Curtis Hammond wins BDO British Gold Cup Men's Pairs title alongside Brett Claydon
A pair of former Sudbury Town darts players came together to become the first Suffolk winners of the highly prestigious BDO British Gold Cup Men’s Pairs title in nearly 25 years at the weekend.
Hadleigh-raised Curtis Hammond, who now plays for Stratford St Mary, and Brett Claydon, now with Suffolk Super League champions Walsham-le-Willows, walked off with the title at the Magna Centre in Rotherham.
In doing so they became the first players representing the county, having come through the Suffolk qualifiers, to become British Champions in the Men’s Pairs since Mervyn King and Peter Wright back in the 1990s.
Hammond, who played for Sudbury Town from 2012 to 2015, just missing Claydon’s 210 to 2012 spell, said: “It is definitely one of my best achievements as it is such a prestigious trophy.
“The support we had from the Suffolk crowd that was following us was absolutely phenomenal.”
In the last four, Claydon and Hammond saw off the Middlesex pair of Joshua Burksfield and Martin Lukeman 4-0 before romping to glory 4-1 in the final against highly-fancied Lincolnshire father-and-son duo of Eddie and Thomas Lovely.
Hammond, a Suffolk County Council pensions officer who is now based in Ipswich, almost pulled off an amazing double, as he had earlier also made the semi-finals of the Men’s Singles but missed several match darts against Lancashire’s Danny Ayres before losing 5-4.
“It was a different game on the stage for the semi-final and I thought perhaps my final chance had gone,” he said.
The player whose nickname is ‘Hamster’ hopes to follow up the success with Claydon, whom he had not played in a major tournament with before, though used to travel around the PDC circuit with, at the PDC Challenge Tour – second tier – event in Peterborough a week on Saturday.
The 29-year-old is also looking to regain the PDC Tour card he lost three years ago when qualifying comes around at the turn of the year.
Of the pair’s triumph, Claydon, 36, said: “It was after the quarter-finals when the belief really started to grow because we took out some big shots against two Welsh internationals.
“It is the highest pairs victory you can achieve in the BDO so it was magnificent to get it done.”