knuckle down and beat.”
Heydon admits he need to improve his averages to even get close to Taylor, with his doubles currently letting him down.
However, he says being among fellow professionals on the PDC tour gives him the perfect opportunity to learn from the best.
It has also given him the chance to clock up a fair few Air Miles.
“It’s been amazing. I’ve just got back from Vegas, there’s Canada in August and we’ve also got two more tournaments in Holland and Germany to come,” he said.